Velvet-mantled Drongo Dicrurus modestus


Justification of Red List category
This species has an extremely large range, and hence 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 hence the species 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 it is believed to be large as the species is described as common in at least parts of its range (Hall and Moreau 1970, Roberts 1993, Zimmerman et al. 1996, Borrow and Demey 2001, Stevenson and Fanshawe 2002). The subspecies modestus (previously recognised as a separate species), was considered Near Threatened, although its population size is unknown numbers are assumed to be small.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Distribution and population

Dicrurus modestus occurs in Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, Côte d;'Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria, Bioko Island (Equatorial Guinea), GabonCameroon, Central African Republic east to extreme South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Congo, Angola, The Democratic Republic of the Congo and Príncipe Island, in Gulf of Guinea (São Tomé and Príncipe).


Subspecies modestus is widespread in open and forested habitats, with the exception of primary forest on the central massif, and is commonest in open plantations and in edge habitats (Atkinson et al. 1991, J. Baillie and A. Gascoigne in litt. 2000).


This species could be adversely affected by an increase in the use of pesticides, which would reduce the abundance of its invertebrate prey and might lead to its disappearance from cultivated areas. The number of small farms on Príncipe is increasing as land is privatized, which is in turn leading to a reduction in tree cover. It is not known how this will affect the species.


Text account compilers
Temple, H., Wheatley, H., Derhé, M.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Species factsheet: Dicrurus modestus. Downloaded from on 25/02/2024.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2024) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 25/02/2024.