Gould's Frogmouth Batrachostomus stellatus


Justification of Red List Category
This forest-associated species is suspected to be undergoing a moderately rapid decline owing to the extensive and continuing loss of forest from large areas of the Sundaic lowlands. It is somewhat tolerant of second growth habitats and, for now at least, is not considered threatened, but approaches this status under Criterion A. It is therefore listed as Near Threatened.

Population justification
In optimum habitat in Sarawak, Borneo, densities of this species were approximately 10/km2 (Fogden 1976). Although this has not been extrapolated to generate a population estimate (because of density unknowns in other habitat types, and the uncertainty of remnant habitat area in its range), this species is not believed to approach the thresholds for population size under Criterion C. In much of its range, this species is described as not uncommon (Cleere & Nurney 1998, Holyoak 2020) and in some areas is the commonest frogmouth (Olah & Simay 2007).

Trend justification
Forest destruction in the Sundaic lowlands of Indonesia has been extensive, and the situation is little different in Thailand and Malaysia, but this species's ability to persist in regenerating and second growth habitats suggests it is probably not suffering more than a moderately rapid decline. Global Forest Watch data indicate forest loss equalling c.23% over the three most recent generations (12.4 years; Bird et al. 2018). Although this species can be found in secondary forest habitats, it is uncommon here compared to primary forest (Holyoak 2020). Given this level of forest dependence, the rate of forest loss is thought to roughly be matched in population decline, which is therefore suspected to have declined, and continue to decline, at a rate of 20-29% over three generations.

Distribution and population

Batrachostomus stellatus occurs from central Peninsular Thailand, Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia,  Kalimantan (including the North Natuna Islands) and Sumatra (including the Riau and Lingga archipelagos and Bangka Island), Indonesia and Brunei, where it is fairly widespread but uncommon in suitable habitat (BirdLife International 2001, J. Eaton in litt. 2016). Apparently now extinct in Singapore (Wells 1999).


It occurs in evergreen and secondary forest to at least 500 m (once to 920 m on Borneo), although it is not found in heavily degraded habitats (Wells 1999, J. Eaton in litt. 2016). It feeds on insects in the lower storeys of forest.


Rates of forest loss in the Sundaic lowlands have been and continue to be rapid (at a rate of 20-29% over three generations). There is currently no evidence to suggest it is traded or threatened from hunting.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
No species-specific actions are known, although the species has been recorded from a number of protected areas within its range.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Continue to monitor the rate of forest loss and protect areas of lowland forest within the species's range. Enforce restrictions on agricultural encroachment and logging within protected areas. Generate reliable density estimates across different habitats to (1) ascertain the extent to which this species is reliant on primary forest; and (2) help inform a population estimate for the species.


Text account compilers
Berryman, A.

Eaton, J., Hutchinson, R., Benstead, P., Taylor, J., Westrip, J.R.S. & Bird, J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Batrachostomus stellatus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/03/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/03/2023.