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Yellow-bellied Asity Neodrepanis hypoxantha
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species is listed as Vulnerable because it has a small range that is severely fragmented and suspected to be declining, owing to reductions in the the extent and quality of its habitat.

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.

Neodrepanis hypoxanthus Collar et al. (1994)

9-10 cm. Tiny, brilliantly-coloured bird with very short tail and fine, fairly long and decurved bill. Males have blackish upperparts, edged iridescent blue. Underparts are unsullied yellow, bill and legs blackish. Large wattle extends from base of bill to well behind eye, ultramarine with turquoise. Females are duller above, olive-green, and lack eye-wattle, although still brilliant yellow underneath. Similar spp. Males distinguished from Sunbird Asity N. coruscans by combination of blackish (not yellow-fringed) primaries, unsullied yellow underparts, more extensive eye-wattle, particularly in front of eye, and shorter, less decurved bill. Females have centre of breast (at least) bright yellow. From Souimanga Sunbird Nectarinia souimanga also by very short tail and tiny size.

Distribution and population
Neodrepanis hypoxantha, endemic to the higher-altitude parts of eastern Madagascar, is difficult to distinguish from its only congener, N. coruscans. It is known from 13 specimens collected before 1933 and from recent observations. Now that identification criteria are known for this species, its true distribution is becoming clear. It is known from the Marojejy and Anjanaharibe-Sud massifs in the north to the Andohahela massif in the south and is common above 1,200-1,400 m, up to the limit of woody vegetation, e.g. 2,500 m on Tsaratanana (ZICOMA 1999). It is probably present at all intact sites within the eastern forest block that are higher than about 1,200 m (ZICOMA 1999). Its total population size is very difficult to guess, but is potentially more than 10,000 mature individuals.

Population justification
The total population size is very difficult to guess, but it is potentially more than 10,000 mature individuals, thus a preliminary estimate in the range 10,000-19,999 mature individuals is used here. This equates to 15,000-29,999 individuals in total, rounded here to 15,000-30,000 individuals. Further documentation is required.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in decline owing to the degradation of the species's habitat by fires. Future declines are expected, owing to the eventual clearance of upper montane forest and shrubland for agriculture. Past and future rates of decline have not been estimated.

This species is found in low, mossy, humid, upper montane, evergreen woodland, preferring areas with shrubby vegetation (Hawkins et al. 1997); it has also been recorded from rather sclerophyllous forest. It moves hyperactively in the canopy and subcanopy, feeding on nectar from a wide variety of plant genera and on arthropods, also catching flying insects from the tops of low shrubs (Hawkins et al. 1997), and sometimes associating with mixed-species flocks (Langrand 1990). Males display aggressively at intruders (even humans) by bowing low over a branch and displaying their brilliant yellow throat. Nesting has been observed between November and January (Langrand 1990).

Most higher-elevation forests in eastern Madagascar are relatively less threatened than other forest-types on the island, as they tend to occur in the most remote and unproductive areas, and are thus the last cleared for agriculture. In addition, they have no commercially useful timber (ZICOMA 1999). However, they are highly fragmented and vulnerable to fire (from the deliberate burning of adjacent grasslands for livestock), and thus some areas of the species's habitat burn in dry years.

Conservation Actions Underway
This species is known from the following protected areas: Andohahela National Park, Andringitra National Park, Anjanaharibe Classified Forest, Anjanaharibe-South Special Reserve, Mantadia National Park, Marojejy National Park, Marotandrano Special Reserve, Ranoma National Park, Tsaratanana Strict Reserve, Zahamena National Park (ZICOMA 1999). Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct studies to estimate its population size. Investigate its ability to utilise degraded habitats. Work with pastoralists to change grassland burning practices. Increase the area of suitable habitat that has protected status.

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.

Hawkins, F.; Safford, R.; Duckworth, W.; Evans, M. 1997. Field identification and status of the sunbird asities Neodrepanis of Madagascar. Bulletin of the African Bird Club 4(1): 36-41.

Langrand, O. 1990. Guide to the birds of Madagascar. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.

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
Ekstrom, J., Evans, M., Shutes, S., Starkey, M., Symes, A., Taylor, J.

Hawkins, F.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Neodrepanis hypoxantha. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016.

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 - Yellow-bellied asity (Neodrepanis hypoxantha) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Philepittidae (Asities)
Species name author Salomonsen, 1933
Population size 10000-19999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 5,500 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species