Melaenornis annamarulae 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Muscicapidae

Scientific Name: Melaenornis annamarulae Forbes-Watson, 1970
Common Name(s):
English Nimba Flycatcher, Liberian Black-flycatcher, West African Black-Flycatcher
French Gobemouche noir du Nimba
Taxonomic Source(s): del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A., Fishpool, L.D.C., Boesman, P. and Kirwan, G.M. 2016. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 2: Passerines. Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.
Identification information: 20-22 cm. Large, all-black flycatcher. In the field appears matt black but in direct sunlight has deep-blue cast to plumage. Similar spp. Could be confused with Square-tailed Drongo Dicrurus ludwigii but differs by lacking notched tail and in behaviour and habitat. Voice Song consists of short, varied phrases of loud ringing notes. Calls include thin weep weep and soft churrings. Hints Occurs singly, in pairs or groups of 3-6 birds, preferring the canopy.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2c+3c ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Demey, R., Fishpool, L., Gartshore, M., Klop, E., Lindsell, J., Rainey, H., Robertson, P. & Thompson, H.S.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Ekstrom, J., Shutes, S., Starkey, M., Symes, A., Taylor, J. & Westrip, J.
This species is highly dependent on closed-canopy primary forest and probably depends on forest containing large emergent trees. Its population is likely to be declining rapidly, in line with the massive destruction of lowland forest in the region, and it is therefore classified as Vulnerable.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Melaenornis annamarulae is endemic to the Upper Guinea rainforest block of West Africa, where it is known from Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana. In Guinea, the species was previously known from Ziama (Urban et al. 1997), Déré Forest Reserve in 2003 (R. Demey in litt. 2007, H. Rainey in litt. 2007), and Pic de Fon, before a search in the south-east of the country in 2010 found a total of 15 pairs at four of seven sites surveyed: Douama (Binikala sous-préfecture), Sengbedou-Macenta sous-préfecture, Tétini Forest Reserve and Mount Béro Forest Reserve (Condé and Soumah 2010). In Sierra Leone it occurs in Gola Forest (two records in the late 1980s, c.475-690 birds estimated [Allport et al. 1989]; only one record in 2005-2007, thus very rare [E. Klop in litt. 2007, J. Lindsell in litt. 2007]), while in northern Liberia there are few records, including the foot of Mt Nimba, Grebo (R. Demey in litt. 2007), Glaro and Wologizi (Gatter 1997). In Côte d'Ivoire it is known from Taï National Park, Mont Péko National Park, Haute Dodo Forest Reserve (H. Rainey in litt. 2007), La Téné Forest Reserve, Mopri (Gartshore et al. 1995) and Marahoué National Park (P. Christy per L. D. C. Fishpool verbally 1998) and in Ghana it was discovered in Atewa Range Forest Reserve in June 2006, followed by further records in 2007 and 2010 (Demey and Hester 2008, Borrow 2010)). In Taï National Park, it occurs at an estimated four birds per km2 (with a record from degraded land at the edge of the park) (Gartshore et al. 1995). It is generally rare throughout its range and difficult to detect, as it is a canopy species (H. Rainey in litt. 2007).

Countries occurrence:
Côte d'Ivoire; Ghana; Guinea; Liberia; Sierra Leone
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:272000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):YesExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Number of Locations:11-100Continuing decline in number of locations:Yes
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:No
Upper elevation limit (metres):800
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The population size is preliminarily estimated to fall into the band 10,000-19,999 individuals. This equates to 6,667-13,333 mature individuals, rounded here to 6,000-15,000 mature individuals.

Trend Justification:  The species's population is suspected to be declining rapidly, in line with high levels of forest clearance and degradation across the species's range.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:6000-15000Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:Yes
No. of subpopulations:2-100Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It is found in the upper strata and canopy of closed-canopy lowland primary forest (P. Robertson in litt. 1998), in Liberia occurring up to 600 m (Gatter 1997), and sightings in Atewa Range Forest Reserve, Ghana may be up to 800 m (J. Lindsell in litt. 2016). In Côte d'Ivoire, it is also found in large leafless trees on inselbergs and in clearings planted with maize (Urban et al. 1997), and has been observed in disturbed primary forest in Mont Péko National Park (H. Rainey in litt. 2007). It may be limited by the availability of emergent trees on which it forages, which are characteristic of transitional and deciduous lowland rainforest (Gartshore et al. 1995). It feeds on insects and breeding is believed to take place during the wet season in July and August.

Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):3.9
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Remaining large tracts of forest in Liberia are under intense and increasing pressure from commercial logging and a consequent increase in settlement and small-holder agriculture (Anon. 2000). Déré Forest Reserve in Guinea is highly threatened by clearance for small-holder farms, with an estimated 90% of the forest already destroyed in November 2003 (R. Demey in litt. 2007, H. Rainey in litt. 2007). Elsewhere in the Upper Guinea region, forest survives in fragmented patches which are under intense pressure for logging and agriculture (Anon. 2000). In Ghana, Atewa Range Forest Reserve has been logged in the past, transects have been cut for mineral exploration, and now mining for bauxite is being considered (Demey and Hester 2008).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
In Sierra Leone, Gola Rainforest National Park is currently well protected (J. Lindsell in litt. 2012). There are attempts to improve the protection of Gola National Forest in Liberia and ensure connectivity with Gola Rainforest National Park in Sierra Leone (J. Lindsell in litt. 2012). Taï National Park and periphery habitat in south-west Côte d'Ivoire is one of the largest and best-preserved areas of Upper Guinea forest and probably contains one of the largest remaining populations given habitat clearance elsewhere and its rarity in Ghana (H. Rainey in litt. 2007).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct population surveys (H. S. Thompson in litt. 1999), particularly in eastern Liberia (H. Rainey in litt. 2007). Carry out ecological studies, particularly to learn more of its breeding ecology (H. S. Thompson in litt. 1999). In Taï National Park, take measures to conserve the park and adjoining forest reserves including reducing encroachment (H. Rainey in litt. 2007). In Taï National Park and Gola Forest, ensure that future studies include support for local people to contribute to research, management and tourism in and around the park (Gartshore et al. 1995, H. S. Thompson in litt. 1999).

Citation: BirdLife International. 2016. Melaenornis annamarulae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22709095A94192070. . Downloaded on 27 May 2018.
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