The Ibadan Malimbe

Destruction and fragmentation of habitats pose a significant threat to many bird species in Nigeria. Those with restricted ranges are especially vulnerable. As the name suggests, the Ibadan Malimbe Malimbus ibadanensis occurs only in and around Ibadan. This member of the weaver family is one of only four endemic birds in Nigeria and the only one to depend on the forest. It is assessed as EN (Endangered) on the IUCN Red List due to its small area of distribution, loss of habitat, and declining population.

In addition to its rarity, it is elusive. There were no records between 1980 and late 1987. A survey by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) from 1999 to 2002 indicated an estimated population of around 2500 individuals – a contraction of 66% since the 1970s. The most recent records within the IITA Ibadan campus were in 2016 but the current population is unknown.