Large Cuckooshrike Coracina javensis


Taxonomic note
Large Cuckooshrike Coracina javensis (del Hoyo & Collar 2016) was previously treated as two species, nominate being one and all other taxa grouping under C. macei (Sibley & Monroe 1990, 1993).

Vocally, however, nominate is very similar to races nipalensis and siamensis, so basis for maintaining it as a separate species is, on present evidence weak. Eaton et al. (2016) treat race larutensis as a full species. Intriguingly, this race (often subject to speculation as to which species is belonged when C. javensis was separated from C. macei) is relatively distinctive in both plumage and voice: differs from both others in its shorter, higher and sonographically different-shaped calls (P. Boesman in litt. 2016), and from C. j. nipalensis in its primaries and wing coverts lacking pale fringes, forming a bold black 'line' when folded, darker upperparts, most notably on rump, although versus siamensis this character minor, and weaker, less extensive barring on belly in female; and from C. javensis in its overall darker grey colour with (in male) much darker chin and throat, more extensively grey vs. largely white lower belly (more obvious in male), browner, darker shade of grey on throat and breast in female. Race rexpineti, surprisingly, has voice that resembles more that of C. striata but voice of mainland Chinese birds apparently unknown. Further research needed on this complex.

As such, C. javensis is recognised as consisting of seven subspecies; C. j. nipalensis, C. j. siamensis, C. j. rexpineti, C. j. larvivora, C. j. andamana, C. j. larutensis and C. j. javensis. 

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A., Fishpool, L.D.C., Boesman, P. and Kirwan, G.M. 2016. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 2: Passerines. Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.

IUCN Red list criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - -

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2020 Least Concern
Species attributes

Migratory status not a migrant Forest dependency Medium
Land mass type Average mass -

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 13,500,000
Number of locations -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals unknown not applicable not applicable 0
Population trend Stable suspected -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) - - -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 4.3 - - -

Population justification: The global population size has not been quantified, but the species was regarded as widespread and fairly common in the 1990s (del Hoyo et al. 2005).

Trend justification: The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Bangladesh N Extant Yes
Bhutan N Extant Yes
Cambodia N Extant Yes
China (mainland) N Extant Yes
India N Extant Yes
Indonesia N Extant Yes
Laos N Extant Yes
Malaysia N Extant Yes
Myanmar N Extant Yes
Nepal N Extant Yes
Pakistan N Extant Yes
Taiwan, China N Extant Yes
Thailand N Extant Yes
Vietnam N Extant Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Subtropical/Tropical Heavily Degraded Former Forest suitable resident
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland major resident
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane suitable resident
Savanna Dry suitable resident
Altitude   Occasional altitudinal limits  

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Species factsheet: Coracina javensis. Downloaded from on 01/12/2021. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2021) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 01/12/2021.