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Semi-collared Flycatcher

Ficedula semitorquata


The population of Semi-collared Flycatcher faces a moderate decline during 2003-2016. Moreover - the shrinking of the distribution range takes place in the areas, which are being intensively urbanized. The main threat for this sensitive species remains forestry management, which is still oriented more on the short-term benefits from timber production, rather than long-term sustainable approach based on use of the forest as an ecosystem. Another threat comes from continuous urbanization of the forests of Dilijan National Park, which are considered as one of the biggest resorts in the country. The logging of the forest for fuel-wood by local communities also has some impact on the population of the species, especially because the hollow trees (which are very important for the Flycatcher) are allocated for such purposes. And eventually, periodical spreading of the pesticides over the forest for so-called pest control, causes decline of the food supply for the species. 


The Semi-collared Flycatcher lives in open forest, mostly montane, preferring oak (Quercus) and beech (Fagus) or oak and hornbeam (Carpinus) forests; it inhabits old deciduous forest and sometimes, at higher elevations, is found among firs (Abies). The species beeds at up to 2000 m on mountain slopes.


Frequents tree canopy, sometimes bushes, making frequent sallies to catch flying insects; less often, takes prey directly from leaves or branches, sometimes while hovering. Forages less on ground than does F. hypoleuca



The clutch can consist on 4–7 eggs, but usually makes 5–6, laid at daily intervals; incubation is implemented by female during 13–14 days; chicks are fed by both sexes during the nestling period, which makes 14–17 days; 


Up to now there is no information available on duration of dependency of fledglings.


Its food mainly consists on flying insects, including mayflies (Ephemeroptera), stoneflies (Plecoptera), bugs (Hemiptera), larval lepidopterans, adult caddis flies (Trichoptera), adult dipterans, hymenopterans (including ants), beetles (Coleoptera); also sometimes spiders (Araneae) and snails (Gastropoda).


The species breeds from mid-April to mid-July in Caucasus. It is typically monogamous; indications of poly-territoriality provide evidence for polygyny, but extent of this is unknown. Solitary, nearest-neighbor distance calculated at 70 m, and in Caucasus pairs nest 50–150 m apart (closer when nestboxes available). Nest is built by female during  5–16 days, and is a cup of dead leaves, dead plant stems, lichens and moss, lined with fine rootlets, grasses or bark fibre, sometimes hair, feathers or plant down. It is placed 2·5–12 m above ground in hole in tree, mostly in shaded site in dead branch or trunk, commonly in old hole of woodpeckers; small territory of up to 20-m radius around nest-hole is defended. 


Migratory. Non-breeding quarters in Eastern and Central Africa, in Southern Sudan, Eastern Congo, South Western Uganda, Western Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, and Western Tanzania; movements poorly documented owing to confusion with close congeners. 


The species is distributed in Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey and from Caucasus and Transcaucasus south to Northern and North-western Iran.


In IUCN Red List the species was considered as Near Threatened until 2015, however the last assessment of its conservation status resulted to its change into Least Concern. Despite on that it continues being threatened at the national level. The species is included in Red Book of Animals of Armenia (2010) as DD and in Annex II of the Bern Convention. At current some populations of the species are covered by Zangezur Biosphere Complex and Dilijan National Park, however huge areas of its distribution remain under management of forestry enterprises. Recently, some parts of its breeding range were included in the Emerald Network, protected under Bern Convention.
The proposed conservation measures include: (1) reassessment of its conservation status in the Armenian Red List; (2) improvement of the forestry management practices; (3) development of management plans for the Emerald Sites for improved protection of the species' populations; (4) applying the environmental assessment procedures for each construction project in Dilijan National Park; (5) development of the concept of non-timber forest production for forestry enterprises as an alternative income; (6) development of the nature based tourism in the forests as an additional income source for local rural communities. 

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