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Brown-headed Crow Corvus fuscicapillus
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species has a small known range, and thus probably has a  moderately small population, which may be becoming increasingly fragmented. Population declines are inferred to be occurring as a result of habitat loss, although large tracts of suitable habitat remain secure at present. It is therefore currently 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
Corvus fuscicapillus is endemic to eastern Indonesia, where its known distribution is highly fragmented, presumably related to some unknown habitat specialisation. There are records from the Lower Mamberamo River and Nimbokrang (near Jayapura) in northern Papua (formerly Irian Jaya), where it may prove to be more widespread, Waigeo and Gemien in the West Papuan islands, and the Aru islands (Beehler et al. 1986, Gibbs 1993, Diamond and Bishop 1994, Eastwood 1996b). It is widespread, but occurs in low numbers, on the Aru islands (Diamond and Bishop 1994), and is quite common at Nimbokrang (Gibbs 1993). Although the paucity of records suggests that this species may be rare and locally declining, it is judged to be safe in the large areas of forest without any immediate threats within its range.

Population justification
The population size of this species has not been quantified, but it is described as generally rare. The number of mature individuals probably approaches as few as 10,000 and so it is placed in the band 10,000-19,999 mature individuals. This equates to 15,000-29,999 individuals in total, rounded here to 15,000-30,000 individuals.

Trend justification
A slow population decline is suspected to be occurring, as a result of habitat loss in some parts of the species's range.

This species mostly inhabits primary forest, but is also found in mangroves and occasionally second growth, but rarely occurs in open habitats and never on the coast or outlying islands. It occurs in lowlands and hills up to 500 m (Beehler et al. 1986, Diamond and Bishop 1994).

Forest within its range is threatened in places by logging, a cobalt mining concession on Waigeo, and a dam proposed across the Mamberamo River, although much of the forest remains intact and relatively secure, and includes some protected areas (WWF-IUCN 1994-1995, Dekker and McGowan 1995, Sujatnika et al. 1995, K. D. Bishop in litt. 1996).

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

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct repeated surveys within the species's range to determine its current distribution and abundance, as well as assess population trends and rates of habitat loss. Conduct ecological studies to improve understanding of its precise habitat requirements, tolerance of secondary habitats and response to fragmentation. Increase the area of suitable habitat that has protected status.

Beehler, B. M.; Pratt, T. K.; Zimmerman, D. A. 1986. Birds of New Guinea. Princeton University Press, Princeton.

Dekker, R. W. R. J.; McGowan, P. J. K. 1995. Megapodes: an action plan for their conservation 1995-1999. International Union for Nature Conservation and Natural Resources, Gland, Switzerland.

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Christie, D. 2009. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 14: Bush-shrikes to Old World Sparrows. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Diamond, J. M.; Bishop, K. D. 1994. New records and observations from the Aru Islands, New Guinea region. Emu 94: 41-45.

Eastwood, C. 1996. A trip to Irian Jaya. Muruk 8(1): 12-23.

Gibbs, D. 1993. Irian Jaya, Indonesia, 21 January--12 March 1991: a site guide for birdwatchers, with brief notes from 1992.

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.

WWF/IUCN. 1994-1995. Centres of plant diversity: a guide and strategy for their conservation. International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, Cambridge, U.K.

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.

Bishop, K.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Corvus fuscicapillus. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016.

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 Corvidae (Crows and jays)
Species name author Gray, 1859
Population size 10000-19999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 18,400 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species