NT
Rufous-headed Ground-roller Atelornis crossleyi



Justification

Justification of Red List Category
This species is listed as Near Threatened because it may suffer a moderately rapid population decline during the next ten years, owing to habitat loss for subsistence agriculture combined with a potential increase in hunting pressure. If the rate of any future decline is found to be greater, the species may qualify for uplisting to a higher threat category.

Population justification
The population size of this species has not been quantified. Further research is required.

Trend justification
The species may suffer a moderately rapid population decline during the next ten years, owing to habitat loss for subsistence agriculture combined with a potential increase in hunting pressure.

Distribution and population

Atelornis crossleyi is found in the more humid highland areas of the evergreen forest belt of eastern Madagascar (ZICOMA 1999), from Tsaratanana south to Andohahela. It has a larger population and wider distribution than was once thought (A. F. A. Hawkins in litt. 1995; Morris and Hawkins 1998).

Ecology

It inhabits humid parts of lowland to high-altitude rainforest, occurring from sea-level to 2,000 m, and is at its most common between 1,250 and 1,750 m (del Hoyo et al. 2001). It is predominantly a terrestrial feeder, taking a variety of invertebrates. Breeding may take place in December-January. The nest burrow is 0.3-0.5 m long and is excavated in a sloping earth bank. Its clutch-size has been recorded as two (del Hoyo et al. 2001).

Threats

The species's habitat is threatened by slash-and-burn cultivation (Du Puy and Moat 1996; del Hoyo et al. 2001), although it is not as affected as species that are restricted to lowland forests, which are under the greatest threat (del Hoyo et al. 2001). Increased hunting could seriously impact this species. Blood parasites have not yet been shown to impact the population but this may become a future concern for this species (Savage et al. 2009; Langrand 2013).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
It occurs in at least 12 protected areas (del Hoyo et al. 2001).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys to obtain data on density and thus a total population estimate. Monitor rates of habitat clearance and degradation across its range. Increase the area of suitable habitat that is protected.

Identification

A round-headed thrush-like terrestrial bird. Head and breast orange-red, upperparts including wings green-brown, with an iridescent pale blue patch on carpal joint. A blackish, curved patch on the upper breast is marked with short vertical white streaks. Bill and legs are dark grey. Similar spp. The combination of the reddish head, black throat patch and terrrestrial behaviour make this species difficult to mistake for any other. Hints Moves around on the ground among low dense vegetation in primary montane rainforest, catching small terrestrial invertebrates such as cockroaches and beetles. Sings from a perch 1-3 m up, a rather high-pitched do-op, slightly disyllabic.

Acknowledgements

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

Contributors
Gee, B. & Hawkins, F.


Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Species factsheet: Atelornis crossleyi. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 08/12/2019. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2019) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 08/12/2019.