Humblotia flavirostris


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Humblotia flavirostris
Species Authority: Milne-Edwards & Oustalet, 1885
Common Name(s):
English Grand Comoro Flycatcher, Humblot's Flycatcher
French Gobemouche des Comores

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Taylor, J. & Butchart, S.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Ekstrom, J., Pilgrim, J., Shutes, S., Symes, A., Taylor, J., Warren, B.
This species is classified as Endangered since it has a very small range, occurring at only one location, an active volcano, where there has been a continuing decline in the extent and quality of its forest habitat. It may be adapting to these changes, but the habitat remains threatened and insufficiently protected.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Humblotia flavirostris occurs only on the slopes of Mt Karthala, an active volcano, on Grand Comoro (= Ngazidja) in the Comoro Islands.

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.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This insectivorous species is present throughout forest on Mt Karthala over a wide altitudinal range (Louette and Stevens 1992). It is limited to areas with remaining tall trees but seems tolerant of shrubby, cultivated or open areas in the forest - it has even been observed in pure Philippia tree-heath above the forest belt (Louette and Stevens 1992). The only known nest was a cup in the upper branches of a 12-15 m high tree in pioneer woodland where at least two young were seen (Herremans et al. 1991b).

Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): With this island's large, increasing human population (Herremans et al. 1991b), the major threat to this species is the clearance of forest for agriculture, which is occurring on all but the poorest soils. Since 1983, intact forest may have declined by over 25% as agriculture has advanced steadily up the slopes of Mt Karthala. Secondary forest in the agricultural belt is dominated by exotic plants, particularly strawberry guava Psidium cattleianum, which could spread into and degrade remaining native forest. Commercial logging occurs in a 50 km2 concession on the south-west slopes. The tree-heath zone is threatened by browsing cattle and by fire used to stimulate growth of palatable shoots. Introduced rats and Common Myna Acridotheres tristis may act as nest predators. If plans to build a road to Mt Karthala's crater are resurrected, exploitation and fragmentation of the forest, and the spread of exotic species, could be accelerated (Safford 2001).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
A protected area (national park, biosphere reserve or resource management area) on Mt Karthala has been proposed, but has not yet materialised (Louette et al. 1988, Safford 2001).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Research the ecology of this species to assess its ability to adapt to degraded habitats. Create a protected area on Mt Karthala to encompass the known range of the species, and develop a land-use strategy (Louette and Stevens 1992, Safford 2001). Consider reforestation of grasslands on the island's central ridge (Safford 2001). Develop an environmental education programme on the island (Louette and Stevens 1992). Encourage locally-organised ecotourism as an alternative source of income for inhabitants of the Mt Karthala area (Safford 2001).

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Humblotia flavirostris. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 02 September 2015.
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