Justification of Red List Category
This species has been downlisted to Near Threatened because published survey results indicate that it it more widely distributed than previously thought, necessitating an upwards revision of the population estimate, which is now estimated to be moderately small. On-going habitat loss and degradation, as well as hunting pressure, are still thought to be driving a continuing decline in the population.
Brazil (2009) estimated the population density at 2 to 8-10/km2 in different parts of this species's range. A precautionary population estimate of c.2,500-10,000 individuals was derived from this, assuming suspected low densities in large parts of its range and an estimated Area of Occupancy of less than 10% of the known range size (i.e. formerly c.30,000 km2), owing to severe habitat fragmentation. This equates to 1,667-6,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 1,500-7,000 mature individuals. However, the species's known range has since increased markedly, thus it is now placed in the band for 10,000-19,999 mature individuals.
The species is suspected to be declining at a moderate rate, in line with the on-going loss and fragmentation of its habitat and because of hunting pressure.
Arborophila gingica is endemic to south-eastern China, having been recorded in Zhejiang, Fujian, Jiangxi, Guangxi and Guangdong. There have been a limited number of studies of its population size and distribution, but available data reveal considerable variation in population densities in different parts of its range: from 0.31 individuals/km2 in parts of Guangdong and Zhejiang (Zheng Guangmei and Wang Qishan 1998) to 8-10 individuals/km2 at 900-1200 m in Longqishan (Mt. Longqi) at Jiangle in Fujian (He et al. 2007). This variation can partly be explained by altitudinal variation, but also likely differences in habitat and observer effort. It is considered rare in parts of its range, and remaining populations are severely fragmented as most forest cover has been lost, with on-going declines likely; however, it is still locally common in Fujian (He et al. 2007).
Its typical habitats are broadleaf, mixed broadleaf and coniferous forest, bamboo and scrub, probably ranging from 150 m to 1,900 m (He Fen-qi et al. 2007). It is confined to densely forested areas, where it stays on the ground in thick undergrowth during the day, but roosts communally in trees.
This species is threatened mainly as a result of the continuing loss and fragmentation of its habitat, as most forest has been cleared or modified as a result of the demands for agricultural land and timber. Road construction and mining projects also result in habitat loss and fragmentation (Zhou Fang in litt. 2012). Illegal hunting for food and market trading is also a major threat. In addition, it is thought to be negatively affected by disturbance caused through the gathering of non-timber forest products. Increased tourist traffic at nature reserves has also resulted in greater disturbance and necessitated the construction of more infrastructure for visitors (Zhou Fang in litt. 2012).
Conservation Actions Underway
There are many protected areas in or near to its range, but most of these reserves are relatively small and isolated, and it is not clear how many of them contain large enough areas of suitable forest to support viable populations. Furthermore, conservation management is often weak within these protected areas (J. Fellowes in litt. 2007). The large Wuyishan Nature Reserve in Fujian (565 km2) and Jiangxi (160 km2) is likely to be especially important for its long-term survival (Liang Wei in litt. 2004).
25-30 cm. Typical, generally grey-brown, partridge with distinct head and breast patterning. Male has striking white forehead and greyish supercilium, black-spotted chestnut crown and nape, buffish-yellow throat and diagnostic black above narrow white above chestnut bands across lower throat/upper breast. Female smaller with chestnut (not black) and white undertail-coverts. Similar spp. Chinese Bamboo Partridge Bambusicola thoracica is larger and longer-tailed with rufous face and throat, broad grey supercilium and bold, dark breast-side and flank spotting. Voice Territorial call far-carrying series of plaintive, two-note whistles, repeated regularly, often in duet.
Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Bird, J., Davidson, P., Keane, A., Taylor, J.
Fellowes, J., Zhang, Z., Zhou, F., He, F., Wei, L.
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Arborophila gingica. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 31/03/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 31/03/2023.