Conservation Actions Underway
Despite its status as a Critically Endangered species, this species has received little conservation attention, principally owed to its previous treatment as a subspecies of the more widespread C. whitei. More recently, a project in Yogykarta employed ex-poachers to farm coffee, with the present species able to persist and breed in shade-grown coffee plantations. Farmers who successfully found nests were financially rewarded and the monitoring of nests was compensated for (see Taufiqurrahman et al. 2019).
Conservation Actions Proposed
There is an urgent need to quantify the population size and identify sites the species is still present. Sites where the species is found need to be protected and, where possible, birds to be monitored. Include in legislation to make the trade in this species illegal. Consider a reintroduction project.
The species is endemic to Java, Indonesia, where two rather weakly defined subspecies are recognised: C. b. banyumas in Central and East Java, and C. b. ligus in West Java.
The population has not been quantified, but may now be small. Although formerly described as one of the commonest flycatchers on the island (MacKinnon 1988), its population appears to have been greatly reduced and it is now very difficult to find in the wild (F. Rheindt in litt. 2020, J. Eaton in litt. 2022). During the 'Big Month' citizen science event, conducted in January 2020, wherein 22,054 checklists were generated, it was recorded just three times in two squares (2 x 2 km) (Squires et al. 2021).
Historically, this species was impacted by habitat loss and fragmentation, although remote sensing data (Global Forest Watch 2022) indicate that over the past three generations this has been minimal, and forest cover on Java may have actually increased. More recently, capture for the songbird trade has been the principal threat for this species (Eaton et al. 2015) and is thought to have driven extremely rapid declines in the wild population.
IUCN Red List Account Link
Javan Blue-flycatcher (Cyornis banyumas) @Hita - The Biodiversity Society (the image shows a female at the nest).