This Highly Endangered Bird is Overlooked…

This Highly Endangered Bird is Overlooked...

Calista Freeland, Writer/Editor

We all know about endangered animals like pandas and tigers, and although it is important to support their conservation, there are many animals that do not receive the acknowledgment and support they deserve. One adorable bird, named the Sidamo or Liben Lark, is the bird with the highest threat of extinction.

Archer's Lark Heteromirafra archeri | Liben Plains ...

What is the Sidamo Lark?

The Sidamo Lark is a bird native to southern Ethiopia’s Liben Plain. It was previously a part of the Sidamo Province, hence the name. It is rarely sighted, due to its small population. Although not confined to the ground, it can only live in its specific habitat and prefers to live in vegetation.

Why is it endangered?

Due to its proximity to a nearby watering hole and the transformation of the land to agriculture and farming, the bird is going extinct at a rapid rate. There have been few conservation efforts, nor has there been significant study of the species themselves. They are rarely spotted, which makes research efforts difficult, and little is known about them, relative to other birds on the critically endangered species list. The recent loss of habitat means that the already declining population is rapidly decreasing. It is estimated (or rather overestimated) that there are only 250 birds left.

Researcher Chris Abrams captured these birds during his visit to Ethiopia in 2014:

How can I help these birds?

The best way we can help these birds is by increasing our research about them (to develop methods of conservation) and spreading awareness about their extinction. As Chris Abrams said in his 2014 article for the African Bird Club, “It seems that the Sidamo Lark (Heteromirafra¬†sidamoensis) could soon be the first bird on mainland Africa to become extinct since modern records began.” Little action has been taken since. My goal for writing this article is to spread awareness to students or their family members who are interested in conservation and helping revive the populations of endangered species.

More information: Cambridge University Press

Rare images of the Liben Lark:  Search Efforts for the Sidamo Lark

Sidamo Lark Sighting: Bird Forum