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Gabon Batis Batis minima

Justification
This species is listed as Near Threatened because it has a moderately small range which is thought to be in decline owing to forest clearance and degradation. Evidence of a substantial range contraction might qualify this species for uplisting to a higher threat category.

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.

Distribution and population
Batis minima is found in Gabon where it is known from the provinces of l'Estuaire (western Monts de Cristal), Ogooué-Ivindo (Makokou, Bélinga, Minkébé) and Ngounié (Mbigou) (P. Christy in litt. 1999), Cameroon where it occurs in the lowland Dja area, continental Equatorial Guinea where there are recent records from Monte Alen National Park and Monte Mitra (now included in the Monte Alen National Park) (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1999) and it has recently been discovered in Dzangha-Ndoki National Park in the extreme south of the Central African Republic, representing quite a range extension to the east (P. Christy per F. Dowsett-Lemaire in litt. 2000). Its density in Makokou forest is 1.0-1.5 pairs per km2 (Brosset and Erard 1986). The species would appear to be rare, but it may prove to be more widespread in Gabon (it is difficult to locate and has possibly been confused with West African Batis B. occulta) (P. Christy in litt. 1999).

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as rare and local in Cameroon (del Hoyo et al. 2006).

Trend justification
The species is suspected to be undergoing a decline owing to forest clearance and degradation, however the rate of decline has not been estimated.

Ecology
It is found in lowland forested areas mainly below 800 m, but not primary forest except within 500 m of the edge (Brosset and Erard 1986). In north-east Gabon, it favours secondary forest with a dense low understorey and a dense discontinuous canopy, also inhabiting old, uncleared cocoa and coffee plantations where the tree layers are beginning to disappear (Brosset and Erard 1986). It avoids open cultivated land even with scattered trees (Brosset and Erard 1986). It feeds on arthropods, mainly beetles, but also Hymenoptera and spiders (Urban et al. 1997). The species is monogamous and territorial, having been observed to defend a territory of 18-21 ha all year. Egg-laying in Gabon probably takes place in September-February. Young birds may stay with their parents almost until the following breeding season (Urban et al. 1997).

Threats
Forest is being cleared within the species's small range. The causes of deforestation are presumed to be encroachment for small-scale cultivation and small-scale logging for timber.

Conservation Actions Underway
It occurs in Monte Alen National Park (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1999) and Dzangha-Ndoki National Park (P. Christy per F. Dowsett-Lemaire in litt. 2000), at least. A large block of forest at Minkébé, north of Makokou, has recently been proposed as a protected area (F. Dowsett-Lemaire in litt. 2000). Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys to obtain further estimates of density, and thus a total population estimate. Monitor population trends through regular surveys. Monitor rates of habitat loss and degradation within its range. Increase the area of suitable habitat with protected status.

References
Brosset, A.; Erard, C. 1986. Les oiseaux des régions forestières du nord-est du Gabon. Société Nationale de Protection de la Nature, Paris.

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.

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Christie, D. 2006. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 11: Old World Flycatchers to Old World Warblers. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Dowsett-Lemaire, F.; Dowsett, R. J. 1999. Birds of the Parque Nacional de Monte Alen, mainland Equatorial Guinea, with an updating of the country's list. Alauda 67: 179-188.

Urban, E. K.; Fry, C. H.; Keith, S. 1997. The birds of Africa vol. V. Academic Press, London.

Text account compilers
O'Brien, A., Shutes, S., Symes, A., Taylor, J.

Contributors
Alexander-Marrack, P., Christy, P., Dowsett-Lemaire, F.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Batis minima. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/07/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/07/2014.

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.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Near Threatened
Family Platysteiridae (Shrike-flycatchers, wattle-eyes and batises)
Species name author (Verreaux & Verreaux, 1855)
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 19,600 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species
- Climate change species distributions