Seychelles magpie-robin

The Seychelles magpie-robin (Copsychus sechellarum) is a medium-sized endangered bird from the granitic Seychelles in the Indian Ocean.

Seychelles magpie-robin
Copsychus sechellarum -Seychelles-8.jpg
On the Seychelles
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Muscicapidae
Genus: Copsychus
C. sechellarum
Binomial name
Copsychus sechellarum
Newton, 1865[2]

This species of magpie-robin is approximately 25 cm (9.8 in) in length. With a body mass of 65 g (2.3 oz) in females and 76 g (2.7 oz) in males, this species may stand as the largest remnant species in the diverse Muscicapidae with the separation of larger birds such as cochoas to the thrush family.[3] It has a glossy coal-black plumage with a white-colored bar on each wing. It is considered a long-lived species, whose lifespan is over 15 years of age. Its habitat is woodlands, plantations and the vicinity of gardens. Their range on the island of Fregate was limited by the area of open ground with leaf litter.[4]

Historically, it is believed to have existed on most of the granitic Seychelles islands. Destruction of habitat and introduced predators (domestic cats and rats) greatly reduced its numbers. By 1970, it was on the brink of extinction, with only 16 individuals remaining, all on Frégate Island. Over the next two decades it had managed to stave off extinction, but its population in 1990 was still only 21 individuals. In 1990 BirdLife International began preservation efforts to save the Seychelles magpie-robin. Birds were transferred to Cousin in 1994 and to Cousine in 1995.[4] Further transfers followed to Aride Island in 2002 and Denis Island in 2008.

Today, there are established populations of Seychelles magpie-robins on all five islands. As of 2012, the total population was 244-248 birds (Frégate- 115), (Cousin- 38), (Cousine- 31), (Aride- 24), (Denis- 36-40) and the IUCN has downlisted its status from Critically Endangered to Endangered.[1]

It is printed over the latest 25 Seychelles rupee bank notes, a 2016 series of bank notes all about local birds.


  1. ^ a b BirdLife International (2017). "Copsychus sechellarum". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2017: e.T22709978A111061160. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-1.RLTS.T22709978A111061160.en. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
  2. ^ Newton, A. (1865). On an apparently undescribed bird from the Seychelles Islands. Ibis, 1:331-7.
  3. ^ Dunning, John B. Jr., ed. (2008). CRC Handbook of Avian Body Masses (2nd ed.). CRC Press. ISBN 978-1-4200-6444-5.
  4. ^ a b Watson, J ; C. Warman; D. Todd & Victorin Laboudallon (1992) The Seychelles Magpie Robin Copsychus sechellarum: ecology and conservation of an endangered species. Biological Conservation 61:93-106

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