The Liben Lark is Critically Endangered. Found only in one small area of open grassland in southern Ethiopia, this little-known bird has a tiny population, and could well become extinct within just a few years.
Its occurrence in a single small, unprotected area, the Liben Plain just outside Negele, makes the Liben Lark highly vulnerable to any threats. Currently, the greatest threat to the species is habitat loss, with an increasing number of livestock leading to problems with overgrazing and trampling, along with conversion of grassland to agriculture. Excessive grazing and fire suppression have also led to the rapid encroachment of shrubs.
Fieldwork carried out since 2007 to investigate the Liben Lark’s status and requirements has revealed the bird’s plight, and there is now a growing programme of conservation work led by the Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society involving the local communities and focusing on reduction of grazing in some areas, clearance of invading scrub, and greater all-round awareness.