Friday 24 May
Grey-crowned crocias (Crocias langbianis)
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Grey-crowned crocias fact file
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Grey-crowned crocias description
Re-discovered in 1994, the grey-crowned crocias is a small, slim bird occupying a tiny range in an ecologically fragile region of Vietnam (2) (3). It has a conspicuous grey crown and nape, for which it gets its name, and a distinctive black mask, extending from the bill past the eyes (2) (4). The underparts of the body, from the chin to the belly, are spotless white, except for black streaks on the flanks. Reddish-brown upperparts contrast with the white underneath, but share similar black streaking. The wing feathers are mostly grey, except the primaries which are black with white tips. The tail feathers are also grey, but, as with the primaries, are white towards the tips (2).
- Length: 22 cm (2)
Grey-crowned crocias biology
Owing to its scarcity and highly localised distribution, very little is known about the ecology of the grey-crowned crocias. Most encounters with the species have been of single individuals, pairs or occasionally small groups of up to five, with and without other flocking species. It forages almost exclusively in the outer canopy of broadleaved evergreen trees, with caterpillars being at least an occasional food source, if not a staple (2) (3).Top
Grey-crowned crocias rangeTop
Grey-crowned crocias habitat
This species occurs only in closed-canopy evergreen forests, from altitudes of 900 to 1,700 metres. The most recent observations have been from a narrower altitudinal band, between 910 and 1,130 metres (2) (3).Top
Grey-crowned crocias status
Classified as Endangered (EN) on the IUCN Red List (1).Top
Grey-crowned crocias threats
Prior to its re-discovery in 1994, the grey-crowned crocias had not been seen in over 50 years. Since 1994, it has been observed with increasing frequency, albeit at the same few sites (3). However, given its very small range and the constant threat of habitat loss, this species remains at a very high risk of extinction. Forest degradation caused by logging, clearance of land for agriculture, fuel-wood collection and charcoal production threatens all the known sites for this species. Furthermore, an increase in the size of the human population in the region of the Da Lat plateau, attributable to a governmnet resettlement programme, is putting even further pressure on the remaining forest habitat (2) (3).Top
Grey-crowned crocias conservation
While the only site at which the grey-crowned crocias is relatively common, Chu Yang Sin Nature Reserve, is ostensibly protected, no protection measures actually exist and its boundaries have not been decided. Fortunately, compared with other areas of the Da Lat plateau, the Chu Yang Sin Nature Reserve is under much less pressure from degradation due to its remoteness. Nonetheless, it is still a priority to develop management activities within the reserve, and to ensure the reserve’s effective protection together with other areas of broadleaved evergreen forest on the Da Lat plateau (2) (3).Top
Find out more
For further information on the grey-crowned crocias see:
- BirdLife International:
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- Small feathers concealing the bases of larger flight feathers, usually on the wings or tail.
- A species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.
- The primary feathers in birds, the main flight feathers projecting along the outer edge of the wing.
- Secondary feathers
- In birds, the shorter flight feathers projecting along the inner edge of the wing.
- IUCN Red List (December, 2007)
- BirdLife International (November, 2008)
- BirdLife International. (2001) Threatened Birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, UK.
- Dymond, J.N. (1998) Birds in Vietnam in December 1993 and December 1994. Forktail, 13: 7 - 12.
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