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Matinan Flycatcher Cyornis sanfordi
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This species has a very small range, within which it is known from fewer than five locations, and is declining as a result of rapid habitat loss and degradation. It thus qualifies as Endangered.

Taxonomic source(s)
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.

Cyornis sandfordi Collar and Andrew (1988)

14.5 cm. Small, drab, unobtrusive, forest flycatcher. Grey-brown above, greyer on crown, with dark lores and more rufous-olive on rump and tail. Brownish-grey underparts with pale vent. Similar spp. Yellow-vented Whistler Pachycephala sulfuriventer is thicker set with larger head and bill, and yellow vent. Female Maroon-backed Whistler Coracornis raveni is also thicker set, with darker brown on face and breast. Voice A hectic, non-stop cyclical warble that consists of the same 8-9 notes (the whole rising and falling) (Benstead et al. in prep).

Distribution and population
Cyornis sanfordi is endemic to northern Sulawesi, Indonesia, where it is known from four localities in the mountains of the Minahasa peninsula. It is thinly distributed, but may be more numerous in the western part of its range, considering the relatively large number (nine) originally collected. Observations in 2002 at a new site for the species (Gunung Banga) suggested that it was moderately common there (Lambaihang et al. 2003).

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
A moderate and on-going population decline is suspected to be taking place, owing to rapid habitat loss within the lower parts of the altitudinal range of this species.

It is a presumed resident (perhaps making very local altitudinal movements) in primary lower and upper montane rain forest and moss forest above 1,400 m. It is apparently identical in habits, ecology, vertical distribution, behaviour and vocalisations to Blue-fronted Flycatcher C. hoevelli, which is usually unobtrusive but sometimes conspicuous, frequenting the lower storey or forest canopy of medium-sized and tall trees, and occasionally joining mixed-species flocks. It also occurs in disturbed forest (Riley and Mole 2001).

The main threat stems from habitat loss along the peripheries of the mountain range on the Minahasa peninsula, as a result of clearance for transmigration settlements and shifting agriculture. However, this is only a localised threat at the lower limit of its altitudinal range, with most forest at higher elevations remaining largely untouched. Logging concessions at lower altitudes also pose a threat. In Indonesia new regional autonomy laws were enacted in 2000, which empowered regional governments to determine the licensing of forest concessions and exploitation of natural resources. Unfortunately there has been a significant increase in the rate of logging in protected areas since decentralisation, especially in Sulawesi.

Conservation Actions Underway
The eastern part of its known distribution is largely enclosed in Bogani Nani Wartabone National Park, covering 280 km2 between 100 m and 1,970 m. Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys to establish its true range, distribution and population status, particularly in the unexplored mountains immediately to the west of its current known distribution. Identify areas supporting significant populations and propose their establishment as protected areas. Initiate awareness programmes to reduce habitat loss resulting from shifting cultivation.

Benstead, P.; Benstead, C.; Hayman, P. submitted. Some interesting bird records from the Sulawesi sub-region. Kukila.

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

Lambaihang, J.; Palamia, J.; Indrawan, M. 2003. Vocalisations of Matinan flycatcher Cyornis sanfordi in North Sulawesi, Indonesia. Forktail 19: 135-136.

Riley, J., Mole, J. 2001. The birds of Gunung Ambang Nature Reserve, North Sulawesi, Indonesia. Forktail 17:  57-66.

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., Derhé, M., Gilroy, J.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Cyornis sanfordi. 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.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Matinan flycatcher (Cyornis sanfordi) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Endangered
Family Muscicapidae (Chats and Old World flycatchers)
Species name author Stresemann, 1931
Population size 6000-15000 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 2,000 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species