Pale-billed Sicklebill Drepanornis bruijnii


Justification of Red List Category
Although relatively common, this poorly known species is thought to have a fairly small population which is suspected to be declining owing to habitat loss and degradation. It therefore qualifies as Near Threatened.

Population justification
This is a poorly known species for which no population estimates are available but it is plausible that the population size might be approaching <10,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
There are no published data on the rate of forest loss and degradation across its range but it is probably similar to that of West Sepik Province in Papua New Guinea which lost 1.2% forest plus another 5.1% degraded between 2002 and 2014 (Bryan and Shearman 2015). The species is inferred here to be declining at 1-9% in three generations (24 years).

Distribution and population

Epimachus bruijnii is a poorly known species which ranges along the north New Guinea coast from the south-east coast of Geelvink Bay, Papua (formerly Irian Jaya), Indonesia, east to Vanimo, just across the border into Papua New Guinea (Beehler and Pratt 2016). It is widespread and usually fairly common within this fairly small range, with one male ranging over 15 ha in a week-long study.


It is relatively common in selectively logged forest, but most records are from the lowlands below 180 m (Beehler and Beehler 1986, Whitney 1987, Frith and Beehler 1998, Beehler and Pratt 2016). Joins flocks of mixed species: with pitohuis, babblers, other rufous birds. Males have large territories and display on branches in midstory trees (Pratt & Beehler 2015).


Lowland forests throughout its range are under pressure from timber extraction and development schemes (N. Bostock in litt. 1994, Sujatnika et al. 1995), though it has been said that only minor deforestation has been seen in the region in the last 50 years and logged areas can return to closed forest fairly rapidly (B. Beehler in litt. 2016). 


Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Regularly monitor the populations at selected sites. Further research its tolerance of degraded forest. Protect significant areas of remaining primary forest within its range.


Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Derhé, M., Dutson, G., O'Brien, A., North, A.

Beehler, B., Bostock, N.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Species factsheet: Drepanornis bruijnii. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/04/2019. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2019) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/04/2019.