Zappey's Flycatcher Cyanoptila cumatilis


Justification of Red List Category
This is a poorly known species that is rarely recorded and is thought to have at least a moderately small population size, which is likely declining as a result of habitat loss. Therefore, it is listed as Near Threatened, and any further information regarding its population size may led to its uplisting in the future.

Population justification
Based on an assessment of known records, its suspected range size and using population density estimates of closely related species and an assumption that only a proportion of its range is occupied, the population size is still likely >10,000 mature individuals. It is placed here in the range of 10,000-19,999 mature individuals.

Trend justification
The species is inferred to be declining as a result of habitat loss.

Distribution and population

Cyanoptila cumatilis is only known from a few localities (Leader and Carey 2012) and its distribution remains uncertain, in particular its non-breeding distribution. Leader and Carey (2012) suggest that it could breed in the area that roughly corresponds to the Shanxi Mountains Endemic Bird Area, China (see BirdLife International 2016), although the species has not been actually recorded in Shanxi (Leader and Carey 2012).


The species is believed to inhabit lowland to submontane forest during the breeding season (Clement 2016). Its non-breeding range is uncertain.


Much of the forest in the potential range of this species has been cleared which may mean that breeding populations are now fragmented, and forest clearance is continuing, though possibly not at the same extent as historically (see Hansen et al. 2013).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
The Shanxi Mountains EBA contains several protected areas (see BirdLife International 2016).
Conservation Actions Proposed
Try to decipher its non-breeding range. Conduct surveys to better estimate its population size and trends.


Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J. & Westrip, J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Cyanoptila cumatilis. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/05/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/05/2022.