Rufous-crowned Babbler Malacopteron magnum


Justification of Red List Category
This species is considered Near Threatened as it is suspected to be declining moderately rapidly throughout its range as a result of deforestation and habitat degradation.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as uncommon to fairly common (del Hoyo et al. 2007).

Trend justification
Declines are likely to be occurring as a result of habitat loss, particularly as this species is largely associated with primary lowland forests.

Distribution and population

Malacopteron magnum is known from the Sundaic lowlands, occurring in south Tenasserim, Myanmar; peninsular Thailand; Sabah, Sarawak and peninsular Malaysia; Kalimantan (including Natuna Islands) and Sumatra (including Bangka), Indonesia, and Brunei. It is generally common in suitable habitats within this range.


This species occurs in lowland primary evergreen forest, up to 1,000 m in places but usually lower than 450 m. It is also found in selectively logged forest, tall secondary forest, mixed-dipterocarp forest, swamp forest and overgrown plantations, although its highest densities are in primary habitats.


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 logged and secondary forest.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct repeated surveys within the range to identify 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. Improve the management of any protected areas within the species's range that are suffering encroachment. Increase the area of suitable habitat that has protected status. Implement measures to reduce the number and severity of forest fires.


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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Malacopteron magnum. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 03/07/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 03/07/2022.