Grey-crowned Tetraka Xanthomixis cinereiceps


Justification of Red List Category
This species is listed as Near Threatened because it probably has a moderately small population, which is likely to experience a moderately rapid population decline in the next ten years, owing to habitat loss to shifting agriculture. Surveys of the population and close monitoring of threats are required to confirm its status.

Population justification
The population size of this species has not been quantified, but it is described as fairly common in parts of its range.

Trend justification
The species's population is predicted to undergo a moderately rapid decline as rainforest in eastern Madagascar suffers increasing clearance and degradation for shifting agriculture.

Distribution and population

Bernieria cinereiceps is found along the entire length of the eastern rainforest belt in Madagascar, being rare or completely absent below 800 m (ZICOMA 1999). Within its high-altitude habitat it is common (ZICOMA 1999). The species probably has a relatively small population, given its restricted distribution.


This species inhabits primary montane forests, being especially abundant at higher elevations (1,400 m-1,800 m), although it appears to be absent from slightly drier forests in rain-shadow (ZICOMA 1999). It is not found in disturbed forest (del Hoyo et al. 2005). It feeds chiefly in the understorey on small insects gleaned from mossy tree-trunks (Evans et al. 1992), and it may associate with other species (Hawkins and Sartain 2013). Nesting has been recorded in November and juveniles have been seen in November-December (del Hoyo et al. 2005). A record of three adults feeding two chicks at a single nest suggests it is a cooperative breeder. Its nest, in which is lays three eggs, is bowl-shaped and made from moss, lined with dry grass and palm fibres, and situated 1-2 m above the ground on a horizontal fork or small branch (del Hoyo et al. 2005).


Any significant decline or loss of its forest habitat, e.g. through slash-and-burn cultivation by subsistence farmers (ZICOMA 1999), could seriously affect the species.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
The species occurs in a number of national parks and other protected areas, including Marojejy, Mantadia, Ranomafana and Andohohela (del Hoyo et al. 2005).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys to assess the population size. Carry out regular surveys to monitor population trends. Monitor rates of habitat loss and degradation throughout its range. Increase the area of suitable habitat that has protected status.


Feeds in the manner of a woodpecker (Picidae). A small, babbler-like bird of the understorey. A rather slender green-backed bird, with a pale grey crown and ear-coverts, white throat, and yellow underparts. The bill is slim and pale pink with a darker culmen, the legs mid-grey. Similar spp. From other rainforest greenbuls by the combination of grey head and white throat. Differs from Appert's Greenbul P. apperti by yellow rather than peachy underparts and lack of paler supercilium. Hints Often seen climbing moss-covered tree-trunks in montane rainforest. Also gleans from understorey shrubs and rarely forages on the ground. Usually in mixed-species flocks.


Text account compilers
Evans, M., O'Brien, A., Shutes, S., Starkey, M., Symes, A., Taylor, J. & Westrip, J.

Hawkins, F., Langrand, O. & Schulenberg, T.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Xanthomixis cinereiceps. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 18/08/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 18/08/2022.