Damar Flycatcher Ficedula henrici


Justification of Red List Category
Although this species has been recently found to be not uncommon, it occurs within an extremely small range, where further destruction and fragmentation of its forest habitat may result in a deterioration in its status in future. However, the range is not yet severely fragmented or restricted to few locations. For these reasons, the species is currently classified as Near Threatened.

Population justification
The total population is estimated to lie within the band 20,000-49,9999 individuals, based on recent survey data estimating density and area of occupancy (C. Trainor in litt. 2006).

Trend justification
A slow to moderate and on-going population decline is estimated to be taking place (C. Trainor in litt. 2006).

Distribution and population

Ficedula henrici is endemic to the small island of Damar (total area c.200 km2) in the Banda Sea, eastern Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia, where it is known from 14 specimens collected at three localities in late 1898. The island was recently visited by an ornithologist for the first time since its discovery, and the species was reported to be relatively common and widespread (Trainor 2002, Edwards 2008). Given approximately 150 km2 of suitable habitat, extrapolation of density estimates gives an overall population estimate of 20,000-30,000 individuals (Trainor 2002).


Recent observations indicate that this species is confined to lowland evergreen forest up to at least 400 m, where it frequents the understorey (Trainor 2002, 2007). Although it occasionally used gardens and groves, it is absent in highly modified habitats and apparently intolerant of forest conversion (Trainor 2007). It generally perches within 1 m of the ground while feeding, though will forage on the ground among rocks and leaf litter.


About 70-80% of the island is still covered in semi-evergreen and dry tropical forest. Small-scale logging and clearance for subsistence agriculture occurs at low-levels but is expected to increase in future as human population levels rise (Trainor 2002). Volcanism and earthquakes represents a potential threat on the small island, given its location, and introduced rats may be predating on the native avifauna (Trainor 2007).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
None is known, although a protected area has been proposed on the island.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Evaluate the proposed protected area on Damar in terms of suitability for the protection of this flycatcher, and other threatened species, proposing an alternative area if necessary. Monitor changes in forest cover through remote sensing, in the absence of field visits.


12-13 cm. Small, dark flycatcher. Male predominantly dark slate-blue with blackish face and white supercilium before eye, meeting on forehead. Small white throat patch in some individuals, and flecking on chest. Black bill and legs. Female has olive-brown upperparts, tinged slaty. Buff eye-ring and supercilium before eye. Rusty-buff below, brighter on throat and chest with indistinct olive streaking. Similar spp. Male Shining Flycatcher Piezorhynchus alecto is larger, longer tailed and lacks white. Voice Undocumented.


Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Bird, J., Butchart, S., Davidson, P., Khwaja, N., Tobias, J.

Trainor, C.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Species factsheet: Ficedula henrici. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/10/2021. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2021) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/10/2021.