Justification of Red List Category
This flycatcher qualifies as Endangered because it has a very small, declining range that is suffering severe fragmentation as a result of deforestation, particularly in the lowlands. However, the recent discovery of the species at previously unknown sites suggests it may be more widespread than was previously thought.
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. This estimate is equivalent to 3,750-14,999 individuals in total, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.
Habitat destruction is continuing to affect the range of this species, implying that ongoing rapid population declines are likely to be taking place.
Rhinomyias albigularis is endemic to the Western Visayas in the Philippines, where it is known from Negros, Guimaras and Panay. Formerly widespread (though always scarce on Negros), it has been recorded less often in recent years, although still occurs throughout primary forest on Panay and is probably under-recorded in general owing to its secretive habits (E. Curio in litt. 2012). Habitat clearance may already have eliminated some local populations, e.g. at Ban-ban and Mambucal (A. Bucol in litt. 2007). It was last recorded on Guimaras in 1887 and is presumed extinct there.
It inhabits the shady lower storeys of lowland and mid-mountain forest, generally at or below 950 m but occasionally up to perhaps 1,350 m. Although it prefers primary forest, it has been recorded in secondary growth and even in a tree nursery.
The major threat is continuing forest destruction. Chronic deforestation led to its extinction on Guimaras. An estimated 4% of Negros and 8% of Panay remained forested in 1988, most of it above 1,000 m. Remaining lowland forest is likely to shrink further through clearance for shifting cultivation, charcoal production and timber extraction. At Ban-ban (Negros), illegal logging and harvesting of forest products (e.g. tree ferns and rattans) was a major problem in 1991 and forest at the site has now been completely removed (A. Bucol in litt. 2007).
Conservation Actions Underway
On Panay, it occurs in the tiny (0.5 km2) Sampunong Bolo National Park, and two proposed national parks, North-west Panay Peninsula and Central Panay Mts. The latter reportedly contains the largest block of remnant forest in the Western Visayas. On Negros, it has been recorded recently in North Negros Forest Reserve, and also Mt Canlaon Natural Park, although it is thought little suitable habitat remains.
17 cm. Medium-large, drab, unobtrusive flycatcher. Olive-brown head with indistinct buffy supercilium. Rest of upperparts slightly warmer brown becoming chestnut on uppertail-coverts and tail. White throat, isolated from rest of white underparts by broad brownish breast-band. Similar spp. White-vented Whistler Pachycephala homeyeri has uniformly pale underparts, lacking white throat and contrasting breast-band. Voice Series of rapid, rising high-pitched ti-ti-ti-ti-ti-tip notes, and also series of nearly inaudible pharses of 2-5 syllables zeeee-zu-zi-zi or zeeeoo-zi-zu-zi mixed with churring notes. Single high-pitched whistle notes of seee, sometimes repeated, can also be heard. .
Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Derhé, M., Gilroy, J., Khwaja, N.
Brooks, T., Hornbuckle, J., Curio, E., Bucol, A.
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Vauriella albigularis. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 30/09/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 30/09/2020.