Xenopirostris damii


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Xenopirostris damii
Species Authority: Schlegel, 1866
Common Name(s):
English Van Dam's Vanga, Van Dam's
French Vanga de Van Dam

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(i,ii,iii,v); C2a(ii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Hawkins, F.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Ekstrom, J., Evans, M., Shutes, S., Starkey, M. & Taylor, J.
This species is listed as Endangered owing to its very small range (being currently known from only two sites). The habitat at both sites is under great pressure, especially from fire.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Xenopirostris damii is currently known from only two sites (Ankarafantsika and Analamera) in north-west Madagascar. However, there is much suitable habitat between the two sites that has not been thoroughly surveyed (Morris and Hawkins 1998). It is considered the island's rarest and most threatened vanga (Langrand 1990).

Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The total population is estimated at 2,272 individuals, thus it may lie at the lower end of the range 2,500-9,999 individuals. This range equates to 1,667-6,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 1,500-7,000 mature individuals. Mizuta et al. (2001) estimate territories of 5-8 ha, non-contiguous separated by c.200m, thus giving a 100m extra buffer around each territory. Hence an 8 ha territory takes up 24 ha. This is equivalent to 4 pairs/km2, or 8 indivs/km2. Habitat area: 20% of 1420 km2 = 284 km2. Total Population: 8 x 284 km2 = 2272 indivs. This estimate may be an optimistic minimum because the Jardin Botanique study site of Mizuta et al. (2001) is likely to have been chosen for ease of study.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The species is found at low altitude only in, or adjacent to, undisturbed, dry, deciduous forest (Langrand 1990), where it forages for invertebrates in dead wood and leaf clumps (Morris and Hawkins 1998), often joining other vangas (particularly Rufous Vanga Schetba rufa) and other insectivores in mixed-species flocks (Morris and Hawkins 1998). The breeding season starts in October and extends until January at least (Morris and Hawkins 1998, Mizuta et al. 2001). Clutch size at 3-4 is large for a Xenopirostris vanga, with other congeners having two (Langrand 1990). Breeding pairs occupy widely separated, non-contiguous home ranges of 5-8 ha (Mizuta et al. 2001), suggesting approximate densities of 4 pairs/km2.

Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The species's habitat is declining in both extent and quality, due to the clearing and burning of forest for subsistence maize cultivation, uncontrolled bushfires, commercial logging and exploitation for charcoal and firewood (ZICOMA 1999).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
Both Ankarafantsika and Analamera are protected areas (Strict Reserve and Special Reserve respectively), but their long-term future is not certain (ZICOMA 1999).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct population estimates in different habitats in Ankarafantsika and Analamera. Evaluate extent of habitat loss within key habitats due to human occupation and uncontrolled bushfires. Put measures in place to ensure the long-term protection of Ankarafantsika Strict Reserve and Analamera Special Reserve. Grant protected status to other sites that are found to be occupied by the species.

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Xenopirostris damii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 05 September 2015.
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