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Mauritius Cuckooshrike Coracina typica
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species is classified as Vulnerable because it has a very small range and population. If conservation action to rehabilitate native ecosystems allows substantial increases in both the range and population of this species, it may eventually be downlisted to Near Threatened.

Taxonomic source(s)
Dowsett, R. J.; Forbes-Watson, A. D. 1993. Checklist of birds of the Afrotropical and Malagasy regions. Tauraco Press, Li
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.

22 cm. Unobtrusive and secretive arboreal bird. Male grey above and white below. Female very different, having rich rufous underparts and brownish upperparts. Voice Most often located by melodic trill or harsher tschrek.

Distribution and population
Coracina typica is endemic to Mauritius, occurring at Macchabé, Brise Fer, Black River Peak and the southern scarp from Bel Ombre to Combo (Safford and Beaumont 1996). In 1993, the total population was c.260 pairs, with about one third at Macchabé-Brise Fer. Highest densities (25 territories/km2) were estimated on Macchabé Ridge, and on the plateau 1 km east of Brise Fer Peak (Safford 1997a). Currently there are probably c.300-350 pairs (C. Jones in litt. 2000). Since 1975, the population has increased by expansion into lowland areas in the Black River Gorges and Combo (areas contiguous with the previous range), and by an increase in density in traditional areas (Safford 1997a, C. Jones in litt. 2000).

Population justification
Currently there are probably c.300-350 pairs (C. Jones in litt. 2000), which is interpreted as indicating a population of 600-700 mature individuals, roughly equating to 900-1,100 individuals in total. However, caution may be necessary as the number of pairs is based on counts of singing males, and doubling these numbers may be misleading (R. Safford in litt. 2007). It is possible that the species exhibits a skewed sex ratio, in which case the effective breeding population would be lower than presently assumed (R. Safford in litt. 2007).

Trend justification
The population has increased since 1975, through expansion into lowland areas and an increase in density in traditional areas (Safford 1997a; C. Jones in litt. 2000). Though there have been increases in some regions, declines are suspected in others (V. Tatayah in litt. 2012), therefore the current population trend is uncertain but suspected to be stable in the absence of further data.

It inhabits the forest canopy and appears to be strictly territorial throughout the year (Cheke 1987b). It is mostly found in native, moist, upland, tropical evergreen forest above 460 m (Cheke 1987b, Safford and Beaumont 1996), but also in adjacent areas of degraded or altered forest. Its distribution within forest seems to be linked to food availability (Safford 1997a). Its diet consists mainly of large, arboreal arthropods and geckos (Safford and Beaumont 1996).

Habitat loss and degradation, through invasion by exotics and poor regeneration of native plants, has caused this species to decline since human colonisation (Lorence and Sussman 1986), and will remain a long-term threat (R. Safford in litt. 1999). There is circumstantial evidence that organochlorine pesticide-use in the 1950s and 1960s caused a population decline, from which it is now recovering (Safford and Jones 1997). Introduced predators and, to a lesser extent, cyclones take a heavy toll on nests. The introduced Common Mynah Acridotheres tristis eats similar food to C. typica, and may compete (Cheke 1987b).

Conservation Actions Underway
The Black River National Park covers most of its range. It has responded well to rehabilitation of native ecosystems in Conservation Management Areas, which has included exclusion of introduced animals and replacement of exotic plants with native species (Safford and Jones 1998, C. Jones in litt. 2000).Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct a full population census and calculate densities in relation to habitat-types (C. Jones in litt. 2000). Continue rehabilitation of native forests and development of Conservation Management Areas (R. Safford in litt. 1999, C. Jones in litt. 2000). Start translocating pairs to the Bambous Mountains (C. Jones in litt. 2000): an apparently suitable area, too isolated for natural recolonisation (Safford 1997a, Safford and Jones 1997). Eventually, translocate individuals to Mauritian islets, after rehabilitation of islet ecosystems and trial translocations of captive-reared birds over the next few years (Safford and Jones 1998, C. Jones in litt. 2000).

Cheke, A. S. 1987. The ecology of the smaller land-birds of Mauritius. In: Diamond, A.W. (ed.), Studies in Mascarene island birds, pp. 151-207. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K.

Lorence, D. H.; Sussman, R. W. 1986. Exotic species invasion into Mauritius wet forest remnants. Journal of Tropical Ecology 2: 147-162.

Safford, R. J. 1997. Distribution studies on the forest-living native passerines of Mauritius. Biological Conservation 80: 189-198.

Safford, R. J.; Beaumont, J. 1996. Observations on the biology of the Mauritius Cuckoo-shrike Coracina typica. Ostrich 67: 15-22.

Safford, R. J.; Jones, C. G. 1997. Did organochloride pesticide use cause declines in Mauritian forest birds? Biodiversity and Conservation 6(10): 1445-1451.

Safford, R. J.; Jones, C. G. 1998. Strategies for land-bird conservation on Mauritius. Conservation Biology 12: 169-176.

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., McClellan, R., Pilgrim, J., Shutes, S., Symes, A., Taylor, J., Warren, B.

Jones, C., Safford, R., Tatayah, V.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Taylor, J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Coracina typica. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016.

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.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Mauritius cuckoo-shrike (Coracina typica) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Campephagidae (Cuckoo-shrikes)
Species name author (Hartlaub, 1865)
Population size 600-700 mature individuals
Population trend Stable
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 120 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species