Malay Blue-flycatcher Cyornis turcosus


Justification of Red List Category
This forest-associated species is listed as Near Threatened because it is assumed to have experienced moderately rapid declines owing to the extensive loss of lowland forests from large areas of South-East Asia. It is not considered more threatened because it can use secondary habitats.

Population justification
The population size is unknown, but the species is described as rare and local in Peninsular Malaysia and common in Borneo (del Hoyo et al. 2006).

Trend justification
Rates of forest loss in the Sundaic lowlands have been extremely rapid (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). However, this species is not thought to have declines as rapidly because it can adapt to secondary habitats.

Distribution and population

Cyornis turcosus is known from the Sundaic lowlands, occurring in peninsular Thailand; Sabah, Sarawak and peninsular Malaysia; Kalimantan and Sumatra, Indonesia, and Brunei. It is common and widespread in Borneo, but rare and local elsewhere.


It occurs in bamboo, swamp and evergreen forest, usually in association with waterways, locally to 500 m in Borneo, but to no more than 60 m in the Malay Peninsula. It forages in the lower storeys of riverine and streamside forest by making short aerial sallies after passing insects. Breeding takes place from April until at least July.


Forest destruction in the Sundaic lowlands of Indonesia, and in Thailand 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), but the species's use of secondary forest and brushwood of abandoned plantations implies that it is not immediately threatened.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
It occurs in a number of protected areas including Way Kambas National Park, Sumatra and Separi Forest Reserve and Taman Negara National Park, Malaysia.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Calculate relative population densities in primary, logged and secondary forest. Also assess net forest loss within the Sundaic lowlands and infer population trends. Increase the area of suitable habitat that has protected status.


Text account compilers
Khwaja, N., Bird, J., Benstead, P.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Cyornis turcosus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/03/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/03/2023.