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Bernier's Vanga Oriolia bernieri
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species is classified as Vulnerable on the basis of suspected continuing declines in both its small population and its small range, owing to the destruction and severe fragmentation of its lowland rainforest habitat, mainly as a result of subsistence agriculture.

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.

23 cm. Medium-sized vanga. Male is glossy black all over, with a white iris and a striking, pale blue bill. Female is bright rufescent, with narrow black barring all over. Similar spp. Female is unmistakable. Male could possibly be confused with Crested Drongo Dicrurus forficatus but has pale iris and bill, and completely different behaviour. Voice Loud call, schrip-schrip-schrip, is characteristic.

Distribution and population
Oriolia bernieri is known from many sites between Marojejy in the north and Zahamena in the centre-east of Madagascar (although there is a single, as yet unconfirmed, record from Vondrozo). It is scarce and patchily distributed throughout its range.

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 2,500-9,999 mature 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 3,750-14,999 individuals, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in decline owing to the clearance and degradation of forest within the species's range. The likely rate of decline, however, has not been estimated.

This species is restricted to undisturbed, primary tracts of humid evergreen forest. Studies in 1988 in Marojejy found it to be remarkably localised, but fairly common in the south-west area of the reserve (Evans et al. 1992). It is found either in isolated pairs or in mixed-species flocks made up principally of vangas (Langrand 1990). It forages by searching the leaves, and rooting around in the leaf-bases, of pandanus Pandanus, ravenala Ravenala madagascariensis and palms, also levering rotten bark and moss off large tree-branches with its wedge-like bill, in search of large invertebrates, e.g. beetles, crickets and spiders (Langrand 1990, Evans et al. 1992).

The principal threat to primary, lowland rainforest is posed by subsistence slash-and-burn cultivation, which results in progressively more degraded regrowth and leads eventually to bracken-covered areas or grassland (Du Puy and Moat 1996). Much of the eastern coastal plain has either already been cleared or is covered by highly degraded forest (Jenkins 1987), remaining habitat is under pressure from the increasing human population (Jenkins 1987), and commercial logging is an additional threat in some areas (ZICOMA 1999). If present trends continue, the remaining forest (especially at lower altitudes) will disappear within decades (Du Puy and Moat 1996).

Conservation Actions Underway
The species is known from Ambatovaky Special Reserve, Anjanaharibe Classified Forest, Anjanaharibe-South Special Reserve, Betampona Strict Reserve, Bezavona Classified Forest, Haute Rantabe Classified Forest, Mangerivola Special Reserve, Marojejy National Park, Masoala National Park and Zahamena National Park (ZICOMA 1999). The three National Parks are particularly important for this species as they still contain significant areas of suitable habitat (Thorstrom and Watson 1997, ZICOMA 1999).Conservation Actions Proposed
Verify presence in lowland forests around Vondrozo and further south, including Midongy-South National Park. Conduct surveys in order to assess the population size. Once a baseline population estimate has been obtained, continue to carry out surveys to monitor population trends. Monitor the clearance and degradation of forest within the species's range. Improve awareness of conservation and the implications of widespread forest loss among local people.

Du Puy, D. J.; Moat, J. 1996. A refined classification of the primary vegetation of Madagascar based on the underlying geology: using GIS to map its distribution and to assess its conservation status. In: Lourenço, W.R. (ed.), Proceedings of the International Symposium on the biogeography of Madagascar, pp. 205-218. ORSTOM, Paris.

Evans, M. I.; Duckworth, J. W.; Hawkins, A. F. A.; Safford, R. J.; Sheldon, B. C.; Wilkinson, R. J. 1992. Key bird species of Marojejy Strict Nature Reserve, Madagascar. Bird Conservation International 2: 201-222.

Jenkins, M. D. 1987. Madagascar: an environmental profile. International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, Cambridge, U.K.

Langrand, O. 1990. Guide to the birds of Madagascar. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.

Thorstrom, R.; Watson, R. T. 1997. Avian inventory and key species of the Masoala Peninsula, Madagascar. Bird Conservation International 7: 99-115.

ZICOMA. 1999. Zones d'Importance pour la Conservation des Oiseaux a Madagascar.

Further web sources of information
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
Ekstrom, J., Evans, M., Shutes, S., Starkey, M., Symes, A., Taylor, J.

Hawkins, F.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Oriolia bernieri. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016.

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 Vulnerable
Family Vangidae (Vangas)
Species name author Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1838
Population size 2500-9999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 18,100 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species