Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Accipitriformes Accipitridae

Scientific Name: Accipiter henstii
Species Authority: (Schlegel, 1873)
Common Name(s):
English Henst's Goshawk
French Autour de Henst
Spanish Azor Malgache
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 large forest accipiter. Even dark grey-brown above, with slight pale supercilium and pale, heavily-barred underparts, long yellow legs and long tail. Young birds are paler brown above, often with paler feather-bases showing, and are streaked brownish underneath. Similar spp. Very similar to Madagascar Serpent Eagle Eutriorchis astur, though the adult lacks that species' overall brownish coloration and dark bars in tertials, mantle and crown-feathers. Young birds are easily distinguished by having streaks, not bars, on the underparts. Flight is generally more direct and rapid than Madagascar Serpent Eagle. Almost identical in plumage to Madagascar Sparrowhawk Accipiter madagascariensis, but much larger; differs in having throat barred and streaked, forming a chequered pattern, and in usually having bars on the undertail-coverts. Hints Often seen flying over the forest canopy calling, a loud, rapid, rather cracked "ang-ang-ang-ang-ang-ang...". Otherwise, sometimes seen briefly while chasing birds in the sub-canopy or in clearings.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Taylor, J. & Butchart, S.
Contributor(s): Hawkins, F. & Robertson, P.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Evans, M., O'Brien, A., Robertson, P., Starkey, M., Symes, A., Taylor, J.
This species may have a very small population, which is threatened by deforestation. It is therefore listed as Near Threatened. If the population was found to be in decline, it might qualify for a higher threat category.

Previously published Red List assessments:
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:Accipiter henstii is a forest raptor sparsely distributed throughout most of Madagascar but absent from the south-west (Langrand 1990). It is rare throughout its range (Langrand 1990; Morris and Hawkins 1998), but appears to be present in almost all adequately large forest blocks that have been surveyed (ZICOMA 1999).

Countries occurrence:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:503000
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):1800
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The population is estimated at 1,000-3,000 individuals, roughly equivalent to 670-2,000 mature individuals.

Trend Justification:  The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing deforestation.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:670-2000Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It occurs in primary forest, both dry deciduous and humid evergreen, and in some secondary woodlands and large Eucalyptus plantations, not always near primary forest, up to 1,800 m (del Hoyo et al. 1994). It hunts below the canopy for birds and small mammals, probably including some lemurs (Langrand 1990; Morris and Hawkins 1998). Egg-laying takes place in October-November, and the nest is large and constructed from sticks in the main fork of large trees, including those in Eucalyptus plantations (del Hoyo et al. 1994).

Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):7.2
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The species is considered vulnerable to deforestation (del Hoyo et al. 1994).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys to establish an up-to-date estimate of its population and range. Study the species's ecology. Monitor rates of deforestation across its range. Secure habitat through protected area status.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.5. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability: Suitable season: resident major importance:Yes
1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability: Suitable season: resident major importance:Yes
1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
suitability: Suitable season: resident major importance:No
2. Savanna -> 2.1. Savanna - Dry
suitability: Suitable season: resident major importance:No
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.3. Artificial/Terrestrial - Plantations
suitability: Suitable season: resident major importance:No
1. Land/water protection -> 1.2. Resource & habitat protection

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Action Recovery plan:No
  Systematic monitoring scheme:No
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
  Invasive species control or prevention:No
In-Place Species Management
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:No
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:No
In-Place Education
  Subject to recent education and awareness programmes:No
  Included in international legislation:No
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.2. Small-holder farming
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Majority (50-90%) ♦ severity: Slow, Significant Declines  
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.4. Unintentional effects: (large scale)
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Minority (<50%) ♦ severity: Slow, Significant Declines  
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
3. Monitoring -> 3.4. Habitat trends

♦  Pets/display animals, horticulture
 International : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. 1994. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 2: New World Vultures to Guineafowl. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

IUCN. 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2012.1). Available at: (Accessed: 19 June 2012).

Langrand, O. 1990. Guide to the birds of Madagascar. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.

Morris, P.; Hawkins, F. 1998. Birds of Madagascar: a photographic guide. Pica Press, Robertsbridge, UK.

ZICOMA. 1999. Zones d'Importance pour la Conservation des Oiseaux a Madagascar.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2012. Accipiter henstii. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22695678A37905932. . Downloaded on 04 October 2015.
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