NT
Fluffy-backed Tit-babbler Macronus ptilosus



Justification

Justification of Red List Category
This species is restricted to lowland forest and some secondary growth habitats in a region in which deforestation and other forms of habitat conversion are rife. It is therefore listed as Near Threatened because its population is suspected to be undergoing a moderately rapid decline. The species's ability to persist in some disturbed habitats suggests that the rate of decline is not more rapid than this and that it does not qualify for a higher threat category.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as generally scarce to fairly common (del Hoyo et al. 2007).

Trend justification
This species is suspected to be experiencing a moderately rapid population decline owing to on-going habitat loss and degradation throughout its range.

Distribution and population

Macronous ptilosus occurs in the Sundaic lowlands, from peninsular Thailand, Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia, Kalimantan (including Anamba Islands) and Sumatra (including offshore islands), Indonesia and Brunei, where it is locally very common in suitable habitats. It also formerly occurred on Singapore, where it has been extinct since the early 1970s at least (D. L. Yong in litt. 2011).

Ecology

This species is found in lowland evergreen forests, including freshwater swamp forest, secondary growth and bamboo, up to 700 m. Although this species is fairly tolerant of degraded forest, being recorded at relatively high densities within selectively logged forests with luxuriant lower-storey growth and at forest edges (e.g. Edwards et al. 2011, D. L. Yong in litt. 2011), evidence from Singapore suggests that it is unable to persist in secondary forest fragments in the long term (Castelletta et al. 2000). In addition, the species is generally not found in heavily degraded and disturbed habitats such as degraded peat swamp forest (Posa 2011), plantations and scrub (Peh et al. 2006) or in highly fragmented forest (D. L. Yong in litt. 2011). In contrast to these observations, the species has been noted to be abundant in scrub located south of Similajau National Park, Sarawak, and several miles from the nearest area of forest (J. W. Duckworth in litt. 2011), perhaps indicating dispersal from optimal habitats or a higher tolerance of modified habitats locally.

Threats

Rates of forest loss in the Sundaic lowlands have been extremely rapid, owing partly to the escalation of illegal logging and land conversion, with deliberate targeting of all remaining stands of valuable timber including those inside protected areas. Forest fires have also had a damaging effect (particularly in 1997-1998). As this species persists in secondary and logged forests, it may not be under immediate threat from selective logging, but complete forest clearance (e.g. for plantations and agriculture) remains a real threat.



Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
No targeted conservation actions are known for this species, although some of its habitat is protected, e.g. in Taman Negara and Panti Forest Reserve, Peninsular Malaysia (D. L. Yong in litt. 2011).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Monitor the species's populations across its range. Monitor rates of habitat loss and degradation within the species's range. Conduct ecological studies to determine its precise habitat requirements and response to fragmentation. Improve the management of any protected areas suffering encroachment within the species's range. Increase the area of suitable habitat that has protected status. Implement measures to reduce the number and severity of forest fires.

Acknowledgements

Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Derhé, M., Gilroy, J. & Taylor, J.

Contributors
Yong, D. & Duckworth, W.


Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Species factsheet: Macronus ptilosus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/05/2019. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2019) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/05/2019.