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While there are still relatively few records of this species, it clearly has a very small and fragmented area of occupancy, within which it is rare. It appears largely restricted to lowland and foothill forest which is disappearing fast, and it is probably sensitive to alteration of its forest habitat. It is therefore considered Endangered.
Erard, C.; Fry, C. H.; Grimes, L. G.; Irwin, M. P. S.; Keith, S.; Lack, P. C.; Pearson, D. J.; Tye, A. 1997. Sylviidae, Old World warblers. In: Urban, E.K.; Fry, C.H.; Keith, S. (ed.), The birds of Africa v. 5, pp. 57-431. Academic Press, San Diego, London.
Hyliota australis (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993) has been split into H. australis and H. usambara following Erard et al. (1997), largely on the basis of it sexual monomorphism in H. usambara (actually a mistaken judgement). However, examination of museum material indicates that, compared with australis, usambarae is considerably smaller, with wholly (vs partly) black thighs, female upperparts steely blue-black (vs dull sooty-black), female underparts, lores, frons and ear-coverts rich tawny (vs pale creamy-yellow below, with lores, frons and ear-coverts concolorous with rest of upperparts). These differences are sufficient for usambarae to achieve species status.
14 cm. Medium-sized, flycatcher-like warbler of forest and woodland. Glossy blue-black upperparts. Prominent white flash on wings. Orange throat and breast, fading to yellow on belly and vent. Voice Rarely calls (Evans 1997b): series of thin, squeaky notes. Hints Most recently seen in forest at Amani in East Usambara Mountains (Tanzania).
Cambridge-Tanzania Rainforest Project. 1994. A biological and human impact survey of the lowland forests, East Usambara Mountains, Tanzania. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.
Evans, T. D. 1997. Records of birds from the forests of the East Usambara lowlands, Tanzania, August 1994 - February 1995. Scopus 19: 92-108.
Kessy, J. F. 1998. Conservation and utilization of natural resources in the East Usambara forest reserves: conventional views and local perspectives. Wageningen Agricultural University, Wageningen, Netherlands.
Sclater, W. L., Moreau, R. E. 1932â€“1933. Taxonomic field notes on some birds of north-eastern Tanganyika Territory. Ibis.
Seddon, N.; Ekstrom, J. M. M.; Capper, D. R.; Isherwood, I. S.; Muna, R.; Pople, R. G.; Tarimo, E.; Timothy, J. 1999. Notes on the ecology and conservation status of key bird species in Nilo and Nguu North Forest Reserves, Tanzania. Bird Conservation International 9: 9-28.
Seddon, N.; Ekstrom, J. M. M.; Capper, D. R.; Isherwood, I. S.; Muna, R.; Pople, R. G.; Tarimo, E.; Timothy, J. 1999. The importance of the Nilo and Nguu North Forest Reserves for the conservation of montane forest birds in Tanzania. Biological Conservation 87: 59-72.
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1993. A supplement to 'Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world'. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.
Urban, E. K.; Fry, C. H.; Keith, S. 1997. The birds of Africa vol. V. Academic Press, London.
Zimmerman, D. A.; Turner, D. A.; Pearson, D. J. 1996. Birds of Kenya and northern Tanzania. Helm, London.
Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Ekstrom, J., Evans, M., Mahood, S., Shutes, S., Starkey, M. & Symes, A.
Cordeiro, N., Hansen, L. & Stuart, S.
IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Taylor, J.
BirdLife International (2015) Species factsheet: Hyliota usambara. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 05/07/2015. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2015) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 05/07/2015.
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
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|Current IUCN Red List category||Endangered|
|Family||Sylviidae (Old World warblers)|
|Species name author||Sclater, 1932|
|Population size||600-1700 mature individuals|
|Distribution size (breeding/resident)||7,700 km2|
|Links to further information|
|- Additional Information on this species|