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Tessmann's Flycatcher Muscicapa tessmanni
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species is listed as Data Deficient owing to a lack of data on its population and abundance. This is compounded by difficulties in identification and uncertainties regarding its tolerance of degraded habitats.

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.

Distribution and population
Muscicapa tessmanni is found in West Africa where it is known from Sierra Leone; Liberia; Côte d'Ivoire; Ghana; Nigeria, from which there have been no recent records (Elgood et al. 1994); Cameroon; the Democratic Republic of Congo, and mainland Equatorial Guinea (Dowsett 1993). It is reportedly rare throughout its range although it is locally common in at least some areas, e.g. in and around Bia National Park, west Ghana (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 2005). It has possibly been overlooked owing to its similarities with Dusky-blue Flycatcher M. comitata, the two species often occurring together, although M. tessmanni has a more restricted range and is much less common (Holbech 1996, F. Dowsett-Lemaire and R. Dowsett in litt. 2007). The two species are often confused and this identification issue clouds its status (F. Dowsett-Lemaire and R. Dowsett in litt. 2007). Although it is wide ranging, it is only locally common and its apparent rarity over much of its range is as yet unexplained.

Population justification
The population size is unknown, but the species is described as rare throughout its range, although possibly overlooked (del Hoyo et al. 2006).

It occupies mid-levels of forest edge and small gaps in primary forest (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1999a, 2000a), with a record from thicket on the edge of a small swamp in a large area of intact forest (F. Dowsett-Lemaire and R. Dowsett in litt. 1998, F. Dowsett-Lemaire in litt. 2010). It has never reliably been recorded far from areas of primary forest (F. Dowsett-Lemaire and R. Dowsett in litt. 2007); although there are unconfirmed reports of the species from a large Raphia swamp (Holbech 1996) and disturbed secondary growth (H. Rainey in litt. 1999), these could feasibly refer to M. comitata (Butchart 2007).

With conversion of forest to more intensive farms and plantations, small populations could be disappearing throughout its range (M. Gartshore in litt. 1999).

Conservation Actions Underway
It has been recorded in a number of protected areas. Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys in forest at different degrees of perturbation to determine its abundance and status in degraded forest. Protect large areas of forest at sites where it is known to be not uncommon.

Butchart, S. H. M. 2007. Tessmann's Flycatcher Muscicapa tessmanni. Bulletin of the African Bird Club 14(2): 147-148.

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Christie, D. 2006. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 11: Old World Flycatchers to Old World Warblers. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Dowsett-Lemaire, F. and Dowsett, R.J. 2005. The avifauna of the dry evergreen forests of Mali. Malimbus 27(2): 77-111.

Dowsett-Lemaire, F.; Dowsett, R. J. 1999. Birds of the Parque Nacional de Monte Alen, mainland Equatorial Guinea, with an updating of the country's list. Alauda 67: 179-188.

Dowsett-Lemaire, F.; Dowsett, R. J. 2000. Birds of the Lobéké Faunal Reserve, Cameroon, and its regional importance for conservation. Bird Conservation International 10: 67-87.

Dowsett, R. J. 1993. Afrotropical avifaunas: annotated country checklists. In: Dowsett, R.J.; Dowsett-Lemaire, F. (ed.), A contribution to the distribution and taxonomy of Afrotropical and Malagasy birds, pp. 1-322. Tauraco Press, Liège, Belgium.

Elgood, J. H.; Heigham, J. B.; Moore, A. M.; Nason, A. M.; Sharland, R. E.; Skinner, N. J. 1994. The birds of Nigeria. British Ornithologists' Union, Tring, U.K.

Holbech, L. H. 1996. Faunistic diversity and game production contra human activities in the Ghana high forest zone, with reference to the Western Region.

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
Starkey, M., Shutes, S., Butchart, S., Bird, J., Taylor, J., Mahood, S.

Dowsett-Lemaire, F., Hogberg, S., Dowsett, R., Rainey, H.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Muscicapa tessmanni. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016.

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 Data Deficient
Family Muscicapidae (Chats and Old World flycatchers)
Species name author (Reichenow, 1907)
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Unknown
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 184,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species
- Projected distributions under climate change