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Brown Emu-tail Dromaeocercus brunneus
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Although this species may have a restricted range, it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

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.

A tiny understorey warbler. Small and rufous on upperparts, paler on throat, with grey earcoverts and a bizarre hardly-barbed tail, which is often kept tightly closed. Similar spp. From Madagascar Brush-warbler Nesillas typica by its more rufous colour, almost barbless tail, grey earcoverts and small size. Grey Emutail Dromaeocercus seebohmi, which does not occur in forest but in adjacent marshes, is more streaked, especially on mantle, and less rufous. Hints Found in dense humid understorey of montane forest, often in damp valleys, where it creeps along the ground in the manner of a mouse; this impression is strongly reinforced by the tightly-closed tail. The song, a loud "tuuuu-tchwewewewe" or "wee-chechechecheche", is very distinctive.

Distribution and population
This species is endemic to eastern Madagascar.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as locally fairly common to abundant (del Hoyo et al. 2006).

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction.

The species is found in montane rainforest. It feeds on small insects while foraging close to the ground among dense damp herbaceous growth, often running in preference to flying (Morris and Hawkins 1998). Although a very shy, skulking species which can be difficult to detect, it is fairly common in suitable habitat within the altitudinal range of 800-2,500 m (Morris and Hawkins 1998).

Forest destruction, for subsistence agriculture and commercial logging, may cause the population to rapidly decline in the future.

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.

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

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., Butchart, S., Harding, M., Fisher, S.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Dromaeocercus brunneus. 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.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Least Concern
Family Sylviidae (Old World warblers)
Species name author Sharpe, 1877
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 52,400 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species