Puff-backed Bulbul Euptilotus eutilotus


Justification of Red List Category
This species is likely to be at high risk from habitat loss, as it occurs largely in lowland forest habitats that are suffering the highest rates of deforestation. It remains relatively common within existing areas of suitable habitat across its large range, but it may be declining moderately rapidly and is therefore considered Near Threatened. Its status should be monitored carefully for any evidence of increasing rates of decline.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as uncommon to locally fairly common (del Hoyo et al. 2005).

Trend justification
This species is likely to be declining in line with rates of deforestation occurring across its range. These declines are suspected to be particularly severe, as this species is largely restricted to mature forests in the flat lowlands, where rates of habitat loss are highest. The overall rate of population decline is therefore suspected to be moderately rapid or rapid.

Distribution and population

Pycnonotus eutilotus occurs in the Sundaic lowlands, from south Tenasserim, Myanmar, peninsular Thailand, Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore (formerly), Kalimantan and Sumatra (including Bangka Island), Indonesia and Brunei (BirdLife International 2001). It is uncommon to fairly common in suitable habitat within this range.


This species occurs in broadleaved evergreen forest, with most records at plains-level or on lower slopes, with an upper limit of 400 m. It is recorded in disturbed and logged forests, provided that some canopy cover remains, and also occurs in secondary forests and overgrown plantations, although potentially only in areas with adjacent primary forest.


This species is largely restricted to mature forests on low-lying plains, and is therefore at a heightened risk from deforestation. 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 within the species's range to determine its current distribution and abundance, as well as assess population trends and rates of habitat loss. Conduct ecological studies to improve understanding of its precise habitat requirements, tolerance of secondary habitats and response to fragmentation. Effectively protect significant areas of suitable forest at key sites, in both strictly protected areas and community-led multiple use areas.


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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Euptilotus eutilotus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 01/07/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 01/07/2022.