Large Wren-babbler Turdinus macrodactylus


Justification of Red List Category
This species remains fairly common in existing areas of suitable habitat across a relatively large range, and some populations occur within hill forest habitats that are not under imminent threat. However, the ongoing clearance of lowland primary forests is likely to be causing moderately rapid declines across the bulk of this species's range, qualifying it as Near Threatened.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as uncommon to fairly common in Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia and extinct in Singapore (del Hoyo et al. 2007).

Trend justification
Declines are suspected to be occurring throughout the range, as this species is largely restricted to lowland primary forests in a region in which deforestation rates are extremely high.

Distribution and population

Napothera macrodactyla is known from the Sundaic lowlands, occurring in peninsular Thailand, peninsular Malaysia, Singapore (formerly), and Sumatra and Java (few records), Indonesia.


This species is generally found in dense thickets in the understorey of primary broadleaved evergreen forests, with records up to 1,200 m (but generally much lower). It has been recorded in selectively logged forests and may occur in mature secondary forests.


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). The magnitude of these threats may be allayed by this species's tolerance of hill and submontane forests, which are under less pressure from logging and agricultural conversion.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct repeated surveys within the range to determine current distribution and abundance, as well as assess population trends and rates of habitat loss. Conduct ecological studies to improve understanding of its precise habitat requirements, tolerance of secondary habitats and response to fragmentation. Effectively protect significant areas of forest at key sites, in both strictly protected areas and community-led multiple use areas.


Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Gilroy, J., Khwaja, N., Mahood, S.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Turdinus macrodactylus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/03/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/03/2023.