The family Vangidae comprises a group of often shrike-like medium-sized birds distributed from Asia to Africa, including the vangas of Madagascar to which the family owes its name. Many species in this family were previously classified elsewhere in other families. Recent molecular techniques made it possible to assign these species to Vangidae, thereby solving several taxonomic enigmas.
All vangas are endemic to Madagascar apart from the blue vanga, which also occurs in the Comoros on Mohéli island and, at least formerly, on Grande Comore. They are found throughout Madagascar, in a variety of forest and scrub habitats. Several species including Van Dam's vanga and sickle-billed vanga can be found in the dry deciduous forests in the west of the island. Some such as Crossley's babbler, helmet vanga and Bernier's vanga are restricted to rainforest in the east of the island. Lafresnaye's vanga and the recently discovered red-shouldered vanga occur in subarid thorn scrub in the south-west.