del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.
Red List criteria met
Red List history
IUCN Red list criteria met and history
||not a migrant
|Land mass type
Land-mass type - shelf island
Land-mass type - continent
Population justification: The population size has been previously suggested to fall into the band 10,000-19,999 mature individuals, based on a relatively high population density from related species (10 individuals per square kilometer) and an estimated low occupied proportion of the mapped range. However, there is much uncertainty in this population size. Given that there are so few recent records of the species it appears that the density used may be unrealistically high. There is no direct density estimate, primarily because encounters are so rare, despite considerable ornithological effort in multiple areas of expected occurrence. While it is a very unobtrusive species, whose vocalisations are confusing and have been poorly-known until recently (van Balen & Fischer 2016), this evidence points to occurrence at a very low density or very patchily in the available forest habitat. Noting that it is classified in a monotypic genus, inference from other species may be unwise. In addition, remapping the species's range indicates that the potential area of suitable habitat is smaller than previously judged, and occupancy is still likely to be very low in this newly estimated extent. There remains a relatively large area of potentially occupied habitat on Borneo, but that in Peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra now appears to be small. As such, it is suspected that the current population size could be smaller than that previously estimated, potentially much smaller. As such a new global population estimate is a high research priority for the species.
None have been observed in Peninsular Malaysia for more than a decade (eBird 2021, D. L. Yong in litt. 2021, GBIF.org 2021), despite searches, and here the population is likely to be small or very small. The area of intact forest remaining in 2020 contiguous with forest containing records of the species since 1980 is c. 2,300 km2, based on the remnant intact forest after the application of the plantation layer (Peterson et al. 2016, Harris et al. 2019) and forest cover loss since the production of this layer (data from Global Forest Watch 2021).
There are recent records in the few larger remnants of dense peat-swamp forest on Sumatra (eBird 2021, GBIF.org 2021), but the extent of forest cover loss here has been very rapid. Current apparently suitable forest here has an extent of 11,087 km2, (estimated as above). On the island of Borneo, a similar forest extent assessment results in potentially over 240,000 km2 remaining potentially suitable habitat. However, it is unclear what proportion is actually suitable for the species as it has only been recorded at a handful of widely spaced sites on Borneo, and much of this area may actually be degraded logged forest.
Trend justification: Rates of forest loss in the Sundaic lowlands have been extremely rapid, with total forest cover loss within suitable elevations in the range of the species estimated at 32.9% over the 14 years between 2006-2020 (data from Global Forest Watch 2021). This rate of deforestation is suspected to have driven a rapid population decline in this species, which is expected to continue and may slightly accelerate: average annual rates of forest loss have increased such that projecting the average annual rate for the past five years results in a 34.3% forest cover loss over the next three generations.
Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Melanoperdix niger. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 05/07/2022.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 05/07/2022.