Justification of Red List Category
This recently split species has been classified as Near Threatened owing to concerns that its small population is declining moderately rapidly owing to on-going clearance of forest for shifting agriculture. It is not listed under a higher threat category because there is insufficient information about its sub-population structure.
The population size is preliminarily estimated to fall into the band 2,500-9,999 mature individuals. This equates to 3,750-14,999 individuals in total, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.
The species is suspected to be declining at a slow to moderate rate, owing to logging and habitat degradation resulting from shifting cultivation.
Spenocichla roberti occurs in north-east India from eastern Arunachal Pradesh south to Assam, Nagaland and north Manipur, north Myanmar and adjacent China (western Yunnan). Although it appears to be rare throughout, this impression is at least partly exaggerated because of the infrequency with which its range is visited by ornithologists.
It occurs in evergreen forest with large trees and bamboo on the edge of dense jungle, at 300-2,010 m. It occurs in small parties and feeds on insects, particularly woodlice and boring beetles. It breeds in May-June; its nest is a pad of moss.
While the high altitudes favoured by this species are relatively free from habitat loss, shifting cultivation and logging are nevertheless reducing forest cover, at least in north-east India and north Myanmar.
Conservation Actions Underway
None are known.
Identification. 140-160 cm. Bold white triangular scales on browner upperparts; plain brownish cheek; paler brown above with weaker dark scaling and pale tips; rufescent crown; no supercilium, having just a few pale spots behind the eye. Pale grey tips on mantle and tertials; large bill. Male is darker brown and more heavily scaled overall than female. Juvenile more rufous with weak scaling. Similar species. Sikkim Wedge-billed which is slightly larger and lacks bold white triangular scales. S.roberti has a blunter-tipped bill.
Text account compilers
Taylor, J., Mahood, S.
Anderson, B., Eaton, J., Eames, J.C.
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Stachyris roberti. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 16/07/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 16/07/2020.