Birds of Ethiopia
This checklist covers 870 bird species recorded from Ethiopia. We present them visually on individual maps and discuss these records in the context of the previous atlas on the distribution of birds in Ethiopia by Ash & Atkins (2009). For 135 (16%) of these species, at least 75% of the global population is found in Ethiopia, or these species have at least one subspecies who has at least 75% of their global population in Ethiopia. 70 (8%) of all bird species in this checklist have a Red List status, falling into one of the following IUCN categories: Critically Endangered, Endangered, Vulnerable or Near Threatened. We considered relevant literature that has appeared since 2009, as was data collected during our own field studies, reports in the Bulletin of the African Bird Club and data from the eBird community. We show that the available information on the occurrence of bird species is not equally distributed over the whole area of Ethiopia. This can be explained by different habitat features, but it also appears to be strongly influenced by observer coverage and site accessibility. Recent data are completely lacking from many areas in the east and west of the country. Even including the data of Ash & Atkins (2009), these remote areas show a low number of species per half-degree square, which also indicates insufficient information. Based on the available data, we identified focal areas for species with geographic restrictions as well as for Red List species. In order to improve the level of knowledge about the distribution of the species, we recommend setting up a standardized bird monitoring program in Ethiopia. Furthermore, there are taxonomic issues to be resolved for several species. Addressing these topics would offer a rich field of research for the country’s aspiring biologists and conservationists.