Justification of Red List Category
This forest-associated species is listed as Near Threatened because its population is assumed to be undergoing moderately rapid declines owing to the extensive loss of lowland forests from large areas of South-East Asia. It is not considered more threatened because it can use secondary habitats.
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as uncommon in Thailand and the lowlands of Borneo, and rare in Sumatra (Cheke et al. 2001).
Rates of forest loss in the Sundaic lowlands have been extremely rapid (Kalimantan lost nearly 25% of its evergreen forest during 1985-1997, and Sumatra lost almost 30% of its 1985 cover), because of a variety of factors, including the escalation of logging and land conversion, with deliberate targeting of all remaining stands of valuable timber including those inside protected areas, plus forest fires (particularly in 1997-1998). However, this species is thought to have avoided rapid declines because it can adapt to secondary habitats, thus it is suspected to be experiencing a moderately rapid decline overall.
Prionochilus thoracicus occurs in the Sundaic lowlands of peninsular Thailand, Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia, Kalimantan and north Sumatra (including Lingga archipelago and Belitung), Indonesia and Brunei (BirdLife International 2001, Wells 2007). It is considered widespread and fairly common within the region.
It occurs in lowland dry-land forest (including peatswamp and heath forest) to 1,280 m. It is recorded from mature secondary and logged forest, and visiting fruits in pioneer regenerating growth. In the Malay Peninsula, the only habitat in which it is numerous is peatswamp forest. It is frugivorous.
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 some secondary habitats.
Conservation Actions Underway
None are known.
Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Bird, J., Crosby, M., Taylor, J.
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Prionochilus thoracicus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/06/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/06/2022.