Justification of Red List Category
This newly-split species has a very small range and occurs at fewer than five locations. It is therefore classified as Endangered.
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as common (Morris and Hawkins 1998).
This species is endemic to the Comoros, where it is only found in forest on the islands of Mohéli (where it is common) and (race bensoni) on Grand Comore (Schulenberg 2013). On Grand Comore it is extremely rare and almost unknown , with the only recorded sightings coming in 1974 and 1981; it is considered possibly extinct by some authors (Schulenberg 2013; Yamagishi and Nakamura 2016).
It is found all types of woodland, especially evergreen forest, and coastal scrub, to c. 300 m on Mohéli; on Grand Comoro it is (or was) confined to forest on slopes of Mt Karthala, with the 1981 records at an altitude of 900 m (Yamagishi and Nakamura 2016).
By 1995, intact, dense, humid forest remained on only 5% of Mohéli, owing primarily to conversion for subsistence agriculture, underplanting, clear-felling and cultivation, and abandonment of sparsely vegetated land, which is highly susceptible to erosion and landslides (Safford 2001). Invasive exotic plant species, such as jamrosa Syzygium jambos, Lantana camara and Clidemia hirta, are abundant in the forest and are degrading the native habitat (Safford 2001).
Conservation Actions Underway
No specific actions are known.
Conservation Actions Proposed
Carry out surveys to assess the current population size, and confirm status on Grand Comore. Research the ecology of this species, to aid conservation plans. Create a reserve in the interior of the island to protect suitable habitat (Safford 2001). Develop an environmental education programme to increase local awareness.
Text account compilers
Butchart, S. & Ekstrom, J.
BirdLife International (2017) Species factsheet: Cyanolanius comorensis. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/10/2017. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2017) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/10/2017.