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Wetar Figbird Sphecotheres hypoleucus

This species is restricted to a single very small island. Recent estimates suggest the population size may be much greater than was previously thought. The species is therefore classified as Least Concern.

Taxonomic source(s)
Christidis, L.; Boles, W. E. 2008. Systematics and taxonomy of Australian birds. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.

Distribution and population
This species is restricted to Wetar, Indonesia. Although "never abundant", it was recorded at most forest sites in a recent survey of the island (Trainor et al. 2009).

Population justification
This is a poorly known species and the population size has not been quantified. A crude estimate puts the population at 30,000-50,000 pairs (Trainor et al. 2009b).

Trend justification
Some habitat loss is on-going on Wetar, and the population is suspected to be in slow to moderate decline as a result.

This species occurs in most forest types, preferring the forest edge and dry forest. It feeds mainly on figs (Trainor et al. 2009).

Extensive forest remains on Wetar, but deforestation may have increased in recent decades, with illegal logging and gold and copper mining operations threatening to affect remaining habitats, as well as on-going pressure from agriculture and road building (Trainor et al. 2009).

Conservation and Research Actions Underway
No targeted conservation actions are known for this species.

Conservation and Research Actions Proposed
Conduct repeated surveys within its range to determine 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. Campaign for the protection of remaining tracts of lowland woodland on Wetar.

BirdLife International. 2001. Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, 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.

IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. Available at: (Accessed: 19 November 2015).

Trainor, C. R., Imanuddin, Aldy, F., Verbelen, P. and Walker, J. S. 2009. The birds of Wetar, Banda Sea: one of Indonesia's forgotten islands. BirdingASIA 12: 78-93.

Trainor, C. R.; Imanuddin; Aldy, F.; Walker, J. S. 2009. The status and conservation of the Endangered Wetar Ground-dove (Gallicolumba hoedtii) and other wildlife on Wetar Island, Indonesia, 2008: final technical report.

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., Khwaja, N., Taylor, J. & Ashpole, J

IUCN Red List evaluators
Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2015) Species factsheet: Sphecotheres hypoleucus. Downloaded from on 30/11/2015. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2015) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 30/11/2015.

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 Least Concern
Family Oriolidae (Orioles and figbirds)
Species name author Finsch, 1898
Population size U mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 2,600 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species