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Sangihe Shrike-thrush Colluricincla sanghirensis
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This species is currently known from only one locality, where habitat is declining in extent and quality such that its tiny population must certainly be dwindling. Because of this alarming situation it is classified as Critically Endangered.

Taxonomic source(s)
Rozendaal, F. G.; Lambert, F. R. 1999. The taxomonic and conservation status of Pinarolestes sanghirensis Oustalet 1881. Forktail 15: 1-13.

Taxonomic note
Colluricincla megarhyncha (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993) has been split into C. megarhyncha and C. sanghirensis following Rozendaal and Lambert (1999).

17 cm. Medium-sized, drab, thrush-like passerine. Olive-brown above, more chestnut on shoulders and lower back. Paler brownish below, more rufous on belly. Strong black bill and legs. Similar spp. Golden Bulbul Ixos affinis platenae is larger, more olive-green above, yellow on throat and belly. Voice Loud drongo-like song of c. 10 second phrases containing much repetition. Also soft, lisping chweep ...chweep.

Distribution and population
This species is endemic to the island of Sangihe, north of Sulawesi, Indonesia, where it was only known from one historical specimen collected in the late 19th century until its rediscovery in 1995. It occurs on the mountains Gunung Sahendaruman and Gunung Sahengbalira, where the total population is likely to be extremely low (possibly under 100 birds) given the tiny area of remaining habitat. A survey in 2004 estimated the population to be between 56-205 (BirdLife Indonesia 2007) and a 2009 survey estimated between 92-255 individuals (Burung Indonesia 2009).  In 2009, reports suggested that numbers of this species were in serious decline owing to forest loss (Sykes 2009).

Population justification
The population size is likely to be extremely low (possibly fewer than 100 birds) given the tiny area of remaining habitat. It is estimated to be between 92-255 individuals in total and so is placed in the band 50-249 mature individuals.

Trend justification
This species is suspected to be declining owing to on-going forest loss within its restricted range. In 2009, reports suggested that numbers of this species were in serious decline owing to forest clearance (Sykes 2009).

It is resident in lower montane forest between 600 m and 750 m, occurring singly, and perhaps more frequently in small groups, in the middle and upper forest storeys, and also in dense rattan undergrowth. One boulder-strewn slope where birds were observed in 1996 was dominated by huge ginger-like plants (possibly Zingiberaceae), and in an area with a high density of large Pandanus sp.

Original forest on Sangihe has been almost completely converted to agriculture. The largest habitat tract in which the species has been observed is a mere 225-340 ha in size, and is undergoing clearance by shifting cultivators in its lower reaches. In 2009, it was reported that new government initiatives to plant alien tree species were resulting in the clearance of native forest (Sykes 2009). At first, planting was restricted to areas below 500 m; however, more recent reports indicate that planting is now taking place at higher elevations, in areas at 700-900 m (Sykes 2009). Having a montane distribution that is close to the maximum altitude within its range, this species is potentially susceptible to climate change (BirdLife International unpublished data).

Conservation Actions Underway
The Gunung Sahendaruman "protection forest" nominally conserves some remaining habitat, although few measures have been taken to ensure its efficacy. Further forest is protected as watershed for a hydroelectric scheme in the Kentuhang valley. Since 1995, the "Action Sampiri" project has been working for biodiversity conservation in Sangihe and Talaud, conducting fieldwork, conservation awareness programmes (including village and school meetings, distribution of leaflets etc.), and developing ideas for future land-use through agreements between interested parties (local people, local government, forestry officials and timber companies). As a result, it was planned to reclassify the existing 4 km2 of "protection forest" on Gunung Sahengbalira as a wildlife reserve, although this process was due to take 2-3 years. The Wildlife Conservation Society has also worked on the island since 2007 trying to promote sympathetic land use and development by villages surrounding Gunung Sahengbalira (N. Brickle in litt. 2010). A local resident and former bird guide is monitoring the loss of native forest for plantations of exotic tree species and trying to raise awareness of the threat this poses to C. sanghirensis (Sykes 2009).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct further surveys for the species in remaining forest patches on the island (e.g. Gunung Awu). Ensure effective protection of habitat on Gunung Sahendaruman. Support proposals for the rapid gazetting of remaining forest on Gunung Sahengbalira as a strict nature reserve. Continue education programmes emphasising the value of forest cover to water retention and the benefits of sound farming practices on already cleared slopes. Encourage forestry staff to establish a permanent presence on the island. Lobby against government initiatives that encourage the clearance of native forest for plantations of exotic tree species.

BirdLife Indonesia. 2007. Conservation of Key Forests in the Sangihe-Talaud Islands, Indonesia: Final Report (October 2001-December 2006). BirdLife Indonesia, Tanah Sareal, Indonesia.

BirdLife International. 2001. Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

Burung Indonesia. 2009. Conservation of Birds and their natural habitat in Indonesia and Institutional Development of Burung Indonesia. Burung Indonesia and Vogelbescherming Nederland, Bogor.

IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. Available at: (Accessed: 19 November 2015).

Rozendaal, F. G.; Lambert, F. R. 1999. The taxomonic and conservation status of Pinarolestes sanghirensis Oustalet 1881. Forktail 15: 1-13.

Sibley, C.G. and Monroe, B.L. 1990. Distribution and Taxonomy of Birds of the World. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.

Sibley, C.G. and Monroe, B.L. 1993. A supplement to 'Distribution and Taxonomy of Birds of the World'. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.

Sykes, B. 2009. OBC conservation: news update and requests for practical help. BirdingASIA 12: 107-108.

Further web sources of information
Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) species/site profile. This species has been identified as an AZE trigger due to its IUCN Red List status and limited range.

Click here for more information about the Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE)

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
Benstead, P., Bird, J., Symes, A., Taylor, J., Tobias, J. & Wright, L

Brickle, N. & Pangimangen, W.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Colluricincla sanghirensis. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016.

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 - Sangihe shrike-thrush (Colluricincla sanghirensis) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Critically Endangered
Family Colluricinclidae (Shrike-thrushes and allies)
Species name author (Oustalet, 1881)
Population size 50-249 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 15 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species