Southern Hylocitrea Hylocitrea bonthaina


Justification of Red List Category
This newly-recognised species has a very small range and population, suspected to be declining very rapidly as a result of extensive habitat loss. Due to this it is evaluated as Endangered.

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 2,500-9,999 mature 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. There is thought to be a single subpopulation.

Trend justification
Very rapid population declines are suspected to be on-going within this species's small range, as a result of rapid habitat clearance and degradation.

Distribution and population

H. bonthaina is restricted to the slopes of Gunung Lompobattang in the far south of the south western 'leg' of Sulawesi, Indonesia. There appear to be very few modern observations, though one was observed by a bird tour group in July 2016 (M. Nelson in litt. 2016). This is despite a considerable increase in the number of observers seeing the similarly restricted Lompobattang Flycatcher Ficedula bonthaina in locations that should be suitable for both species. Montane forest is becoming highly fragmented around Gunung Lompobattang due to selective logging and clearance for plantations, livestock grazing and encroachment by settlement and cultivation. Severe loss of habitat below 1,500 m within this range is considered to have reduced the area of suitable habitat available to the species (BirdLife International 2001).


Inhabits dense primary montane forest above 1,200 m, although thought now to only occur above 1,500 m due to loss of suitable habitat below this elevation (BirdLife International 2001). Seems to be found particularly in moss forest and may, as noted for H. bonensis, be more frequent at higher elevations.


The environs of the Lompobatang massif are one of the most densely populated areas of Sulawesi and all forest below 1,000-1,500 m, and locally up to 1,700 m, has disappeared as a result of land clearance for transmigration settlements, commercial logging and both shifting and plantation agriculture. Remaining forest continues to be threatened by human activities.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
None is known. However, 200 km2 of protection forest on Gunung Lompobatang (which is heavily disturbed below 1,000-1,700 m, but rises to 3,000 m) has been proposed for establishment as a nature reserve.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct extensive surveys in the Lompobatang massif to identify all remaining forest tracts supporting populations. Establish a strict protected area to encompass as much remaining forest on the massif as possible. Promote effective enforcement of protected-area regulations to minimise alternative land-use development and control further exploitation of the area. Initiate local directives for forest protection and promote a widespread education programme highlighting the importance of the Lompobatang massif as the major water catchment area supplying the large cities of Ujung Pandang and Maros.


14-15 cm. Brighter than Northern Hylocitrea with a strong yellow wash to the flanks, though the overall impression remains a dusky brownish-grey rather nondescript and slightly baffling passerine. The head, particularly the diffuse supercilium is greenish rather than brown, and in the female the throat is white, not cinnamon-buff.  


Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Martin, R & Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Species factsheet: Hylocitrea bonthaina. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/10/2019. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2019) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/10/2019.