Olive-backed Woodpecker Chloropicoides rafflesii


Justification of Red List Category
This forest-dependent species is likely to be undergoing moderately rapid population declines throughout its range, in line with the loss and degradation of primary evergreen forests. It is therefore considered Near Threatened, and should be carefully monitored.

Population justification
The population size of this species has not been quantified, but it is described as scarce to uncommon.

Trend justification
This species's dependence on primary forest suggests that it has inevitably declined as a result of habitat destruction throughout its range. Although data on the magnitude of these declines are lacking, they are likely to be at least moderately rapid.

Distribution and population

Dinopium rafflesii is found from south Tenasserim, Myanmar, peninsular and west Thailand, Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore (formerly), Kalimantan and Sumatra, Indonesia and Brunei (BirdLife International 2001). It is generally local and uncommon.


This species occurs in mangroves, lowland forest and hill forest, to 1,200 m. It prefers dense, wet areas and avoids secondary growth and clearings.


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).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
No targeted conservation actions are known for this species, although it occurs in a number of protected areas.

Conservation Actions Proposed

Conduct repeated surveys across the species's range to determine the magnitude of declines and rates of range contraction. Conduct ecological studies to determine precise habitat requirements, tolerance of secondary habitats and response to fragmentation. Campaign for the protection of remaining tracts of lowland forest throughout the species's range.


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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Chloropicoides rafflesii. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 01/04/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 01/04/2023.