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Lompobattang Flycatcher Ficedula bonthaina



Justification

Justification of Red List Category
This flycatcher has a very small range and population, which are suspected to be declining very rapidly as a direct result of extensive habitat loss. All remaining individuals are thought to be confined to one population. It is therefore listed as Endangered.

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 2,500-9,999 mature individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. This estimate is equivalent to 3,750-14,999 individuals in total, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals (Alstrom in litt. 2000).

Trend justification
Very rapid population declines are suspected to be on-going within this species's small range, as a result of rapid habitat clearance and degradation.

Distribution and population

Ficedula bonthaina is only known from the Lompobatang massif at the southern tip of Sulawesi, Indonesia. Although only known historically from two localities, it was evidently common until at least the 1930s, when a large series of specimens was collected. Reports since then include; in 1995 of two birds (possibly a pair) and in 2004, when two or three birds were observed in a brief visit to forest above Malino (Eaton, J. in litt. 2007), where there are now several more records (J. van Steenis in litt. 2012, R. Hutchinson per J. Eaton in litt. 2016). The paucity of observations suggests that it may now occur only at low densities, and considering the severe loss of habitat within its restricted range, it must have undergone a dramatic decline. However, some of the better remaining forests are on rugged terrain and are unlikely to be accessed soon, so the species could persist there (K. D. Bishop in litt. 2012).

Ecology

It inhabits tropical lower and upper montane rainforest above 1,100 m. Recent observations were made in the dense, heavily shaded understorey (below c.4.5 m) of disturbed forest dominated by saplings and Pandanus palms, with a discontinuous canopy caused by tree-falls. It apparently avoids adjacent forest with a more open understorey. It is not known whether the species is subject to any altitudinal movements, but this could be crucial to its survival prospects.

Threats

The environs of the Lompobatang massif are one of the most densely populated areas of Sulawesi and all forest below 1,000-1,500 m, and locally up to 1,700 m, has disappeared as a result of land clearance for transmigration settlements, commercial logging and both shifting and plantation agriculture. Remaining forest continues to be threatened by human activities.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
None is known. However, 200 km2 of protection forest on Gunung Lompobatang (which is heavily disturbed below 1,000-1,700 m, but rises to 3,000 m) has been proposed for establishment as a nature reserve.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct extensive surveys in the Lompobatang massif to identify all remaining forest tracts supporting populations. Establish a strict protected area to encompass as much remaining forest on the massif as possible. Promote effective enforcement of protected-area regulations to minimise alternative land-use development and control further exploitation of the area. Initiate local directives for forest protection and promote a widespread education programme highlighting the importance of the Lompobatang massif as the major water catchment area supplying the large cities of Ujung Pandang and Maros.

Identification

10-11 cm. Tiny, drab, unobtrusive flycatcher. Male olive-brown above with deep chestnut uppertail-coverts and tail. Large orange spot above lores. Orange-buff throat and upper breast. Lower breast to vent white with grey brown flanks. Female has paler throat and breast. Similar spp. Female Snowy-browed Flycatcher F. hyperythra has paler throat and duller brown tail. Female Rufous-throated Flycatcher F. rufigula has much duller tail and lacks rufous supraloral spot. Female Mangrove Blue-flycatcher Cyornis rufigastra is larger, lacking white belly and rufous on tail.

Acknowledgements

Text account compilers
Westrip, J., Gilroy, J., Benstead, P., Derhé, M.

Contributors
Hutchinson, R., van Steenis, J., Eaton, J., Bishop, K.


Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Species factsheet: Ficedula bonthaina. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 12/11/2019. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2019) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 12/11/2019.