Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Cuculiformes Cuculidae

Scientific Name: Coua verreauxi
Species Authority: Grandidier, 1867
Common Name(s):
English Verreaux's Coua
French Coua de Verreaux
Taxonomic Source(s): del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International.
Identification information: A small, greyish arboreal coua. Overall mid-grey, whitish on lower breast and belly, and darker on flight-feathers. Tail dark greyish, long and tipped whitish on outer feathers. Head with long, dark-tipped crest, pale blue bare skin around eye and black bill. Similar spp. From sympatric Crested Coua C. cristata by lack of orange on breast, dark tip to long crest, and smaller blue patch around eye. Crested Coua is usually found in adjacent taller gallery forest. Hints Rather secretive, found in coastal euphorbia scrub, where it is most active at dawn and dusk. Most easily detected by loud descending series of contact calls, "corick-corick-corick-corick".

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2014-07-24
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S.
Contributor(s): Gardner, J
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Evans, M., O'Brien, A., Robertson, P., Starkey, M., Symes, A. & Taylor, J.
This species is listed as Near Threatened because it is estimated to have a moderately small range, in which habitat degradation is occurring, which along with hunting pressure is inferred to be driving an unquantified decline in the species's population.

Previously published Red List assessments:
2012 Near Threatened (NT)
2008 Near Threatened (NT)
2004 Near Threatened (NT)
2000 Lower Risk/near threatened (LR/nt)
1994 Lower Risk/near threatened (LR/nt)
1988 Near Threatened (NT)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Coua verreauxi has a relatively restricted range in southern and south-western Madagascar, within the southern part of the spiny forest zone. It occurs between the Fiherenana River and the Mandrare River Basin, although it is unclear whether it is continuously distributed within this range (Goodman 2013). Its known range was recently extended north to Salary-Bekodoy Forest (Raselimanana et al. 2012). Few records exceed 40 km inland (Goodman 2013). Within suitable habitat the species can be fairly abundant.

Countries occurrence:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 20300
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO): No
Continuing decline in number of locations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations: No
Upper elevation limit (metres): 100
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population size of this species has apparently not been quantified.

Trend Justification:  The population is suspected to be in decline owing to on-going habitat degradation and hunting pressure (Goodman 2013), although the rate of decline has not been quantified.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: Unknown Continuing decline of mature individuals: Yes
Extreme fluctuations: No Population severely fragmented: No
Continuing decline in subpopulations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations: No All individuals in one subpopulation: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is a bird of semi-arid thorn scrub where it forages for invertebrates among trees and bushes, also feeding on the ground (Morris and Hawkins 1998). It also feeds on Cassia fruit (del Hoyo et al. 1997) and lizards (Goodman 2013). The species appears to favour thick coastal scrub on coral rag but also occurs outside this habitat, including within degraded areas (ZICOMA 1999). It occurs from sea-level to 100 m (del Hoyo et al. 1997). Males have been observed singing from tree tops in November (del Hoyo et al. 1997), and nests and females in breeding condition have been found from October to April (Goodman 2013).

Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Yes
Generation Length (years): 4.2
Movement patterns: Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The species's habitat is threatened by wood-cutting for charcoal production, which is widespread, particularly along roads and near to major towns (Langrand 1990). Hunting is also thought to be having a negative impact on the species (Goodman 2013).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
Some suitable habitat is protected within reserves (Langrand 1990, Goodman 2013).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys to obtain a total population estimate. Carry out regular surveys to monitor population trends. Monitor rates of habitat clearance and degradation. Increase the area of habitat that is protected in reserves.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2014. Coua verreauxi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T22684184A61649635. . Downloaded on 08 October 2015.
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