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Black Munia Lonchura stygia
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The reasons for this species's scarcity are poorly known; however it is thought to have a moderately small population which is is probably declining owing to trapping and habitat degradation. It is consequently classified as Near Threatened.

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

Distribution and population
Lonchura stygia is known from a small area of the Trans-Fly region of New Guinea, from Mandum (Papua, formerly Irian Jaya, Indonesia) to Lake Daviumbu (Papua New Guinea). It is reportedly locally common in flocks of up to 20 birds; however, it is less common than the largely sympatric Grey-crowned Munia L. nevermanni, and only one was seen in four months of fieldwork in its Papuan range (K. D. Bishop in litt. 1987).

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as locally common (Clement 1999).

Trend justification
There are no data on population trends; however, this species appears to be in slow decline owing to trapping and habitat degradation.

It inhabits savannas, marshes and riverine grasses, often on floating islands, but sometimes visiting rice crops (Beehler et al. 1986, Coates 1990, Gregory 1995).

It may be threatened as a result of destruction of reedbeds by introduced rusa deer Cervus timorensis and by encroachment of woodland on grasslands, possibly promoted by the activities of pigs (although woodlands might also represent suitable habitat for this species) (N. Stronach in litt. 1993, N. Stronach in litt. 1994). In the dry season, birds concentrate around drinking pools and are susceptible to trapping for the cage-bird trade; 250 were being exported from Merauke Airport in August 1993 (N. Bostock in litt. 1993). Since 1998, over 1,200 individuals have been imported into EU countries (the species is listed in Annex D of the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations and therefore EU import levels are monitored) (UNEP-WCMC CITES Trade Database, January 2005).

Conservation Actions Underway
None is known. Conservation Actions Proposed
Assess the population size. Quantify the impact of trapping. Control the trade in this species. Regularly monitor the population at well-known sites. Research its relative abundance in different habitats.

Beehler, B. M.; Pratt, T. K.; Zimmerman, D. A. 1986. Birds of New Guinea. Princeton University Press, Princeton.

Clement, P.; Harris, A.; Davis, J. 1999. Finches and sparrows. Christopher Helm, London.

Coates, B. J. 1990. The birds of Papua New Guinea, 2: passerines. Dove, Alderley, Australia.

Gregory, P. 1995. Notes on the Black Mannikin Lonchura stygia and other Mannikins Lonchura sp. at Lake Owa Middle Fly River. Muruk 7(3): 119-120.

UNEP-WCMC. 2005. CITES trade database.

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
Derhé, M., Dutson, G., Mahood, S., O'Brien, A., Stattersfield, A.

Bishop, K., Bostock, N., Stronach, N.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Lonchura stygia. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016.

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 Near Threatened
Family Estrildidae (Waxbills, grass finches, munias and allies)
Species name author Stresemann, 1924
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 18,600 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species