Santo Thicketbird Megalurulus whitneyi


Justification of Red List Category
Despite having a small range this species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable and so it does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as probably locally relatively common but its status is difficult to determine because of its shy and retiring nature (del Hoyo et al. 2006).

Trend justification
The species is suspected to be stable as there is no evidence of any decline (G. Dutson in litt. 2016).

Distribution and population

Megalurulus whitneyi is endemic to the mountains of Espiritu Santo in Vanuatu. On Santo, it is usually found at 500-1,500 m but occasionally down to 150 m. Although there are few records of this shy species, it appears to be fairly common (Medway and Marshall 1975, Bregulla 1992, G. Dutson pers. obs. 1997-1998, Dutson 2011).


It occurs in upper montane forest with dense undergrowth at 500-1,550 m, rarely down to 160 m in wet forest on Santo (Dutson 2011).


As a terrestrial species, it may be threatened by feral cats (Dutson 2011), but there have been no observed declines (G. Dutson in litt. 2016).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
None is known.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Protect high-altitude forest on Santo. Research the effects of introduced predators on nest success.


Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Derhé, M., Dutson, G., Mahood, S. & Westrip, J.

Dutson, G.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Species factsheet: Megalurulus whitneyi. Downloaded from on 21/09/2019. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2019) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 21/09/2019.