Rail-babbler Eupetes macrocerus


Justification of Red List Category
This species is listed as Near Threatened because it is suspected to be undergoing a moderately rapid population decline owing to on-going habitat loss throughout its range.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as scarce to fairly common over much of its range, although locally numerous. The species is described as rare in Taman Negara, Malaysia (del Hoyo et al. 2007).

Trend justification
Precise data on population trends are lacking, but a moderately rapid and on-going decline is likely to be occurring as a result of habitat loss and degradation across its range.

Distribution and population

Eupetes macrocerus is restricted to the Sundaic lowlands, from peninsular Thailand, Singapore, Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia, Kalimantan (including Natuna Islands) and Sumatra, Indonesia, and Brunei. It is scarce to fairly common throughout this range, and probably under-recorded as a result of its marked shyness.


This species is found in tall lowland broadleaved forest and logged forest with closed canopy, layered structure and a well vegetated floor. Also found in swamp and heath-forest. It is most abundant in lowlands, with a few records from the base of lower montane forest. Records are from up to 1,060 m in Peninsular Malaysia and 900 m on Sumatra and Borneo.


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). The magnitude of these threats may be allayed by this species's tolerance of tall logged forest. However, it is likely to be very sensitive to higher levels of logging disturbance or clearance.

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 in areas within and surrounding its range to determine the full extent of distribution and measure rates of population decline or range contraction. Conduct ecological studies to improve understanding of its precise habitat requirements, tolerance of secondary habitats and response to fragmentation. Campaign for the protection of remaining tracts of lowland broadleaved forest throughout the Sundaic region.


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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Eupetes macrocerus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/09/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/09/2020.