Chestnut-backed Thrush Geokichla dohertyi


Justification of Red List Category
This species is listed as Near Threatened because there are some indications that its population is fragmented and undergoing a continuing moderately rapid decline owing to trapping. However, little is currently known about the population size and structure of, and threats to, this species. Further information may indicate it is more threatened.

Population justification
Variably common, the species has declined to near (if not total) extinction on Lombok and Sumbawa. The total population is estimated to fall within the band 24,600-47,300 individuals.

Trend justification
The species is assumed to be experiencing a moderately rapid and on-going decline, owing to high trapping pressure for the cage-bird trade and continuing forest loss at lower altitudes within its range.

Distribution and population

Zoothera dohertyi is restricted to three Endemic Bird Areas (Northern Nusa Tenggara, Sumba, and Timor and Wetar) in Indonesia and Timor-Leste. It is considered generally uncommon to rare, only locally common at higher elevations, and is probably already extinct on Lombok and close to extinction on Sumbawa.


It occurs at 400-1,700 m in semi-evergreen, lower montane and montane forest, occurring at highest densities within primary forest. It is usually solitary but may assemble when at a food source. It has been recorded associating with Chestnut-capped Thrush Z. interpres. It is generally less shy and retiring than other Zoothera thrushes in the region. It typically forages on the ground. Juveniles have been recorded from July-September but singing within this period suggests an extended breeding season.


It has been traded in very high volume within Indonesia in recent years because of its voice, and its apparent preference for lower elevation forests on Flores and Sumbawa may render it susceptible to deforestation. Trapping within its range for Chestnut-capped Thrush Z. interpres has been intensive and Z. dohertyi may have suffered bycatch as a result.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
None are known.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Monitor domestic trade in songbirds within Indonesia. Raise awareness about the damaging impacts of trade and promote sustainable practices and alternative livelihoods. Protect areas of lowland forest within the species's range. Enforce restrictions on hunting and logging within such protected areas. Determine its habitat association and generate density estimates to inform a revised population estimate for the species.


Text account compilers
Khwaja, N., Benstead, P., Bird, J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Geokichla dohertyi. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/10/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/10/2020.