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New Britain Sparrowhawk
Accipiter brachyurus

Status: Vulnerable

Population Trend: Declining.

Other Names: Bismarck Sparrowhawk

Accipiter brachyurus
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Distribution: Australasian. Endemic to the BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO (New Britain, New Ireland). more....

Subspecies: Monotypic, although Coates (1985) found plumage differences in New Britain birds which, if consistent, may indicate that the population there is a different subspecies.

Taxonomy: Forms a superspecies with A. cirrocephalus, A. erythrauchen, and possibly A. rhodogaster (Ferguson-Lees and Christie (2001). Hartert (1925) commented that brachyurus is a subspecies of "A. rubricollis" (= A. erythruachen) of the Moluccas, but provided no details.

Movements: Non-migratory, but juveniles disperse from breeding areas (Bildstein 2006).

Habitat and Habits: Frequents forest edges and partly cleared areas from sea level up to at least 900 m (Coates 1985).

Food and Feeding Behavior: No information.

Breeding: No information.

Conservation: This species is probably not rare, but it is definitely poorly known (Coates 1985) and recorded from only a handful of localities (Bishop and Jones 2001). It is categorized as Vulnerable by BirdLife International (2008), based on admittedly sparse information and the assumption that it may be declining as the result of forest clearing and degradation for logging and the creation of palm plantations. Bruce Beehler (in litt. to BirdLife International) recently confirmed the presence of this species on New Ireland, where it was the most common raptor in montane forests between 1,200-1,800 m. The BirdLife Fact Sheet account also suggests that this species may be excluded from degraded forest habitats by the Variable Goshawk (A. novaehollandiae) and might also suffer from competition with the Slaty-backed Goshawk (A. luteoschistaceus) in the lowlands.

Important References: 
Beehler, B.M., T.K. Pratt, and D.A. Zimmerman. 1986. Birds of New Guinea.
  Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.
BirdLife International. 2000. Threatened birds of the world. Lynx
  Edicions, Barcelona, Spain, and BirdLife International, Cambridge, UK.
Coates, B.J. 1985. The birds of Papua New Guinea, including the Bismarck
  Archipelago and Bougainville. Vol. I. Non-passerines. Dove Publications,
  Alderley, Queensland, Australia.
Collar, N.J., and P. Andrew. 1988. Birds to watch: the ICBP world
  check-list of threatened birds. International Council for Bird
  Preservation, Cambridge, UK.
Collar, N.J., M.J. Crosby, and A.J. Stattersfield. 1994. Birds to watch 2:
  world list of threatened birds. Birdlife Conservation Series no. 4.
Debus, S.J.S. 1994. New Britain Sparrowhawk. P. 157 in del Hoyo, J., A.
  Elliott, and J. Sargatal (eds). Handbook of birds of the world. Vol. 2. New
  World vultures to guineafowl. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.
Ferguson-Lees, J., and D.A. Christie. 2001. Raptors of the world. Houghton
  Mifflin, Boston, MA.
Mayr, E. 1957. Notes on the birds of northern Melanesia. 4. The genus
  Accipiter. American Museum Novitates no. 1823.
Schodde, R. 1978. The status of endangered Papuasian birds. Pp. 133-145,
  185-206 in M.J. Tyle (ed.), The status of endangered
  Australasian wildlife. Royal Zoological Society of South Australia,
  Adelaide, Australia.
Wattel, J. 1973. Geographical differentiation in the genus Accipiter.
  Nuttall Ornithological Club Publication no. 13.

Sites of Interest:
BirdLife International
Information on current status and recommended conservation actions.

Last modified: 10/19/2012

Recommended Citation: Global Raptor Information Network. 2022. Species account: New Britain Sparrowhawk Accipiter brachyurus. Downloaded from http://www.globalraptors.org on 23 Jan. 2022

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