Saturday, August 4, 2012

>Hypsipetes olivaceus (Mauritius Bulbul)

Mauritius Bulbul

Mauritius Bulbul
Conservation status

Vulnerable (IUCN 3.1)
Scientific classification
Species:H. olivaceus
Binomial name
Hypsipetes olivaceus
Jardine & Selby, 1835
Hypsipetes borbonicus olivaceusJardine & Selby, 1835
Ixocincla olivacea (Jardine & Selby), 1835
The Mauritius Bulbul (Hypsipetes olivaceus), also known as Mauritius Black Bulbul, is a songbird endemic to Mauritius. Formerly, it was included in H. borbonicus as subspecies olivaceus.
This songbird species belongs to the bulbul family (Pycnonotidae). It is the type species of the obsolete genus Ixocincla, which united various more or less closely related bulbuls from the entire Indian Ocean region.
It can reach a size up to 24 cm. It is characterized by bright yellow-brown eyes, pink legs, and an orange to yellow hued bill. Its plumage is generally greyish contrasted with a black crest. The plumage of the juveniles is pale brown. Their bill is blackish.

Ecology and status

Its diet consists of insects, seeds, and fruits. Especially the ripe berries of the non-native Spanish Flag (Lantana camara) are favoured. During the southern summer the female lays two pinkish eggs in a nest consisting of straw and roots. The incubation lasts between 14 and 16 days.
In earlier times it was often a dish on festive days. Later on its main threats shifted to replacement of their forest habitat by tea (Camellia sinensis) plantations and invasive weeds(including L. camara, which the birds themselves help to spread) and predation by the introduced Crab-eating Macaque (Macaca fascicularis). In the mid-1970s only 200 pairs remained, but then the decline was stopped. Today it is rare but has a quite stable population; 280 pairs were counted in 1993.

No comments: