Pogoniulus makawai Benson & Irwin, 1965:6

White-chested tinkerbird



Taxonomy & Nomenclature



Conservation Status


Last record: 1964

IUCN RedList status: Data Deficient


The White-chested Tinkerbird is only known from a single specimen collected by Jali Makawa in 1964, from Mayau, Zambia. A lack of subsequent records of the species has led many authors to question the species' validity. However (Collar & Fishpool, 2006) provide good evidence that the two are in fact separate species since they diverge in at least 13 characters. Several searches have been mounted to try and rediscover this enigmatic species. However, though they have not met with success, the surveys have not been exhaustive, which leaves open the possibility that the species may still persist in the remotest parts of the Cryptosepalum forest in which it was collected.



Mayau River, Zambia (north-western)


Biology & Ecology




Holotype: BMNH 1964.33.1 (adult male)

Type locality: near the Mayau River, north-west Zambia






Original scientific description:

Benson, C. W. and Irwin, M. P. Stuart. (1965). A new species of tinker-barbet from Northern Rhodesia. Bull. Br. Ornithol. Cl. 85: 5-9.


Other references:

BirdLife International. (2012). Pogoniulus makawai. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. ( Downloaded on 10 July 2012.

Collar, N.J., and Fishpool, L.D.C. (2006). What is Pogoniulus makawai? Bulletin of the African Bird Club 13(1): 18-27.

Collar, N. J. & Stuart, S. N. 1985. Threatened birds of Africa and related islands: the ICBP/IUCN Red Data Book. (Third edition, part 1). International Council for Bird Preservation, and International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, Cambridge, U.K.

Goodwin, D. (1965). Some remarks on the new barbet. Bull. Brit . Orn. Club 85: 9-10.

Kirschel, Alexander N. G., Nwankwo, Emmanuel C. and Gonzalez, Juan Carlos T. (Accepted, 2018). Investigation of the status of the enigmatic White‐chested Tinkerbird [i]Pogoniulus makawai[/i] using molecular analysis of the type specimen. Ibis. [Abstract]

Short, L. L. & Horne, J. F. M. 2002. Family Capitonidae (barbets). Pp.140-219 in del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. & Sargatal, J. (eds.) Handbook of birds of the world, 7. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.


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