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Range DescriptionAccipiter imitator is endemic to Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, and Choiseul and Santa Isabel, Solomon Islands. It is rare but may be overlooked because of its unobtrusive forest habits, and it perhaps lacks a distinctive call. It is known from just one specimen from Bougainville and a handful from both Choiseul and Isabel (Schodde 1977). During many weeks of fieldwork on all three islands in the 1980s and 1990s, it was seen only once on Bougainville (Hadden 1981) and there was a series of records from Tirotonga village on Isabel. One specimen was also taken there, but some of the other field records and local reports, including those of all-black individuals, have been queried (Webb 1992, 1995, Debus 1995). A recent visit to the island led Hadden (2008) to suspect that the species may be reasonably common in the forest interior throughout Bourgainville, due to the mist-net capture of two individuals despite very few net hours. This species's similarity to the polymorphic sympatric A. albogularis has led to a number of uncertain records, including birds on the distant island of Makira (Buckingham et al. 1995). Population numbers and trends are difficult to assess from so few recent records, but the species is clearly rare and appears to have declined, on Choiseul at least (K. D. Bishop in litt. 1994, D. Gibbs in litt. 1994, G. Dutson pers. obs. 1998).