Dusky Scrubfowl Megapodius freycinet


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. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.
Jones, D. N.; Dekker, R. W. R.; Roselaar, C. S. 1995. The Megapodes. Oxford University Press, Oxford, U.K.

IUCN Red list criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - -

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2021 Least Concern
2016 Least Concern
2013 Least Concern
2012 Least Concern
2009 Least Concern
2008 Least Concern
2004 Least Concern
2000 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1994 Not Recognised
1988 Not Recognised
Species attributes

Migratory status not a migrant Forest dependency High
Land mass type Average mass -

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 360,000
Number of locations -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 5000-100000,10000-50000 poor estimated 2009
Population trend Decreasing suspected -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) - - -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 5.36 - - -

Population justification: The global population has been estimated at 10,000-100,000 individuals or, alternatively, under 5,000 birds (Dekker & McGowan 1995). Given the size of the range and observed densities in parts of the range (up to 67 individuals/km2) the population appears unlikely to be at the lower end of these figures. The species is described as common on Halmahera but scarce elsewhere (del Hoyo et al. 1994), but was still common in Manusela National Park in Seram in the late 1980s (Bowler and Taylor 1989). There appear to be very few recent records on Ternate (Kirwan et al. 2020a). Breeding sites are more widespread, the species is possibly tolerant of habitat degradation and is less intensively exploited than Moluccan Scrubfowl (Heij et al. 1997; Kirwan et al. 2020b). However it is still exploited where encountered and this is suspected to be sufficiently intense as to be causing a slow population reduction.

Trend justification: The population is declining owing to hunting pressure, degradation and destruction of suitable habitat and possibly predation by introduced predators (Kirwan et al. 2020a), although there seems little evidence for the latter. However the species is still common in parts of its range, e.g. Halmahera (Kirwan et al. 2020a).

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Indonesia N Extant Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Indonesia Lolobata
Indonesia Morotai
Indonesia Galela
Indonesia Gamkonora
Indonesia Tanah Putih
Indonesia Aketajawe
Indonesia Hutan Bakau Dodaga
Indonesia Labi Labi
Indonesia Gunung Sibela

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Subtropical/Tropical Heavily Degraded Former Forest suitable resident
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Mangrove Vegetation Above High Tide Level major resident
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland suitable resident
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Swamp major resident
Wetlands (inland) Shrub Dominated Wetlands suitable resident
Altitude 0 - 450 m Occasional altitudinal limits (max) 600 m

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops - Agro-industry farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals - Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food - human - - Non-trivial Recent
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - International Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Megapodius freycinet. Downloaded from on 06/07/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 06/07/2022.