Long-tailed Fantail Rhipidura opistherythra


Justification of Red List Category
This species has a very small range, occurring on a limited number of small and isolated islands, and is therefore likely to be susceptible to habitat loss and modification. Slow declines may already be occurring as a result of logging; however, the species's habitat and population are not regarded as being severely fragmented or restricted to a few locations. Consequently this species is considered Near Threatened.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as moderately common in the interior of forests (del Hoyo et al. 2006).

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in decline due to loss and degradation of its habitat, but the trend has not been directly estimated. Tracewski et al. (2016) measured the forest loss within the species’s range between 2000 and 2012 as c. 40 km2. This roughly equates to a rate of forest loss of 2.7% over three generations (14.7 years) for this species. The only threat known to the species is forest clearance. Long-tailed Fantail occurs in primary and secondary forest; thus, it may not be severely affected by deforestation and the rate of decline may be slower than the rate of forest loss.

Distribution and population

Rhipidura opistherythra is restricted to the Banda Sea Islands Endemic Bird Area, Indonesia, where it is found only on the Tanimbar Islands (Yamdena, Larat and Maroe) (BirdLife International 2001). It is moderately common in suitable habitat within this range.


This species occurs in primary and secondary forest, where it is found in the interior and along edges, as well as occasionally in mangroves (Boles 2019).


Significant logging has been reported in southern parts of Yamdena, the largest island in the group.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway

No targeted conservation actions are known for this species, although some of its habitat is protected.

Conservation Actions Proposed

Conduct repeated surveys within the species's range to determine current distribution and abundance, as well as assess population trends and rates of habitat loss. Conduct ecological studies to improve understanding of its precise habitat requirements, tolerance of secondary habitats and response to fragmentation. Effectively protect significant areas of suitable forest at key sites, in both strictly protected areas and community-led multiple use areas.


Text account compilers
Hermes, C., Gilroy, J., Benstead, P., Taylor, J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Species factsheet: Rhipidura opistherythra. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 08/12/2021. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2021) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 08/12/2021.