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Red-tailed Newtonia Newtonia fanovanae
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This species is assumed to have a small population which is suspected to be declining, given that its habitat of intact, low-altitude rainforest is declining rapidly in extent and becoming severely fragmented. It is therefore classed 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.

12 cm. Small, forest-canopy insectivore. Mid-brown on back, greyer on crown and cheeks, with darker flight feathers (pale orange panel in secondaries). Tail is fairly bright rufous at base, and underparts whitish with pale orange wash on sides of breast. Bill is dark on upper mandible and pale grey on lower. Similar spp. Very similar to female Red-tailed Vanga Calicalicus madagascariensis, from which distinguished by slim bi-coloured bill, pale rufous panel in wings, and lack of pale eye-ring. Easily distinguished from other newtonias Newtonia by red tail and contrasting grey head. Voice The song, a series of descending pitchi-pitchi-pitchi, then swee-swee-swee notes, is characteristic.

Distribution and population
Newtonia fanovanae remained known only from the type-specimen, collected in December 1931 near Fanovana, eastern-central Madagascar, until its almost simultaneous rediscovery in Andohahela National Park in October 1989 and Ambatovaky Special Reserve in February 1990. It is now known from low-altitude forests between Marojejy and Andohahela, in seven eastern Malagasy rainforest Important Bird Areas (ZICOMA 1999), and was recorded in Tsitongambarika Forest, in the extreme south-east, in 2005 (M. Rabenandrasana in litt. 2007). It thus seems to be scarce and patchily distributed, only present in large, unbroken tracts of forest. Its density was estimated to be between 38 and 219 singing birds per km2, in low-altitude forest in Zahamena National Park, in 1995 (A. F. A. Hawkins in litt. 1995).

Population justification
The population is placed in the range 2,500-9,999 mature individuals based on recent data (F. Hawkins in litt. 2003). This equates to 3,750-14,999 individuals, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 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.

The species is restricted to areas of tall trees in lowland, humid evergreen forest where it appears to inhabit the middle and upper strata (Morris and Hawkins 1998). It appears to be rare or absent above 800 m and at several sites appears to be absent above 500 m - if this altitudinal preference holds throughout its range, it is the only species restricted to true lowland forest in Madagascar (Morris and Hawkins 1998). It is usually seen in mixed-species flocks (Morris and Hawkins 1998), and its breeding ecology is unknown.

The principal threat throughout its range is from slash-and-burn cultivation by subsistence farmers, 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 (A. F. A. Hawkins in litt. 1995). If present trends continue, the remaining forest, especially at the lower altitudes preferred by this species, will disappear within decades (Du Puy and Moat 1996).

Conservation Actions Underway
This species is known from the following protected areas: Ambatovaky Special Reserve, Andohahela National Park, Anjanaharibe-South Special Reserve, Ankeniheny Classified Forest, Haute Rantabe Classified Forest, Marojejy National Park and Zahamena National Park (ZICOMA 1999), and Tsitongambarika eastern rain forest (M. Rabenandrasana in litt. 2007). Conservation Actions Proposed
Locate other populations. Establish its habitat requirements and other factors limiting its distribution/population, in order to better predict its likely distribution and population size. Conduct regular surveys to monitor population trends. Monitor rates of forest clearance and degradation within the species's range. Improve protection of lowland forest on the east coast through community conservation and management of protected areas.

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.

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.

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

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
Benstead, P., Ekstrom, J., Evans, M., Shutes, S., 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: Newtonia fanovanae. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016.

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 - Red-tailed newtonia (Newtonia fanovanae) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Vangidae (Vangas)
Species name author Gyldenstolpe, 1933
Population size 2500-9999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 84,100 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species