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Moustached Kingfisher Actenoides bougainvillei

Justification
This spectacular species is judged to be Vulnerable on the basis of a very small estimated population which is suspected to be declining, at least in part of its range. However, further research may reveal it to be more common.

Taxonomic source(s)
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.

Taxonomic note

Actenoides bougainvillei and A. excelsus (del Hoyo et al. 2013) were previously lumped as A. bougainvillei   following Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993).

Synonym(s)
Halcyon bougainvillei Collar and Andrew (1988), Halcyon bougainvillei bougainvillei Collar and Andrew (1988)

Identification
27 cm. Beautiful but very cryptic forest kingfisher. Largely rufous with blue wings, rump and tail with distinctive blue moustachial and eye-stripes and red bill. Similar spp. Sacred Kingfisher Todiramphus sancta has paler buff underparts and collar. Variable Kingfisher Ceyx lepidus is much smaller. Voice Guadalcanal birds call before dawn and after dusk: a loud, ringing series of ko-ko-ko... notes. Hints Birds call daily but are very difficult to see above Betilonga on Guadalcanal. Learn the call and listen before dawn.

Distribution and population
Actenoides bougainvillei has two subspecies: bougainvillei on Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, and excelsa on Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands. There are a few specimens from Bougainville, the last taken in 1938, and three from Guadalcanal, the last taken in 1953 (Mayr 1945, Cain and Galbraith 1956), and then no definite records until 1994. It is very unobtrusive and crepuscular and is liable to have been overlooked unless the call is known. In 1994 and 1997, it was found to be frequent in montane forest above the abandoned Betilonga village on Guadalcanal. Calls were heard from up to six locations from a camp at 1,500 m. If each call relates to a different bird, then the local density was 75 calling birds per km2, but much forest at this altitude is unsuitable for this species (D. Gibbs in litt. 1994, Gibbs 1996, G. Dutson pers. obs. 1997). No other montane sites have been visited on Guadalcanal. On Bougainville, calls believed to be of this species were heard in 1986 on the edge of lowland swamp-forest near Arawa (Bishop 1987) and a pair was reportedly watched at a nest-hole in the late 1980s (K. D. Bishop in litt. 1983).

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 250-999 mature individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. This estimate is equivalent to 375-1,499 individuals in total, rounded here to 350-1,500 individuals.

Trend justification
There are no data on population trends; however, the species is suspected to be declining at a slow to moderate rate, owing to habitat degradation.

Ecology
Observations and reports from Guadalcanal indicate that it only occurs in closed-canopy forest between 900-1,100 m and at least 1,550 m. Calls were not heard from the many patches of more open forest, damaged by cyclones and land-slides (D. Gibbs in litt. 1994, Gibbs 1996, G. Dutson pers. obs. 1997). On Guadalcanal, it is reported to nest in holes in the ground, sometimes in forest but usually in riverbanks (Gibbs 1996). It appears to be a lowland species on Bougainville where it is very poorly known, but there is a report of it nesting in an arboreal ant-plant (Mayr 1945, K. D. Bishop in litt. 1983).

Threats
The Guadalcanal subspecies occurs at altitudes above human activity. As a hole-nesting species, it is potentially threatened by introduced rats and cats which are found at high altitudes (Leary 1991). The Bougainville subspecies appears to occur in the lowlands which have been partially logged and heavy logging is likely to recommence once the island re-opens to commercial exploitation.

Conservation Actions Underway
None is known. Conservation Actions Proposed
On Guadalcanal, search for more readily accessible populations above Gold Ridge. Survey other montane sites, especially from the south coast. Survey prevalence of introduced mammalian predators in mountains. Research population densities and basic ecology above Betilonga. Survey the population on Bougainville. Establish a system of community-based conservation areas.

References
Bishop, K. D. 1987. Interesting bird observations in Papua New Guinea. Muruk 2(2): 52-57.

Cain, A. J.; Galbraith, I. C. J. 1956. Field notes on the birds of the eastern Solomon Islands. Ibis 98: 100-134, 262-295.

Gibbs, D. 1996. Notes on Solomon Island birds. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 116: 18-25.

Leary, T. 1991. Solomon Islands: state of the environment report. Environment and Conservation Division, Ministry of Natural Resources, Solomon Islands, Honiara.

Mayr, E. 1945. Birds of the southwest Pacific: a field guide to the birds of the area between Samoa, New Caledonia and Micronesia. Macmillan, New York.

Text account compilers
Derhé, M., Dutson, G., Mahood, S., O'Brien, A., Stattersfield, A.

Contributors
Bishop, K., Dutson, G., Gibbs, D.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Actenoides bougainvillei. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 10/07/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 10/07/2014.

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 Vulnerable
Family Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
Species name author (Rothschild, 1904)
Population size 250-999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 7,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species