Mayotte Drongo

Dicrurus waldenii

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Ken Behrens

The Mayotte drongo is a long tailed bird endemic to the island of Mayotte. Their diet consists of a wide range of insects but it shows a preference for Cicada's that also inhabit the island. Classified as vunerable the species numbers around 5,000 individuals, although that number is thought to be decreasing. Expanding agricultural land and the destruction of natural evergreen forests are the leading causes of decline for the species.

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Distribution:

Found only on Mayotte, the species is sparsly distributed across the island which forms part of the Comoro island group near Madagascar. It is mostly found at low altiudes and in the Sohoa forest, but has ben found within mangrove forests that have been planted on the island.

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Habitat:

The Mayotte Drongo lives in evergreen forests in the North of the islands. In particular it lives around Mount Hachiroungou, Benara and Sohoa Forests. It can also be found in the planted mangrove forests on the Western edge of the island.

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Diet:

Almost half of its diet consists of the abundant Cicada population, with other local insect species making up the rest. Due to the islands relative isolation and the endemic nature of the species, it is likely that it has evolved to prey upon a specific species present on the island to benefit its survival.

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Threats:

Deforestation and habitat loss are the most significant threats to the Mayotte Drongo. The human population on the island is growing and so is the need for food cultivation. This has fuelled expansion of artifical mangroves at the expense of natural forests. Additionally the introduction of new nest predators like cats and rodents is further reducing the population numbers.

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Conservation status:

Classified as Vunerable to extinction the Mayotte drongo is in a steady decline. While some conservation actions have already slowed this decline and helped protect the species, there is significant evidence further declines will happen. It is estimated that as few as 2,500 individuals remain on the island.