Long-billed Partridge Rhizothera longirostris


Justification of Red List Category
This species is only recorded with regularity from a very few sites, but, despite the rapid habitat destruction taking place within its range, it is thought to be fairly secure owing to its tolerance of hill forest. Logging and hunting pressure are nevertheless suspected to be driving a moderately rapid population decline, thus the species is classified as Near Threatened.

Population justification
The population size of this species has not been quantified; according to del Hoyo et al. (1994) it is never widely encountered.

Trend justification
There are no data on population trends; however, logging and hunting are suspected to be causing a moderately rapid decline in this species.

Distribution and population

Rhizothera longirostris occurs in the Sundaic lowlands of south Tenasserim, Myanmar, peninsular Thailand, East (Sabah) and Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, and Kalimantan and Sumatra, Indonesia, where it is generally uncommon, (BirdLife International 2001). No population estimates are available, but it is thought to be declining rapidly owing to habitat loss and degradation.


It inhabits primary and old secondary lowland and hill forest and bamboo, up to 1,500 m in some regions, although not above 1,000 in others (BirdLife International 2001). It can persist in tiny forest fragments, but conversely is apparently absent from many large areas of apparently suitable habitat (D. L. Yong in litt. 2013).


Forest destruction in the Sundaic lowlands of Indonesia and Malaysia has been extensive (Kalimantan lost nearly 25% of its evergreen forest during 1985-1997, and Sumatra lost almost 30% of its 1985 cover), because of a variety of factors, including the escalation of logging and land conversion, with deliberate targeting of all remaining stands of valuable timber including those inside protected areas, plus forest fires (particularly in 1997-1998), and declines are compounded by trapping for the cage-bird industry (BirdLife International 2001). However, the species's use of secondary growth and higher elevations implies that it is not immediately threatened.

Conservation actions

Conservation and research actions underway
It occurs in a number of protected areas, including Taman Negara National Park and Gunung Leuser National Park. 

Conservation and research actions proposed
Survey to assess the population size. Protect large areas of primary and old secondary forest within its range. Investigate the taxonomic status of the race dulitensis.


c. 37 cm. A medium-sized slightly unusual partridge with a strong, relatively long downcurved bill, rufous face belly and flanks. The male shows a variably-large grey band across the neck and upper breast and has whitish spots in the wing. The female is rufous below.Similar spp. R. dulitensis has a white belly and lacks the whitish spots in the wing.


Text account compilers
Taylor, J., Symes, A., Benstead, P. & Mahood, S.

Mahood, S. & Yong, D.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Rhizothera longirostris. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 07/07/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 07/07/2020.