Ceyx sangirensis


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Ceyx sangirensis
Species Authority: (Meyer & Wiglesworth, 1898)
Common Name(s):
English Sangihe Dwarf-kingfisher
Taxonomic Notes: Ceyx fallax and C. sangirensis (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) were previously lumped as C. fallax following Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered C2a(i,ii); D ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2014-07-24
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S.
Contributor(s): Mahood, S., Riley, J., Faustino, A., Robson, C., Lambert, F. & Eaton, J.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Gilroy, J., Taylor, J., Martin, R & Symes, A.
This newly-split species has not been recorded since 1997 and any remaining extant population is likely to be extremely small, probably numbering far fewer than 250 mature individuals and precautionarily assumed to form a single subpopulation, which is inferred to be in continuing decline owing to on-going habitat loss and degradation. It is therefore classified as Critically Endangered.  Further searches are planned, and if they do not locate the species it may then be appropriate to list the species as Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct).

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: C. sangirensis is known from the island of Sangihe (Fry and Fry 1999, del Hoyo et al. 2001), and is listed in some sources as occurring on the Talaud Islands, Indonesia (e.g. del Hoyo et al. 2001). It is not clear whether it has ever been recorded on or likely to occur on Siau or any other nearby islands.

Surveys on Sangihe in 1998-1999 did not yield any records of this taxon, leading to a suspicion that it could be extinct there (Riley 2002), while four days of surveys in two remnant forest patches in 2003 similarly failed to record the species (A. Faustino in litt. 2013). Surveys in 2004-2006 and 2009 and a short visit in the Sahendaruman mountains in January 2014 all failed to find this species (Burung Indonesia in litt. 2014). It appears to be very rare or extirpated on Sangihe, but it is perhaps possible that it could persist in small forest streams and wetlands in plantation/garden areas that were not covered during previous forest surveys (C. Robson in litt. 2013).

The status of this species on Talaud seems uncertain. Riley (1997) did not record the species during fieldwork in 1995, and suggested that it was one of a suite of species that had suffered population reductions as a result of habitat loss. The only source cited by Riley (1997) for records of this species on Talaud is Meyer (1879 per Meyer and Wiglesworth 1898 in Riley 1997), who reported it to be quite common, but soon after this Blasius (1888 in Riley 1997) stated that other collectors did not find it. This raises the question of whether Meyer’s identifications or notes could have been erroneous, and whether the species has ever been reliably recorded on the Talaud Islands.

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

Population [top]

Population: Any remaining extant population is likely to be extremely small, probably numbering far fewer than 250 mature individuals, and precautionarily assumed to form a single subpopulation.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Poorly known, but assumed to be or have been similar to C. fallax hence is likely to favour the interior of lowland primary forest and may tolerate some degree of degradation (Fry and Fry 1999, del Hoyo et al. 2001). Elevation range is reported as being from sea level up to 1,000 m (Fry and Fry 1999). 

Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Natural forest on Sangihe has been almost completely converted to agriculture. 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).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation and research actions underway
No targeted conservation actions are known for this species.

Conservation and research actions proposed
Conduct further surveys for the species in remaining forest patches on the island, and also in potentially suitable wooded wetland areas in plantations and gardens. If the species is located, attempt to immediately protect sites where it occurs.

Citation: BirdLife International 2014. Ceyx sangirensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 02 September 2015.
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