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Brass's Friarbird Philemon brassi
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This poorly known species is recorded from only a small number of sites, and has a small range and probably a small population. However, trends are uncertain, and until clear evidence is obtained on the impact of potential threats the population is suspected to be stable. It is therefore considered Near Threatened.

Taxonomic source(s)
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.

Distribution and population
Philemon brassi is endemic to northern Papua (formerly Irian Jaya), Indonesia. It was discovered in 1939 on a single lagoon on the Idenburg River which may not have been visited subsequently (Rand 1940, Beehler 1985, J. M. Diamond in litt 1987), and has recently been found along the lower Mamberamo River (B. M. Beehler in litt. 1990, Stattersfield et al. 1998), the Tirawiwa and Logari rivers, 250 km from the Idenburg site (Mack and Alonso 2000), and probably on the Rouffaer river (K. D. Bishop in litt. 2000). This region is very poorly known and it may be widespread, but perhaps localised, along the huge Mamberamo, Rouffaer and Idenburg rivers.

Population justification
This is a poorly known species and no population estimates are available.

Trend justification
This is a poorly known species, and trends are uncertain, but given the level of habitat protection in its range and its occurrence in modified habitats its population is likely to be stable.

On the Idenburg river, this species was common in small parties in flooded cane grass and dense second growth around a lagoon at c.50 m (Rand 1940). On the Tirawiwa and Logari rivers, it was locally common in trees beside the rivers and other disturbed areas at 80-275 m (Mack and Alonso 2000).

This species may be threatened by various large-scale timber and agricultural schemes and a proposed dam on the Mamberamo gorge (Sujatnika et al. 1995), but all the known populations are currently safe, as much lowland forest and floodplains of the Mamberamo and Idenburg rivers is encompassed within the c.10,000 km2 Foja Nature Reserve (Stattersfield et al. 1998), and the region remains largely inaccessible and undisturbed.

Conservation Actions Underway
No targeted conservation actions are known for this species, although some of its range is protected.

Conservation Actions Proposed

Conduct surveys in areas within and surrounding the species's range to determine the full extent of distribution and abundance. Monitor occupied sites to determine whether declines are occurring. Conduct ecological studies to improve understanding of its precise habitat requirements, tolerance of secondary habitats and response to fragmentation. Ensure the continued protection of the Foja Nature Reserve.

Beehler, B. 1985. Conservation of New Guinea rainforest birds. In: Diamond, A.W.; Lovejoy, T.E. (ed.), Conservation of tropical forest birds, pp. 233-247. International Council for Bird Preservation, Cambridge, U.K.

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Christie, D. 2008. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 13: Penduline-tits to Shrikes. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Mack, A. L.; Alonso, L. E. 2000. A biological assessment of the Wapoga River Area of Northwestern Irian Jaya, Indonesia. Conservation International, Washington, DC.

Rand, A. L. 1940. Results of the Archbold Expedition no. 25. New birds from 1938-9. American Museum Novitates 1072.

Stattersfield, A. J.; Crosby, M. J.; Long, A. J.; Wege, D. C. 1998. Endemic bird areas of the world: priorities for bird conservation. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

Sujatnika; Jepson, P.; Soehartono, T. R.; Crosby, M. J.; Mardiastuti, A. 1995. Conserving Indonesian biodiversity: the Endemic Bird Area approach. BirdLife International Indonesia Programme, Bogor.

Further web sources of information
Detailed species accounts from the Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 2001).

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., Gilroy, J., Taylor, J.

Beehler, B., Bishop, K., Diamond, J.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Philemon brassi. 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 Meliphagidae (Honeyeaters)
Species name author Rand, 1940
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Stable
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 8,300 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species