Scaly Thrush Zoothera dauma


Justification of Red List Category
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified. The species is variously described as uncommon to fairly common across much of its range (Clement and Hathway 2000).

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction and degradation.

Distribution and population

Scaly Thrush breeds from Pakistan east to Assam (India) and south central China, and south to west and north Myanmar, north and west Thailand and northern Indochina. Non-breeders are largely thought to move to the Himalayan foothills, lowlands of the north east Indian subcontinent, south China and south-east Asia. The subspecies neilgherriensis (Nilgiri Thrush) is largely resident in the hills of south-west India.


Scaly Thrush breeds in mature broadleaf forest, e.g. oak (Quercus), and conifer forest, e.g. silver fir (Abies) and spruce (Picea), with dense bushy understorey and apparently deep moist soil, at 2,400–3,600 m. The species winters in dense forest with bracken-dominated undergrowth, grassy clearings, edges of pastures, sal forest, wooded streamsides, bamboo clumps and mango groves, from plains to 1,800 m (Collar and Christie 2019). In south-west India, subspecies neilgherriensis occupies dark wet areas such as ravines within dense evergreen forest and sholas, at 600–2,100 m (del Hoyo et al. 2019).


The species is threatened by ongoing deforestation and forest degradation.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway

No targeted conservation actions are known for this species.

Conservation Actions Proposed 

Monitor the species population and any declines. Monitor habitat loss within the species's range.


Text account compilers
Martin, R., Pilgrim, J., Ashpole, J, Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Benstead, P., Westrip, J., Elliott, N.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Zoothera dauma. Downloaded from on 06/08/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 06/08/2020.