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Amber Mountain Rock-thrush Monticola erythronotus
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This species is listed as Endangered because it has a very small extent of occurrence and its forest habitat is declining in both area and quality. The population is small and suspected to be declining, albeit slowly. The validity of this taxon is doubtful and it may not be recognised as a species in the future.

Taxonomic source(s)
Goodman, S. M.; Weigt, L. A. 2002. The generic and species relationships of the reputed endemic Malagasy genus Pseudocossyphus (family Turdidae). Ostrich 73(1 & 2): 26-35.

Taxonomic note
Monticola sharpei (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993) has been split into M. sharpei and M. erythronotus following Goodman and Weigt (2002) and (Collar 2005) on the basis of multiple morphological characters (reduced blackish terminal tail-band and longer tail, male with reddish-brown back, no blue on breast, female with brighter upperparts and tail, no white streaking on breast) in spite of an absence of genetic distinctiveness (Outlaw et al. 2007). However, M. sharpei and M. bensoni (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993) have been lumped into M. sharpei on the basis of evidence in Goodman and Weigt (2002) and Outlaw et al. (2007), plus a review of recordings of vocalisations by the BirdLife Taxonomic Working Group.

16 cm. Small forest-dwelling thrush. Males have blue hoods, chestnut upperparts, bright orange tail with brown central feathers and orange underparts. Females are much duller, mostly brown (although have an orange wash on the underparts) and lack the blue hood. Similar spp. Males told from other rock-thrushes by diagnostic dark rufous back, females have bright orange tails and lack white streaking on the breast. Voice Poorly known but some phrases resemble those delivered by M. sharpei.

Distribution and population
Monticola erythronotus is restricted to a single mountain, the Amber Mountain massif in northern Madagascar, and it probably has an extent of occurrence of less than 400 km2. The total population is estimated to number less than 5,000 individuals, which occur in a single block of forest on the upper slopes of one mountain, and may be declining, although so far there has been relatively low levels of habitat loss (F. Hawkins in litt. 2003).

Population justification
The total population is estimated to number fewer than 5,000 individuals (F. Hawkins in litt. 2003), roughly equivalent to 3,300 mature individuals.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be declining at an unquantified rate, owing to limited habitat loss (F. Hawkins in litt. 2003).

The species's ecology is poorly known. It inhabits mid-altitude and montane humid, evergreen forest from 800-1,300 m, and forages inconspicuously in the understorey and on the ground. The species nests in tree hollows or in crevices under overhangs (Morris and Hawkins 1998).

Presently, there are few threats to the species. Habitat destruction through commercial logging and clearance for subsistence agriculture are widespread threats in Madagascar and may ultimately threaten this species. The clearance of forest on Amber Mountain has so far been limited (F. Hawkins in litt. 2003).

Conservation Actions Underway
No species specific action is known to have been taken. Conservation Actions Proposed
Identify the species's ecological requirements. Conduct a survey and extrapolate data for all rainforest on Amber Mountain to assess the species's population size (M. Rabenandrasana in litt. 2007). Once a baseline population estimate has been obtained, continue to monitor its numbers. Protect the species's habitat on Amber Mountain.

Goodman, S. M.; Weigt, L. A. 2002. The generic and species relationships of the reputed endemic Malagasy genus Pseudocossyphus (family Turdidae). Ostrich 73(1 & 2): 26-35.

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

Further web sources of information
Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) species/site profile. This species has been identified as an AZE trigger due to its IUCN Red List status and limited range.

Click here for more information about the Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE)

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
Benstead, P., Ekstrom, J., Taylor, J., Symes, A.

Hawkins, F., Rabenandrasana, M.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Monticola erythronotus. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016.

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.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Amber Mountain rock-thrush (Monticola erythronotus) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Endangered
Family Muscicapidae (Chats and Old World flycatchers)
Species name author (Lavauden, 1929)
Population size 3300 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 380 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species