Status of the population of Karamoja Apalis Apalis karamojae in north-eastern Uganda
The distribution of the Karamoja Apalis Apalis karamojae, an East African endemic, has been sparsely documented in Uganda. In October 2011, a survey of the species was carried out near Iriiri in north-eastern Uganda. The main aim was to find out if there is a viable population of the species and to highlight the threats to its population. Sixteen 1-km transects in four sites were surveyed. The survey recorded nine individuals including a pair at an occupied nest, which is not conclusive for determining the viability of the population. The main threats to the species were cutting of the dominant shrub Vachellia drepanolobium (Acacia drepanolobium) in the area, farming and grazing. When we attempted luring the birds using the recorded song of the Karamoja Apalis from Tanzania, these individuals did not respond. We therefore recommend (1) to undertake a more detailed GIS survey to discover the extent of the suitable habitat, (2) to repeat the survey with improved effort to better estimate the viability of this population, (3) to conduct a study to ascertain the successful breeding of the species in the area, (4) to conduct a DNA analysis to compare the Iriiri population with the Tanzanian population, and (5) to record the song of the Ugandan birds for song analysis and to determine the response of Tanzanian birds.
Keywords: Karamoja Apalis, nest record, range extension, Uganda, voice calls