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Schlegel's Asity Philepitta schlegeli
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 expected to experience a moderately rapid population decline over the next 13 years (three generations), owing to habitat clearance and degradation, and is suspected to have a moderately small population. Evidence that this species is experiencing a rapid decline or has a small population may 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, round frugivore. Males are black on the head, with a large lobed wattle that is green behind and in front of the eye and blue in the centre. The back is green with a yellow collar, and the underparts are bright yellow. The female is green above, pale yellow streaked darker below, and lacks the wattles, but has a narrow pale flesh eyering. The tail is rather short. Similar spp. The male is very distinctive, but the female can be distinguished from the Velvet Asity by the pale fleshy eye-ring, and the yellow-tinged underparts. Hints Often feeds from flowering trees in the canopy of western deciduous forest, or on fruits in the understorey. Often spends long periods immobile, perched on a mid-storey liana.

Distribution and population
Philepitta schlegeli is endemic to Madagascar (Langrand 1990). It occurs in north-western regions, from Andavakoera in the north, south to c.70 km north of Morondava in the west (del Hoyo et al. 2003).

Population justification
The population size of this species has not been quantified, but it is described as rather scarce.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction.

This species ranges from sea-level to 800 m (del Hoyo et al. 2003). It is commonest in the moist and transition forests of the Sambirano region of the north-west, occurring only locally within the western dry forests, particularly in limestone areas (Langrand 1990, Morris and Hawkins 1998). It feeds on small fruits and nectar, often foraging in the canopy but also coming down to the middle and lower strata (Morris and Hawkins 1998). Nest-building has been observed in October-December (del Hoyo et al. 2003). The species is probably polygynous, with dispersed male leks. Its nest is globular in shape and suspended from a low branch of an understorey tree. It is constructed from moss, bark and leaf strips, held together with spiders' webs (del Hoyo et al. 2003).

All forest habitats in Madagascar are under intense human pressure. Dry forests within this species's range are threatened by burning and cattle-grazing as well as by the extraction of wood for fuel and construction (P. Robertson in litt. 1998). Artisanal gold-mining in the Sambirano has destroyed some areas of moist forest and has also led to much increased immigration into the region, thus increasing clearance of forest for subsistence farming (P. Robertson in litt. 1998). However, its centres of abundance in pinnacle karst massifs, such as Namoroka and Bemaraha, are naturally protected.

Conservation Actions Underway
The species occurs in the following protected areas: Andavahoera Classified Forest, Ankarafantsika Natural Reserve, Bemarivo Special Reserve, Kasijy Special Reserve, Maningoza Special Reserve, Manongarivo Special Reserve, Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park and National Reserve, and Tsingy de Namoroka Natural Reserve (ZICOMA 1999). Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys to obtain a total population estimate. Monitor population trends through regular surveys. Monitor rates of habitat loss and degradation across its range. Increase the area of suitable habitat with protected status.

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Christie, D. 2003. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 8: Broadbills to Tapaculos. 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.

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., Robertson, P., Starkey, M., Symes, A., Taylor, J.

Robertson, P.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Philepitta schlegeli. 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.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Near Threatened
Family Philepittidae (Asities)
Species name author Schlegel, 1875
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 80,700 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species