Moluccan Goshawk Accipiter henicogrammus


Justification of Red List Category
This species is assessed as Near Threatened on the basis that its small and restricted population is undergoing a suspected decline over a three-generation period, primarily owed to habitat degradation.

Population justification
A survey of Aketajawe Lolobata National Park in 2012 resulted in a population estimate of 2,900 individuals (Bashari 2012) for an area totalling 1,673 km2, roughly equating to 1.7 individuals/km2. Assuming 10% of the overall area of mapped range is suitable habitat for the species, this indicates an approximate total population of 3,100 individuals, roughly equating to 2,100 mature individuals. To account for uncertainty, population size is placed here in the band of 2,500-9,999 individuals, roughly converted to 1,500-7,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
The population was suspected to be in decline owing to on-going habitat destruction (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). Vetter (2009) used remote sensing techniques to track the rate and spatial pattern of forest loss in the North Maluku Endemic Bird Area between 1990 and 2003, and projected rates of deforestation over three generations for restricted range bird species found in this region. This study estimated the rate of forest loss within the geographic and elevation range of the species to be c.20% between 1990 and 2003, and projected the loss of c.36% of forest in its range over three generations. However, it may be tolerant of some habitat modification, and is found at higher elevations, where forest is expected to be comparatively more secure, perhaps buffering its population against the impacts of projected forest loss throughout its geographic range.  Recent studies have further shown that projected forest loss may have been overestimated, with past rates to have been negligible at approximately 4-7% (Tracewski et al. 2016, Global Forest Watch 2020) over a three-generation period (15.3 years; see Bird et al. 2020). Assuming forest loss has continued at the same rate, it is suspected that the population may therefore be undergoing only a slow decline. However, the species may be affected by additional factors in the future, such as forest fires, accelerating declines over forest loss alone. Nevertheless, rates of decline are unlikely to have exceeded 10% and is suspected to continue at similar rates in the future.

Distribution and population

Accipiter henicogrammus is found on the islands of North Maluku, Halmahera, and Ternate, Indonesia (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001, eBird 2020). The species was also thought to occur on the islands of Morotai and Bacan, but its presence is now likely absent. It is apparently uncommon but on account of its unobtrusive nature, it may be commoner than previously considered (Clark et al. 2020).


The species inhabits hill and mountain forest and forest edge from sea-level to 1,300 m, mostly above 200 m (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). Occasionally the species is encountered in secondary or degraded forest (H. Bashari in litt. 2016), but during a survey of Aketajawe Lolobata National Park all records were from primary forest (Bashari 2012). It feeds of reptiles (such as small lizards), small birds, small mammals, and insects (Clark et al. 2020).


The primary threat to the species is habitat loss through commercial logging for timber, and clearance for shifting agriculture, mining, settlements and plantations of coconut, clove, nutmeg and timber species (Vetter 2009, Hanom Bashari in litt. 2016). North Maluku province is undergoing a phase of rapid development which is the driver for the current rate of conversion of forest to agriculture within the range of the species (Burung Indonesia in litt. 2014). Forest loss rates are however now considered to be negligible (Tracewski et al. 2016, Global Forest Watch 2020). However, wildfires continue increase in frequency, which have devastated areas on other Indonesian islands, with the chances of such fires being increased by the conversion of forest to scrub and grassland and the opening up of forests for road construction, as well as selective logging and fragmentation (Vetter 2009).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. There are no targeted conservation actions known for this species, although it occurs in Aketajawe Lolobata National Park (Bashari 2012).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Assess the species's population size. Conduct regular surveys to monitor the population trend. Track rates of habitat loss through regular studies of satellite images. Increase the area of suitable habitat with protected status.


37-48 cm. Medium-large Accipiter adapted to forest habitats with notably short wings and long tail. A dark grey hawk which appears mostly unmarked above but with dense reddish barring underneath from the top of the breast to the vent. The long legs are somewhat skinny.


Text account compilers
Martin, R., Fernando, E.

Bashari, B., Burung Indonesia, Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Harding, M. & Taylor, J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Species factsheet: Accipiter henicogrammus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/10/2021. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2021) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/10/2021.