Flame-templed Babbler Dasycrotapha speciosa


Justification of Red List Category
This lowland forest species has a very small, severely fragmented and declining range. It is estimated that just 10% of remaining forest on the two islands where it occurs (c.144 km2) lies within the elevation range suitable for this species. Although it shows some tolerance of secondary growth, unrelenting wholesale habitat clearance continues to threaten all populations, and consequently this species qualifies as Endangered.

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 2,500-9,999 mature individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. This estimate is equivalent to 3,750-14,999 individuals, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.

Trend justification
Rapid population declines are suspected to be on-going, owing to the rapid conversion and degradation of habitats throughout the species's range.

Distribution and population

Dasycrotapha speciosa is endemic to the islands of Negros and Panay in the Philippines (Collar et al. 1999). On Negros, it was formerly fairly common and widespread but is now generally uncommon and declining. Surveys in 1991 yielded tentative estimates of 22 birds per km2 on Mt Canlaon, although only a few square kilometres of suitable forest remain. In 1987, it was discovered on Panay and is now known from five localities in the central mountains. However, it appears very uncommon and/or has a very patchy distribution.


It inhabits lowland forest, forest edge and secondary growth below 1,000 m, occasionally occurring up to 1,180 m. Highest densities have been recorded in the thick undergrowth of degraded secondary forest and observations invariably come from the lower strata (up to 8 m), where birds stay in deep cover and are consequently unobtrusive unless singing.


Continuing forest destruction is the main threat. An estimated 4% of Negros and 8% of Panay remained forested in 1988. Habitat degradation, particularly selective logging of large trees, continues to pose a serious threat to remaining fragments throughout its limited range. Very little lowland forest remains at Mt Canlaon, a key site for the species.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
It occurs in Mt Canlaon Natural Park (Negros) and the North Negros Forest Reserve, which only receives nominal protection. It also occurs in the proposed Central Panay Mountains National Park, which reportedly contains the largest block of remaining forest in the Western Visayas, and Mt Talinis/Twin Lakes (Negros). Both sites benefit from conservation funding.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Study habitat requirements, with specific reference to the species's capacity to persist in secondary habitats, particularly in areas where primary habitat has been completely removed. Conduct further surveys, particularly on Panay and around Mts Silay and Mandalagan in north Negros, to locate additional important sites. Gazette the proposed Central Panay Mountains National Park and propose further key sites on Negros, e.g. forest at Ban-ban, and on Panay for urgent establishment as formal protected areas. Promote more effective protection measures for the North Negros Forest Reserve. Encourage careful reforestation activities around remaining forests.


16 cm. Medium-small, colourful babbler of the lower and middle storey. Bright yellow bill, forehead, lores, chin and eye-ring. Black crown and ear-coverts, latter with fine white streaks. Flaming orange patch above and behind eye. Yellow rear crown with narrow black nuchal collar. Olive upperparts with white shaft streaks on the back. Yellow underparts, sullied olive on breast and belly and with large black spots on throat. Voice Short, melodious, warbled phrases. Hints Unobtrusive. Listen for distinctive song. Joins mixed species flocks.


Text account compilers
Taylor, J., Westrip, J., Benstead, P., Gilroy, J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Dasycrotapha speciosa. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 30/09/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 30/09/2020.