Montane Racquet-tail Prioniturus montanus


Justification of Red List Category
This species is listed as Near Threatened because it has a small range, within which its small population is threatened by habitat conversion at lower elevations but is not yet considered to be severely fragmented or restricted to a few locations, and little is currently known about the population size and structure of, and threats to, this species. Further information will improve the accuracy of this assessment.

Population justification
Lambert et al. (1993) estimated a maximum of 10,000 individuals, and so the population size is placed in the band 2,500-9,999 individuals here. This equates to 1,667-6,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 1,500-7,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in decline owing to habitat destruction, hunting and trapping for the cagebird trade.

Distribution and population

Prioniturus montanus is endemic to Luzon, Philippines, where it is almost entirely confined to montane forest regions (above c.700 m) in the Cordillera Central and the Sierra Madre, with records including Mt Sicapo-o at Mt Simminublak, Liwan, Kenema, Mountain province, Sablan, Mountain province, Massisiat, Abra, Mt Data, Mt Pulag, Mt Polis, Mt Puguis, Paoay, Irisan, Benguet, Imugan, Nueva Vizcaya, and three sites - Dipalayag, Los Dos Cuernos and Mt Cetaceo - in the Sierra Madre, plus Pangil, Laguna (Collar et al. 1999). The fact that it escaped detection in the Sierra Madre until 1991 is evidence that it lives in relatively inaccessible areas and its numbers, which were estimated in 1993 to be fewer than 10,000 individuals (Lambert et al. 1993), may therefore be quite stable.


Little is known of its ecological requirements: it occurs in humid montane forest from 850 m to 2,900 m. It feeds on seeds, berries and nuts. Breeding occurs in August to September.


There is a need for vigilance concerning habitat destruction, hunting and trapping for the cagebird trade, all of which may represent threats to the species.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Calculate rates of forest loss within its altitudinal range on Luzon. Estimate the remaining area of suitable habitat and, using surveys, produce a density estimate to allow its global population size to be estimated. Effectively protect significant areas of suitable forest at key sites, in both strictly protected areas and community led multiple use areas.


Text account compilers
Bird, J., Taylor, J., Benstead, P.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Species factsheet: Prioniturus montanus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 09/03/2021. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2021) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 09/03/2021.