Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

The range, abundance and habitat of Hinde's Babbler Turdoides hindei: fine-scale changes in abundance during 2000-2011 reflect temporal variation in scrub cover

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


P. Shaw, P. Njoroge, V. Otieno, E. Mlamba

School/Research organisations


In developing countries, 'land sparing' may be more effective than 'land sharing' in partially mitigating the impacts of farming on bird species diversity. We examined the pattern of change in the global and local distribution of Hinde's Babbler Turdoides hindei, a 'Vulnerable' Kenyan endemic whose local abundance is dependent on a passive form of land sharing, in which farmland is left fallow or abandoned, enabling Lantana scrub to colonise. In 2011 we assessed the species' global range and resurveyed three IBAs, surveyed previously in 2000-2001, to determine whether fine-scale changes in abundance reflected temporal changes in habitat quality. Although the babbler's known range increased between 1900-1970 and 1991-2011, we suggest that this apparent expansion largely reflects an improved knowledge base, and that several recently discovered sites are likely to have been overlooked in the past. In combination, the three IBAs surveyed in 2000-2001 and 2011 showed little net change in the number of individuals (+1.3%) or groups (-3.8%) encountered, despite a 68% decline in the number individuals recorded at one site. Within 1-km transect sections there was a positive correlation between change in Hinde's Babbler abundance and change in the amount of scrub cover available, such that a reduction in scrub cover of 22 and 6 percentage points, respectively, was associated with the loss of one group or one individual. The availability of scrub cover was dependent mainly on the amount land left uncultivated, perhaps in response to changes in the value of coffee and other crops. Since the babbler's abundance thus currently depends mainly on land sharing by default, rather than by design, we suggest that a more proactive approach, involving land purchase or payments for land set aside, might help to secure its future.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-465
Number of pages13
JournalBird Conservation International
Issue number4
Early online date17 Dec 2013
Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2014

    Research areas

  • Demography, Range, Habitat change, Land sharing, Lantana

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Implications of farmland expansion for species abundance, richness and mean body mass in African raptor communities

    Shaw, P., Kibuule, M., Nalwanga, D., Kaphu, G., Opige, M. & Pomeroy, D., Jul 2019, In : Biological Conservation. 235, p. 164-177 14 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Densities and population sizes of raptors in Uganda’s conservation areas

    Pomeroy, D., Kibuule, M., Nalwanga, D., Kaphu, G., Opige, M. & Shaw, P., 16 Jan 2019, In : Ostrich. 90, 1, p. 25-36 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Another continental vulture crisis: Africa’s vultures collapsing toward extinction

    Ogada, D., Shaw, P., Beyers, R. L., Buij, R., Murn, C., Thiollay, J. M., Beale, C. M., Holdo, R. M., Pomeroy, D., Baker, N., Krüger, S. C., Botha, A., Virani, M. Z., Monadjem, A. & Sinclair, A. R. E., 26 Apr 2016, In : Conservation Letters. 9, 2, p. 89-97 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Ivory poachers and poison: drivers of Africa's declining vulture populations

    Ogada, D., Botha, A. & Shaw, P., 7 Dec 2015, In : Oryx. FirstView, 4 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Vulture populations in Uganda: using road survey data to measure both densities and encounter rates within protected and unprotected areas

    Pomeroy, D., Shaw, P., Opige, M., Kaphu, G., Ogada, D. L. & Virani, M. Z., Dec 2015, In : Bird Conservation International. 25, 4, p. 399-414 16 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Defining the key wintering habitats in the Sahel for declining African-Eurasian migrants using expert assessment

    Atkinson, P. W., Adams, W. M., Brouwer, J., Cheke, R. A., Cresswell, W., Hewson, C. M., Hulme, M. F., Manvell, A., Sheehan, D. K., Small, R. D. S., Sutherland, W. J. & Vickery, J. A., Dec 2014, In : Bird Conservation International. 24, 4, p. 477-491

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. A first survey of the global population size and distribution of the Scottish Crossbill Loxia scotica

    Summers, R. W. & Buckland, S. T., Jun 2011, In : Bird Conservation International. 21, 2, p. 186-198

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Status assessment of the Critically Endangered Azores Bullfinch Pyrrhula murina

    Ceia, R. S., Ramos, J. A., Heleno, R. H., Hilton, G. M. & Marques, T. A., 2011, In : Bird Conservation International. 21, 4, p. 477-489 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 159067884