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Madagascar Yellowbrow Crossleyia xanthophrys
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

This species is listed as Near Threatened because it is thought to have a moderately small population. Its habitat is probably not immediately threatened, but any significant decline or fragmentation of its habitat would suggest a decline in the population and it could qualify it for uplisting to a higher threat category.

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.

A small terrestrial babbler. Dark olive green above, with a vivid yellow supercilium contrasting with a black eyestripe. Throat and upper belly yellow, bill pale pink with dark culmen. Walks on the ground with a rolling gait, often in areas of dense understorey. Similar spp. Immediately distingushed from Malagasy greenbuls, Crossley's Babbler Mystacornis crossleyi and White-throated Oxylabes Oxylabes madagascariensis by the very obvious yellow supercilium. Hints Limited to the understorey of dense montane forest from about 900 m to the limit of tree cover. Often first detected by the call, a penetrating "tsirp", coming from dense understorey vegetation.

Distribution and population
Crossleyia xanthophrys, a distinctive babbler in its own genus, is a fairly common resident throughout eastern Madagascar, from Tsaratanana in the north to Andohahela in the south (Morris and Hawkins 1998).

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as common (del Hoyo et al. 2006).

The species inhabits montane rainforest at 900-2,300 m. It is mainly terrestrial, foraging for insects in the leaf-litter and among herbs (Langrand 1990, Evans et al. 1992). It is usually found in pairs, or as family groups in mixed-species flocks with other small insectivores (Langrand 1990, Evans et al. 1992, Morris and Hawkins 1998). It breeds in September-December, with juveniles observed in November-January (del Hoyo et al. 2006). The nest, in which three eggs are laid, is a deep cup of interwoven grasses or bamboo leaves and moss, on a bulky base of leaf litter or in a dense liana tangle (del Hoyo et al. 2006).

The species is potentially threatened by the significant reduction or fragmentation of its habitat (del Hoyo et al. 2006). The activities that it is presumed would drive deforestation and forest modification are the encroachment of small-holder cultivation and livestock farming and both small- and large-scale logging for timber.

Conservation Actions Underway
It occurs in most protected areas within its range and is common in Tsaratanana Strict Nature Reserve, and Marojejy, Mantadia, Ranomafana, Andringitra and Andohahela National Parks (del Hoyo et al. 2006). Conservation Actions Proposed
Carry out surveys to obtain a total population estimate. Monitor population trends through regular surveys. Monitor potential threats to the species's habitat. Increase the area of suitable habitat that has protected status.

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

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.

Evans, M. I.; Duckworth, J. W.; Hawkins, A. F. A.; Safford, R. J.; Sheldon, B. C.; Wilkinson, R. J. 1992. Key bird species of Marojejy Strict Nature Reserve, Madagascar. Bird Conservation International 2: 201-222.

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

Morris, P.; Hawkins, F. 1998. Birds of Madagascar: a photographic guide. Pica Press, Robertsbridge, UK.

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
Evans, M., O'Brien, A., Shutes, S., Starkey, M., Symes, A., Taylor, J.

Hawkins, F.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Crossleyia xanthophrys. Downloaded from on 20/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 20/10/2016.

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 Near Threatened
Family Sylviidae (Old World warblers)
Species name author (Sharpe, 1875)
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 22,700 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species