Justification of Red List Category
This species has a very large range as assessed using a Minimum Convex Polygon, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (extent of occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). Therefore, this species is now listed as Least Concern.
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as rare and local in Cameroon (del Hoyo et al. 2006).
The species is suspected to be undergoing a decline owing to forest clearance and degradation, however the rate of decline has not been estimated.
Batis minima is found in Gabon where it is known from the provinces of l'Estuaire (western Monts de Cristal), Ogooué-Ivindo (Makokou, Bélinga, Minkébé) and Ngounié (Mbigou) (P. Christy in litt. 1999), Cameroon where it occurs in the lowland Dja area, continental Equatorial Guinea where there are recent records from Monte Alen National Park and Monte Mitra (now included in the Monte Alen National Park) (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1999) and it has recently been discovered in Dzangha-Ndoki National Park in the extreme south of the Central African Republic, representing quite a range extension to the east (P. Christy per F. Dowsett-Lemaire in litt. 2000), and Congo, where it was found north of Zanaga and two pairs were observed over 6 days (H. Rainey in litt. 2016). Its density in Makokou forest is 1.0-1.5 pairs per km2 (Brosset and Erard 1986). The species would appear to be rare, but it may prove to be more widespread in Gabon (it is difficult to locate and has possibly been confused with West African Batis B. occulta) (P. Christy in litt. 1999).
It is found in lowland forested areas mainly below 800 m, but not primary forest except within 500 m of the edge (Brosset and Erard 1986). In north-east Gabon, it favours secondary forest with a dense low understorey and a dense discontinuous canopy, also inhabiting old, uncleared cocoa and coffee plantations where the tree layers are beginning to disappear (Brosset and Erard 1986), and in Congo it was observed in degraded forest by logging tracks (H. Rainey in litt. 2016). It avoids open cultivated land even with scattered trees (Brosset and Erard 1986). It feeds on arthropods, mainly beetles, but also Hymenoptera and spiders (Urban et al. 1997). The species is monogamous and territorial, having been observed to defend a territory of 18-21 ha all year. Egg-laying in Gabon probably takes place in September-February. Young birds may stay with their parents almost until the following breeding season (Urban et al. 1997).
Forest is being cleared within the species's small range. The causes of deforestation are presumed to be encroachment for cultivation and small-scale logging for timber.
Conservation Actions Underway
It occurs in Monte Alen National Park (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1999) and Dzangha-Ndoki National Park (P. Christy per F. Dowsett-Lemaire in litt. 2000), at least. A large block of forest at Minkébé, north of Makokou, has recently been proposed as a protected area (F. Dowsett-Lemaire in litt. 2000), and the species occurs near to a proposed procted area near Zanaga, Congo (H. Rainey in litt. 2016).
Text account compilers
O'Brien, A., Shutes, S., Symes, A., Taylor, J. & Westrip, J.
Alexander-Marrack, P., Christy, P., Dowsett-Lemaire, F. & Rainey, H.
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Batis minima. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/11/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/11/2022.