Blue Vanga Cyanolanius madagascarinus
Version: 1.0 — Published March 4, 2020
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Conservation and Management
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BirdLife International (4) currently recognizes the Comoros and Madagascar populations as separate species, thus their status is listed separately below.
C. m. madagascarinus. Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Fairly widespread, and common in most of Madagascar, with an estimated density of 20.2 pairs/km² at one site (22), but appears to be generally absent from the southern and southwestern subdesert (although it enters the edge of spiny desert) (12) and is very local on the island’s central plateau (1). Accepts deciduous dry forest, evergreen humid forest, and second growth, but it has been reported to be at least locally sensitive to forest fragmentation. Known from a number of protected areas, among them Berenty Private Reserve (12), Anjanaharibe Special Reserve (15), and Andringitra and Ranomafana National Parks (14).
C. m. comorensis and C. m. bensoni. ENDANGERED. Restricted-range species, endemic to the Comoro Islands Endemic Bird Area (27). Its overall range is believed to be just 2,000 km². Reasons for the absence of Blue Vanga from Anjouan and Mayotte, and its extreme rarity on Grand Comoro, are unknown (28, 7). C. m. comorensis is reasonably common and widespread on Mohéli; nevertheless, by 1995, intact, dense, humid forest covered just 5% of the island, owing primarily to conversion for subsistence agriculture, clear-felling, and cultivation, and abandonment of sparsely vegetated land, which is highly susceptible to erosion and landslides, while invasive exotic plants such as Syzygium jambos, Lantana camara, and Clidemia hirta are abundant, and are degrading the native habitat. On Grand Comoro, C. m. bensoni is extremely rare and almost unknown (1); first definite sighting in June–July 1974 (2), since when only there have been just four additional observations, two in August 1981 (2), and the others in February 2010 and March 2011 (1). This taxon is believed to be possibly extinct by some authors.