Samoan Flycatcher Myiagra albiventris


Justification of Red List Category
This species is classified as Near Threatened because it has a very small range and a small population which is suspected to decline over the next three generations owing to small-scale habitat loss for shifting agriculture.

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 2,500-9,999 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 1,667-6,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 1,500-7,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
Although recent surveys have uncovered evidence of at least a localised recovery of the population in potential Important Bird Areas and in degraded and altered habitats (Schuster 2010, G. Dutson in litt. 2011, M. O'Brien in litt. 2011), following the effects of cyclones in 1990 and 1991, the on-going threat of small-scale habitat loss to shifting agriculture (G. Dutson in litt. 2011) is likely to drive a slow to moderate decline over the next three generations.

Distribution and population

Myiagra albiventris is widespread on Savai`i and `Upolu, Samoa, where it was considered common (Pratt et al. 1987). It underwent a severe decline in the 1990s and became uncommon by the end of the decade (U. Beichle in litt. 2000); however, surveys conducted in 2009 suggest that it has since experienced at least a moderate and localised recovery, with 'healthy' populations of 20-30 birds recorded in potential Important Bird Areas (IBAs) and anecdotal observations of birds along roadsides and near habitation (Schuster 2010). The numbers recently recorded in potential IBAs, however, may not be representative of the species's status overall, owing to the high quality of the habitats at these sites (M. O'Brien in litt. 2011). The species's population size has not been formally estimated, but it is thought to number fewer than 10,000 individuals (G. Dutson in litt. 2011).


This species is an insectivore found alone or in pairs at all elevations (but predominantly in the lowlands, and found to be absent above 1, 200 m on Savai'i [Pratt and Mittermeier 2016]). It prefers shrubby forest with many young trees, and is also reported from cultivated land (U. Beichle in litt. 2000), forest edge and clearings, along roads (Pratt et al. 1987), coastal mangroves (Pratt and Mittermeier 2016) and in the mid-understorey or subcanopy of relatively mature forest (H. Freifeld in litt. 1999, Freifeld et al. in press). It occurs fairly commonly in degraded and altered habitats, including regenerating forest (G. Dutson in litt. 2011) and near human habitation (Schuster 2010). There is thought to be little exchange between the sub-populations on Savai`i and `Upolu (G. Dutson in litt. 2011).


It was apparently affected by the severe cyclones of 1990 and 1991, when canopy cover was reduced from 100% to 27% (Elmqvist et al. 1994), and has only recently shown signs of recovery (Schuster 2010). The main threat is now small-scale deforestation for shifting agriculture (G. Dutson in litt. 2011), but it is also threatened by the reduction of forest quality owing to the invasion of highly aggressive non-native trees, whose spread is aided by hurricanes (H. Freifeld in litt. 1999).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
It has been recorded from the proposed conservation areas at Sataoa-Sa`anapu and Uafato on `Upolu (Beichle 1997a, b).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Monitor population trends. Conduct surveys to update information on density and distribution (U. Beichle in litt. 2000). Identify important sites in native forest (H. Freifeld in litt. 1999). Study the home-range size to determine the size of forest patches needed for long-term viability (H. Freifeld in litt. 1999). Ensure the protection of the proposed conservation areas at Sataoa-Sa'anapu and Uafata.


15 cm. Small flycatcher that usually perches upright in the open. Male glossy blue-black above with white underparts and rufous-chestnut throat and breast. Female similar but slightly paler above with paler and less extensive throat colour. Black bill and feet. Voice Whistled fee-oo-eet and buzzy low-pitched bzerr-it, often alternating.


Text account compilers
Derhé, M., Mahood, S., O'Brien, A., Shutes, S., Stattersfield, A., Taylor, J. & North, A.

Beichle, U., Dutson, G., Freifeld, H. & O'Brien, M.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Myiagra albiventris. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 31/10/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 31/10/2020.