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Like the famous Galapagos finches, the Madagascan vangas descended from a single species that radiated into numerous diverse forms once it colonized the island. Van Dam's Vanga is restricted to the lowland deciduous scrub forests of the Madagascar's northwest, where it uses its large, flattened bill to pry into loose bark and other places where invertebrate prey could be hiding. Because it habitually forages on old, dead trees, it is probably dependent on primary forest. Such habitat is rapidly being lost to clearing for agriculture, lumber and charcoal production. Van Dam's Vanga is listed by the IUCN as endangered.