Key bird species of Marojejy Strict Nature Reserve, Madagascar
Evans MI., Duckworth JW., Hawkins AFA., Safford RJ., Sheldon BC., Wilkinson RJ.
From mid-August to late October 1988, Marojejy Strict Nature Reserve, in the northern part of Madagascar's rainforest, was surveyed for birds. The reserve extends from 75 to 2,133 m altitude and the 60,150 ha comprise an almost intact series of altitudinal forest zones. Observations were made in all forest zones and at all altitudes of the reserve and the total of 104 species found included almost all Madagascan rainforest birds, making Marojejy one of the most important sites for bird conservation in Madagascar. The status of the eight threatened, 10 near-threatened and two restricted-range species observed is detailed here, together with notes on their ecology and behaviour. Finds of major conservation interest included the first documented sighting of Madagascar Serpent-eagle Eutriorchis astur since 1930, a healthy population of Henst's Goshawk Accipiter henstü, all four rainforest ground-rollers Brachypteracüdae and a new population of Yellow-bellied Sunbird-asity Neodrepanis hypoxantha. Furthermore, the patchy distribution of Helmetbird Euryceros prevostü urges reconsideration of its current assessment as not at risk. Four threatened species (Rufous-headed Ground-roller Atelornis crossleyi, Yellow-bellied Sun-bird-asity, Grey-crowned Greenbul Phyllastrephus cinereiceps and Madagascar Yellowbrow Crossleyia xanthophrys) were found only in the upper montane forests; this apparent altitudinal preference for three of these species had not been suggested before this survey. The major threat to the birds of Marojejy is the ceaseless piecemeal clearance of the reserve's forest, which is proceeding inwards from the boundary. © 1992, Birdlife International. All rights reserved.