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Verreaux's Coua Coua verreauxi

This species is listed as Near Threatened because it is likely to have a small range, in which the area, extent and quality of habitat are declining. Quantification of this species's range size might 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, greyish arboreal coua. Overall mid-grey, whitish on lower breast and belly, and darker on flight-feathers. Tail dark greyish, long and tipped whitish on outer feathers. Head with long, dark-tipped crest, pale blue bare skin around eye and black bill. Similar spp. From sympatric Crested Coua C. cristata by lack of orange on breast, dark tip to long crest, and smaller blue patch around eye. Crested Coua is usually found in adjacent taller gallery forest. Hints Rather secretive, found in coastal euphorbia scrub, where it is most active at dawn and dusk. Most easily detected by loud descending series of contact calls, "corick-corick-corick-corick".

Distribution and population
Coua verreauxi has a relatively small range in south-west Madagascar, within the southern part of the spiny forest zone. Within suitable habitat the species can be fairly abundant.

Population justification
The population size of this species has not been quantified.

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

It is a bird of semi-arid thorn scrub where it forages for invertebrates among trees and bushes, also feeding on the ground (Morris and Hawkins 1998). It also feeds on Cassia fruit (del Hoyo et al. 1997). The species appears to favour thick coastal scrub on coral rag but also occurs outside this habitat, including within degraded areas (ZICOMA 1999). It occurs from sea-level to 100 m (del Hoyo et al. 1997). Males have been observed singing from tree tops in November, suggesting that breeding occurs at around this time (del Hoyo et al. 1997).

The species's habitat is threatened by wood-cutting for charcoal production, which is widespread, particularly along roads and near to major towns (Langrand 1990).

Conservation Actions Underway
Only a very small area of suitable habitat is protected within reserves (Langrand 1990). Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys to obtain a total population estimate. Carry out regular surveys to monitor population trends. Monitor rates of habitat clearance and degradation. Increase the area of habitat that is protected in reserves.

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. 1997. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 4: Sandgrouse to Cuckoos. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

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.

ZICOMA. 1999. Zones d'Importance pour la Conservation des Oiseaux a Madagascar.

Text account compilers
Evans, M., O'Brien, A., Robertson, P., Starkey, M., Symes, A., Taylor, J.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Coua verreauxi. Downloaded from on 10/07/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from 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 Near Threatened
Family Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
Species name author Grandidier, 1867
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Stable
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 63,300 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species