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Chat Tanager Calyptophilus frugivorus
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species is considered Vulnerable because it has a small range and population, which are fragmented and declining. There have been some rapid declines in the past and two races are possibly already extinct.

Taxonomic source(s)
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.
Stotz, D. F.; Fitzpatrick, J. W.; Parker, T. A.; Moskovits, D. K. 1996. Neotropical birds: ecology and conservation. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Taxonomic note
Calyptophilus frugivorus (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993) is retained as a species following Collar et al. (1992), contra AOU (1998) who split it into C. frugivorus and C. tertius. This is because, from a study of Bond and Dod (1977) and Isler and Isler (1987), it is apparent that the characters are shared among the four taxa in this group (the two mentioned plus neibae and abbotti) in a mosaic manner and in such a way that no easy divide between the western and eastern groups, as proposed by AOU, is possible. As such therefore the BirdLife Taxonomic Working Group prefers not to recognise tertius as a separate species.

17-20 cm. Curious, long-tailed, bicoloured understorey species. Dark brown above, white below. Yellow loral spot and carpal area. Similar spp. Virtually unmistakable. Two sympatric Turdus thrush species are similar sized and terrestrial, but both show much red. Voice Song is beautiful whistling chip-chip-swerp-swerp-swerp. Sharp check call. Hints Best located by song or calls, often sings from an elevated perch.

Distribution and population
Calyptophilus frugivorus occurs in four subspecies in Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic). The races abbotti, from Gonâve Island, Haiti, and frugivorus, from the Samaná Peninsula in the north-eastern Dominican Republic, are both likely to be extinct, with no confirmed records of either since the early 1980s; Gonâve though has not been extensively surveyed and so subspecies abbotti could possibly survive (N. Khwaja in litt. 2012). The race neibae in the Cordillera Central of the Dominican Republic has apparently undergone a dramatic decline (Raffaele et al. 1998), and recent records derive solely from the Sierras de Neiba (S. Latta in litt. 1998), where it is locally common (Rimmer et al. 2003), and Ebano Verde Scientific Reserve (Almonte and Fernández 2002). The race tertius occurs in southern Haiti and south-west Dominican Republic, including the Sierra de Baoruco and remains locally secure.

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 2,500-9,999 individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. This estimate is equivalent to 1,667-6,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 1,500-7,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
There are no new data on rates of habitat loss; however, the species is suspected to be declining rapidly, since habitat loss is on-going.

It is largely terrestrial in broadleaf forest and dense thickets, especially in ravines and near water, but inhabits semi-arid scrub on Gonâve Island. It is primarily a montane species, occurring above 1,000 m, but locally to 800 m, e.g. at Las Mercedes (G. M. Kirwan in litt. 1998). However, the races abbotti and frugivorus occurred in areas below 600 m. Breeding probably occurs between May and July (Raffaele et al. 1998). It feeds chiefly on invertebrates, rather than fruit as implied by its specific name.

Agricultural conversion and logging are the principal threats to its habitat.

Conservation Actions Underway
It occurs in Macaya and La Visite National Parks, Haiti, and Sierra de Baoruco National Park and Ebano Verde Scientific Reserve, the Dominican Republic. Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey to assess whether the races abbotti and frugivorus are still extant. Effectively protect existing, and establish new, reserves. Resolve whether this taxon comprises one, two or more species-level taxa.

Almonte, J.; Fernández, E. 2002. Photospot: Eastern Calyptophilus frugivorus and Western Chat-tanagers C. tertius. Cotinga 17: 95-96.

AOU. 1998. Check-list of North American birds. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Bond, J.; Dod, A. 1977. A new race of Chat Tanager (Calyptophilus frugivorus) from the Dominican Republic. Notulae Naturae (Philadelphia) 451.

Collar, N. J.; Gonzaga, L. P.; Krabbe, N.; Madroño Nieto, A.; Naranjo, L. G.; Parker, T. A.; Wege, D. C. 1992. Threatened birds of the Americas: the ICBP/IUCN Red Data Book. International Council for Bird Preservation, Cambridge, U.K.

Isler, M. L.; Isler, P. R. 1987. The tanagers: natural history, distribution, and identification. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC.

Raffaele, H.; Wiley, J.; Garrido, O.; Keith, A.; Raffaele, J. 1998. Birds of the West Indies. Christopher Helm, London.

Rimmer, C. C.; Almonte M, J.; Garrido G, E.; Mejia, D. A.; Milagros P, M.; Wieczoreck, P. R. 2003. Bird records in a montane forest fragment of western Sierra de Neiba, Dominican Republic. Journal of Caribbean Ornithology 16: 55 & 58.

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

Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1993. A supplement to 'Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world'. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.

Further web sources of information
Detailed species account from the Threatened birds of the Americas: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 1992). Please note taxonomic treatment and IUCN Red List category may have changed since publication.

Detailed species account from the Threatened birds of the Americas: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 1992). Please note, taxonomic treatment and IUCN Red List category may have changed since publication.

Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Recuento detallado de la especie tomado del libro Aves Amenazadas de las Americas, Libro Rojo de BirdLife International (BirdLife International 1992). Nota: la taxonomoía y la categoría de la Lista Roja de la UICN pudo haber cambiado desde esta publicación.

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Isherwood, I., Khwaja, N., Mahood, S., Pople, R., Wege, D., Sharpe, C J

Kirwan, G., Latta, S., Khwaja, N.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Calyptophilus frugivorus. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016.

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 - Chat-tanager (Calyptophilus frugivorus) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Thraupidae (Tanagers)
Species name author (Cory, 1883)
Population size 1500-7000 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 7,400 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species