Photo credit: Jonathon Rossouw
The São Tomé Fiscal, Lanius newtoni, is listed as ‘CRITICALLY ENDANGERED’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. Endemic to the island of São Tomé in Africa’s Gulf of Guinea, this long-tailed shrike was not observed in the wild between 1928 and 1990, raising concerns that it might have gone extinct.
Historically, large areas of São Tomé’s forests were cleared for cocoa and coffee plantations. This habitat loss continues in places today, with clearance for small farms and road-building. The São Tomé Fiscal is now restricted to small areas of remaining primary forest, and its population is believed to be tiny. Introduced predators such as rats, stoats and monkeys may also be a threat.
São Tomé’s remaining primary forest is protected in Obo Natural Park, although poor law enforcement and a lack of information on the São Tomé Fiscal make the benefits to this species unclear. Further research into the species will be vital, while its listing as a protected species, together with the legal protection and active management of its habitat, will also be important in its conservation.
To learn more about the São Tomé Fiscal, click here. Or visit the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ by clicking their logo below.
To learn more about the Bush Warriors “Species of the Day” feature, please click here and read up on our initiative to raise awareness about the loss of earth’s biodiversity.