This species is classified as Near Threatened because it has a very small range and a small population which is suspected to decline over the next three generations owing to small-scale habitat loss for shifting agriculture.
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.
15 cm. Small flycatcher that usually perches upright in the open. Male glossy blue-black above with white underparts and rufous-chestnut throat and breast. Female similar but slightly paler above with paler and less extensive throat colour. Black bill and feet. Voice Whistled fee-oo-eet and buzzy low-pitched bzerr-it, often alternating.
Distribution and population
Myiagra albiventris is widespread on Savai`i and `Upolu, Samoa, where it was considered common (Pratt et al. 1987). It underwent a severe decline in the 1990s and became uncommon by the end of the decade (U. Beichle in litt. 2000); however, surveys conducted in 2009 suggest that it has since experienced at least a moderate and localised recovery, with 'healthy' populations of 20-30 birds recorded in potential Important Bird Areas (IBAs) and anecdotal observations of birds along roadsides and near habitation (Schuster 2010). The numbers recently recorded in potential IBAs, however, may not be representative of the species's status overall, owing to the high quality of the habitats at these sites (M. O'Brien in litt. 2011). The species's population size has not been formally estimated, but it is thought to number fewer than 10,000 individuals (G. Dutson in litt. 2011).
The population is estimated to number 2,500-9,999 individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. This estimate is equivalent to 1,667-6,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 1,500-7,000 mature individuals.
Although recent surveys have uncovered evidence of at least a localised recovery of the population in potential Important Bird Areas and in degraded and altered habitats (Schuster 2010, G. Dutson in litt. 2011, M. O'Brien in litt. 2011), following the effects of cyclones in 1990 and 1991, the on-going threat of small-scale habitat loss to shifting agriculture (G. Dutson in litt. 2011) is likely to drive a slow to moderate decline over the next three generations.
This species is an insectivore found alone or in pairs at all elevations (but predominantly in the lowlands). It prefers shrubby forest with many young trees, and is also reported from cultivated land (U. Beichle in litt. 2000), forest edge and clearings, along roads (Pratt et al. 1987) and in the mid-understorey or subcanopy of relatively mature forest (H. Freifeld in litt. 1999, Freifeld et al. in press). It occurs fairly commonly in degraded and altered habitats, including regenerating forest (G. Dutson in litt. 2011) and near human habitation (Schuster 2010). There is thought to be little exchange between the sub-populations on Savai`i and `Upolu (G. Dutson in litt. 2011).
It was apparently affected by the severe cyclones of 1990 and 1991, when canopy cover was reduced from 100% to 27% (Elmqvist et al. 1994), and has only recently shown signs of recovery (Schuster 2010). The main threat is now small-scale deforestation for shifting agriculture (G. Dutson in litt. 2011), but it is also threatened by the reduction of forest quality owing to the invasion of highly aggressive non-native trees, whose spread is aided by hurricanes (H. Freifeld in litt. 1999).
Conservation Actions Underway
It has been recorded from the proposed conservation areas at Sataoa-Sa`anapu and Uafato on `Upolu (Beichle 1997a, b). Conservation Actions Proposed
Monitor population trends. Conduct surveys to update information on density and distribution (U. Beichle in litt. 2000). Identify important sites in native forest (H. Freifeld in litt. 1999). Study the home-range size to determine the size of forest patches needed for long-term viability (H. Freifeld in litt. 1999). Ensure the protection of the proposed conservation areas at Sataoa-Sa'anapu and Uafata.
Beichle, U. 1997. Report on a proposed conservation area at Sataoa-Sa'anapu mangrove wetland.
Beichle, U. 1997. Report on a proposed conservation area at Uafato, 'Upolu, Samoa. Studies on the avifauna.
Elmqvist, T.; Rainey, W. E.; Pierson, E. D.; Cox, P. A. 1994. Effects of tropical cyclones Ofa and Val on the structure of a Samoan lowland rain forest. Biotropica 26: 384-391.
Freifeld, H. B.; Steadman, D. W.; Sailer, J. K. 2001. Birds on offshore islands in Samoa. Journal of Field Ornithology 72: 72-85.
Pratt, H. D.; Bruner, P. L.; Berrett, D. G. 1987. A field guide to the birds of Hawaii and the tropical Pacific. Princeton University Press, Princeton.
Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species
Text account compilers
Derhé, M., Mahood, S., O'Brien, A., Shutes, S., Stattersfield, A., Taylor, J.
Beichle, U., Dutson, G., Freifeld, H., O'Brien, M.
IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Myiagra albiventris. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/08/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/08/2014.
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.
|Current IUCN Red List category||Near Threatened|
|Species name author||(Peale, 1848)|
|Population size||1500-7000 mature individuals|
|Distribution size (breeding/resident)||2,900 km2|
|Links to further information|
|- Additional Information on this species|