Biak Coucal Centropus chalybeus


Justification of Red List Category
This species has a moderately small range, confined to two small islands, and is suspected to have a moderately small population as a result. Habitat is declining in extent and quality within this area and population declines are likely; thus, the species qualifies as Near Threatened.

Population justification
Owing to its restricted distribution on just two small islands the species is thought to have a moderately small population, estimated at 10,000-19,999 individuals. This roughly equates to 6,667-13,333 mature individuals, rounded here to 6,000-15,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in decline owing to on-going habitat destruction and unsustainable levels of hunting.

Distribution and population

Centropus chalybeus is endemic to the twin islands of Biak-Supiori, off Papua (formerly Irian Jaya), Indonesia (Mayr and Meyer de Schauensee 1939, Beehler et al. 1986). Recent observations indicate that it is probably not uncommon in forest and secondary forest, and probably more common on Supiori (Bishop 1982, Gibbs 1993, Eastwood 1996b, B. Beehler and S. van Balen in litt. 2000, K. D. Bishop in litt. 2000, M. Van Beirs in litt. 2000), where there appears to be large areas of forest remaining in the interior (Bishop 1982, K. D. Bishop in litt. 1996, D. Holmes in litt. 2000). It is thought to be widespread, relatively common and tolerant of moderately degraded forest. However, there is very little recent information on the species and especially the status of forest on Biak-Supiori, and further research may show that this species is declining rapidly.


It is an elusive resident of primary and secondary forest where it is more often heard than seen. It feeds on the ground where it hops and takes short flights.


On Biak, forest is under heavy threat from logging and subsistence farming.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
It occurs in the 110 km2 Biak-Utara protected area (B. Beehler and S. van Balen in litt. 2000).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Calculate the area of remaining forest on Biak and Supiori. Estimate rates of decline based on rates of deforestation. Protect areas of remaining forest within its range.


Text account compilers
Bird, J., O'Brien, A., Taylor, J.

Beehler, B., Bishop, K., van Beirs, M., Holmes, D., van Balen, B.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Centropus chalybeus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/05/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/05/2022.