Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

The solitary and secretive little slaty flycatcher spends much of its time hidden amongst dense foliage, and its presence is only detected by its characteristic call (2). It searches in low vegetation in the forest for small invertebrates to eat, and only emerges onto an exposed perch when excited or agitated (2). Information is scarce regarding breeding in this species, but little slaty flycatchers were found in a breeding condition in May and June (2). Only one nest has ever been found; a frail structure, made of roots and lined with leaves, well concealed in forest litter near the ground. Within this nest were two eggs (2) (5).
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Description

This secretive bird belongs to the flycatcher family, a group named for their propensity to make short sallies from a perch to catch flying insects in their bill (3). The little slaty flycatcher has a short tail and a heavy bill surrounded with bristles (2) (3). The male has a slaty-grey head and upperparts, brownish flight feathers, white underparts and a grey wash on the breast and flanks. Females have a rufous-brown head and upperparts, and white underparts washed with rufous on the breast and flanks. The sexes also differ by the fairly prominent whitish spot on the side of the neck of the male (2). Both have dark brown irises, a black bill and pale pink to pinkish-grey legs (2). The little slaty flycatcher skulks in dense vegetation, so it is more easily located by its high pitched three-note call, or its beautiful, warbling song (4).
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Distribution

Range Description

Ficedula basilanica is endemic to the Philippines, where it occurs on Samar, Leyte, Dinagat, Mindanao and Basilan. It is known from numerous widely scattered records within this range and was considered fairly common on Mindanao and Basilan in the early 20th century. It now appears to be rare, with post-1980 records from fewer than 10 localities, all on Mindanao. However, recent mist-net surveys in eastern Mindanao indicate that it may remain patchily frequent in suitable habitat and is probably under-recorded during observational fieldwork. In addition, there have been very few recent ornithological visits to other islands within its range.

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Range

The little slaty flycatcher is endemic to the Philippines. There are two subspecies; F.b. basilanica occurs on the islands of Dinagat, Mindanao and Basilan, whilst F. b. samarensis is found only on Samar and Leyte (2)
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
It inhabits the dense understorey of lowland primary and secondary forest, usually below 900 m but occasionally up to 1,200 m. It tolerates selectively logged forest and also frequents forest on limestone karst. It is unobtrusive, always remaining close to the forest floor.


Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Inhabits the tangled understorey of primary forest and secondary forest, including selectively logged forest, up to elevations of 1,200 meters (2)
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
VU
Vulnerable

Red List Criteria
A2c+3c+4c;C2a(i)

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

Reviewer/s
Butchart, S. & Symes, A.

Contributor/s

Justification
This flycatcher is believed to be undergoing a rapid decline because of widespread lowland forest loss, resulting in a small and severely fragmented remaining population, which qualifies it as Vulnerable (Collar et al. 1999).

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Status

Classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List 2007 (1).
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Population

Population
The population size is preliminarily estimated to fall into the band 2,500-9,999 mature individuals. This equates to 3,750-14,999 individuals in total, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
Its entire range has suffered extensive lowland deforestation. In 1988, forest cover had been reduced to an estimated 29% on Mindanao, most of it above 1,000 m. Most remaining lowland forest is leased to logging concessions or mining applications. In 1989, it was estimated that Samar and Leyte had as little as 433 km2 of old-growth dipterocarp forest remaining. Dinagat has lost virtually all of its lowland forest through illegal logging and chromite surface-mining. On Mindanao, one recent locality, Samal, is due for conversion to a golf course, and forest at Bislig is being cleared under concession and re-planted with exotic trees for paper production.

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The little slaty flycatcher is threatened by the widespread destruction of its forest habitat. The clearance of lowland forest for agriculture, logging, golf courses, and mining in the Philippines, has resulted in the little slaty flycatcher population declining rapidly (2) (5).
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Conservation Actions Underway
It has been recorded recently in Mts Apo and Malindang National Parks. In addition, there are pre-1980 records from the Mt Hilong-hilong Watershed Reserve and the Basilan Natural Biotic Area.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Tape-record its vocalisations and use playback combined with mist-netting to establish its current distribution and population status in remnant lowland forest tracts, particularly in areas from which the species is known historically, including Mt Lobi, (Leyte) and Mts Diwata and Dapiak (Mindanao). Conduct studies to determine its ecological requirements, with specific reference to the level of tolerance of disturbed and secondary habitats. Campaign for the effective protection of important sites and propose further key sites found to support populations for formal protection.

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Conservation

The presence of this vulnerable bird in Mount Apo and Mount Malindang National Parks may afford the little slaty flycatcher some protection (2), but it would greatly benefit from the protection of five further important sites (5). Clarifying its current distribution and population status in the remaining fragments of lowland forest is another proposed measure (5).
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Wikipedia

Little Slaty Flycatcher

The Little Slaty Flycatcher (Ficedula basilanica) is a species of bird in the Muscicapidae family. It is endemic to the Philippines.

Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests. It is threatened by habitat loss.

References[edit]

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