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Pitta-like Ground-roller Atelornis pittoides
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.

An elegant terrestrial bird. The head is bright blue on forehead, crown, malar area and in a broad breastband, and blackish specked white above a short white supercilium. The back and wings are greenish, with a whitish patch at the base of the primaries, the underparts orange on the neck and flanks, and white on the throat, breast and belly. The bill is black and the legs pink. Similar spp. Easily distinguished from all other species by the blue on the head. Hints Often in dryer or dense, slightly degraded parts of rainforest, where it may be fairly common though difficult to locate if not calling. Feeds on the ground and sings from a perch 2-5 m up, a monosyllabic "whop" given once every 5-10 seconds.

Distribution and population
This species is endemic to Madagascar.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is reported to be common but patchily distributed (del Hoyo et al. 2001).

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

The species occurs in humid evergreen forest in the east, in the Sambirano region of the north-west and on the high plateau, up to 2,000 m (Langrand 1990). It is found mainly in primary forest but there are records from degraded forest and plantations near primary forest. A terrestrial species, it feeds among dead leaves where there is sparse ground cover and takes invertebrates and small chameleons (Langrand 1990).

The ongoing destruction and fragmentation of its forest habitat (for subsistence agriculture), with attendant increased levels of hunting, is likely to intensify in the future.

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. 2001. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 6: Mousebirds to Hornbills. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Langrand, O. 1990. Guide to the birds of Madagascar. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.

Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Harding, M.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Atelornis pittoides. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Least Concern
Family Brachypteraciidae (Ground-rollers)
Species name author (Lafresnaye, 1834)
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Stable
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 392,000 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species