Grand Comoro drongo (Dicrurus fuscipennis)

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Grand Comoro drongo at nest feeding chicks
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Grand Comoro drongo fact file

Grand Comoro drongo description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAves
OrderPasseriformes
FamilyDicruridae
GenusDicrurus (1)

The Grand Comoro drongo has a precarious existence living around an active volcano. It is a glossy, black bird with a long, forked tail. Like other drongos, their stout, black bill is arched and slightly hooked (3). The legs are also black. When flying, the underside of the wings reflect light, making it appear as if there are pale patches. Juveniles differ by having matt blackish-brown plumage. The calls of the drongo consist of squeaks and sharp clicks, and a soft wit wit sound (2).

French
Drongo de Grand Comore.
Size
Length: 24 cm (2)
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Grand Comoro drongo biology

The Grand Comoro drongo has been seen searching for food either by themselves or in pairs. Like other drongos, it feeds primarily on large flying insects, by flying out from a branch to snatch them from the air, and then returning to consume it (2) (3). It builds cup-shaped nests in trees, and one such nest has been observed being robbed by a Frances’ goshawk, despite attempts by the parent to scare it off with vicious attacks (4).

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Grand Comoro drongo range

The Grand Comoro drongo occurs only around Mount Karthala, (an active volcano), on Grand Comoro Island, the largest island in the Union of the Comoros, in the Indian Ocean (2).

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Grand Comoro drongo habitat

The Grand Comoro drongo is found at the edges of forests, in forest clearings, and in plantations and fields. It is generally found between elevations of 500 and 900 meters, in areas with a dense bush layer but few tall trees (2).

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Grand Comoro drongo status

The Grand Comoro drongo is classified as Endangered (EN) on the IUCN Red List 2006 (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Endangered

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Grand Comoro drongo threats

Forests on Grand Comoro Island are a highly threatened habitat, due to a very high, and increasing, human population converting the forest for agriculture. Any remaining natural forest is highly fragmented. However, the forests on the slope of Mount Karthala are not very suitable for agriculture and therefore may be spared this fate (5). Introduced species may also pose a threat; rats are known to be abundant within forests on Grand Comoro Island, and may predate the nests of the drongo (2). As the Grand Comoro drongo is found only surrounding an active volcano, a volcanic eruption could potentially have devastating consequences for this bird.

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Grand Comoro drongo conservation

A protected area has been proposed for Mount Karthala but this has not yet been established (5). If such vital forest habitat is not protected there is a high risk of further habitat loss, and possibly the loss of many endemic species, including the Grand Comoro drongo.

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.
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Find out more

For further information on the Grand Comoro drongo see:

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Authentication

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:
arkive@wildscreen.org.uk

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Glossary

Endemic
A species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.
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References

  1. IUCN Red List (January, 2007)
    http://www.iucnredlist.org
  2. Birdlife International (May, 2007)
    http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/species/index.html?action=SpcHTMDetails.asp&sid=6031&m=0
  3. Burnie, D. (2001) Animal. Dorling Kindersley, London.
  4. Forbes-Watson, A.D. (1969) Notes on birds observed in the Comoros on behalf of the Smithsonian Institute. Atoll Research Bulletin, 128: 1 - 23.
  5. World Wildlife Fund (May, 2007)
    http://www.worldwildlife.org/wildworld/profiles/terrestrial/at/at0105_full.html
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Image credit

Grand Comoro drongo at nest feeding chicks  
Grand Comoro drongo at nest feeding chicks

© Jon Hornbuckle

Jon Hornbuckle
jonhornbuckle@yahoo.com

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