email a friend
printable version
Helmet Vanga Euryceros prevostii
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

This species has a small range, restricted to north-eastern Madagascar, where its lowland forest habitat is being cleared rapidly for subsistence agriculture and timber. On this basis, its population is likley to be severely fragmented and declining rapidly, thus it is listed as Vulnerable.

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.

28-31 cm. Very distinctive, large, deep-billed vanga. Black, with massive, pale blue bill, and chestnut mantle, rump and central tail feathers. Juvenile is mixture of dark and pale brown with pale brown bill. Similar spp. Difficult to confuse with any other species. Voice Sometimes detected by call, a fluty, descending pepepepewpew. Hints Rather secretive and difficult to find, as often sits immobile in subcanopy for long periods. Most conspicuous when flying at prey.

Distribution and population
Euryceros prevostii is restricted to the northern part of the humid evergreen forests of eastern Madagascar, from Tsaratanana south to Mantadia in the centre-east (ZICOMA 1999). The species is only known from primary forest, generally below 800 m, where it is uncommon (Langrand 1990) and patchy in distribution.

Population justification
The population size is preliminarily estimated to fall into the band 10,000-19,999 individuals. This equates to 6,667-13,333 mature individuals, rounded here to 6,000-15,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be declining in line with the clearance and degradation of lowland rainforest within the species's range. The likely rate of decline has not been estimated.

It is a bird of primary, mainly lowland rainforest, occupying the middle stratum in areas with large trees (ZICOMA 1999), often occurring in mixed-species groups with other vangas (Vangidae) (Morris and Hawkins 1998). It feeds on large insects and other invertebrates, sally-gleaning from branches and trunks as well as from the ground (Morris and Hawkins 1998).

Low-altitude forest in Madagascar is a critically threatened habitat, largely due to clearance for shifting agriculture but also owing to commercial exploitation of timber (Du Puy and Moat 1996). The species's inability to survive outside this habitat puts it at risk.

Conservation Actions Underway
This species is known from the following protected areas: Ambatovaky Special Reserve, Anjanaharibe Classified Forest, Anjanaharibe-South Special Reserve, Betampona Strict Reserve, Bezavona Classified Forest, Haute Rantabe Classified Forest, Mantadia National Park, Marojejy National Park, Masoala National Park, Tsaratanana Strict Reserve and Zahamena National Park (ZICOMA 1999). Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys in order to assess its population size. Compare population data from protected and unprotected habitat (M. Rabenandrasana in litt. 2007). Once a baseline population estimate has been obtained, carry out regular surveys to monitor population trends. Compare population trends in protected and unprotected habitat (M. Rabenandrasana in litt. 2007). Monitor rates of forest clearance and degradation. Determine its home-range size and its dispersal capability across deforested areas, in order to clarify the impact of forest fragmentation on its population structure. 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.

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

Morris, P.; Hawkins, F. 1998. Birds of Madagascar: a photographic guide. Pica Press, Robertsbridge, UK.

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., Robertson, P., Starkey, M., Symes, A., Taylor, J.

Hawkins, F., Rabenandrasana, M.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Euryceros prevostii. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016.

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.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Helmet vanga (Euryceros prevostii) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Vangidae (Vangas)
Species name author Lesson, 1831
Population size 6000-15000 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 16,200 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species