This species is listed as Vulnerable because its habitat is becoming increasingly fragmented, its extent of occurrence and the area and quality of suitable habitat are decreasing, and thus its small population is suspected to be declining rapidly.
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.
30 cm. Slim, low-slung, terrestrial bird with small head. Dark brown on back, with paler, greyish head, variable white streak behind eye, and paler, pinkish underparts. Rather slim and short, greyish bill. Similar spp. Told from Madagascar Wood-rail Canirallus kioloides by long full tail, less pure grey on head, slim bill, and very horizontal posture. From White-breasted Mesite M. variegata by lack of conspicuous head pattern and even, mid-rufous brown underparts. Voice Song, rather rarely given, is a loud rolling chooi-whoop-chooi-whoop chooi-whoop. Hints Walks slowly around, looking for invertebrates in the leaf-litter by flicking over leaves with its bill.
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.
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.
ZICOMA. 1999. Zones d'Importance pour la Conservation des Oiseaux a Madagascar.
Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species
Text account compilers
Ekstrom, J., Evans, M., Shutes, S., Starkey, M., Symes, A., Taylor, J.
IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Taylor, J.
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Mesitornis unicolor. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/08/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/08/2016.
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.
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Additional resources for this species
|Current IUCN Red List category||Vulnerable|
|Species name author||(Des Murs, 1845)|
|Population size||2500-9999 mature individuals|
|Distribution size (breeding/resident)||37,300 km2|
|Links to further information|
|- Additional Information on this species|