VU
Snowy-throated Babbler Stachyris oglei



Justification

Justification of Red List Category
This species has a small, severely fragmented, declining range and population because of loss of scrub and forest through logging, conversion to tea plantations and shifting cultivation. These factors qualify it as Vulnerable.

Population justification
The population size is preliminarily estimated to fall into the band 2,500-9,999 mature individuals. This equates to 3,750-14,999 individuals in total, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.

Trend justification
Although this species's tolerance of habitat alteration is unknown, continuing habitat degradation across its range suggests that moderate population declines could be occurring, resulting in a precautionary negative trend overall.

Distribution and population

Stachyris oglei is endemic to the Patkai and Mishmi Hills of eastern Arunachal Pradesh, north-east India and adjacent northern Myanmar (BirdLife International 2001). It is rather poorly known, in part because little ornithological work has been conducted within its range. Historical collectors considered it rare and very local. However, a healthy population occurs in Namdapha National Park (Arunachal Pradesh), suggesting that it may be locally common, and the adjacent Kamlang Wildlife Sanctuary is also an area where it likely occurs (A. Choudhury and U. Srinivasan in litt. 2016).

Ecology

It breeds during April to July in moist, dense scrub in rocky ravines, and winters in bamboo and undergrowth of primary evergreen forest on rocky hillsides. It is generally encountered in winter in monospecific flocks of up to 20 individuals and is quite vocal, but wary and skulking. Its elevational limits are uncertain owing to potential unreliability of records, but it is known to occur from 300-800 m, possibly up to 900 m (del Hoyo et al. 2007, Srinivasan et al. 2010).

Threats

Its tolerance of habitat degradation is not known, making identification of specific threats difficult. However, habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation as a result of commercial logging, clearance for tea cultivation and shifting agriculture are all possible threats. Forest in and around Namdapha National Park is becoming increasingly denuded owing to overgrazing of domestic livestock and collection of firewood. In 1992, an estimated 61% of Arunachal Pradesh remained forested, but rates of habitat destruction have increased along with the growing tribal population within the state, which doubled between 1970 and 1990.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
The only known substantial population is in Namdapha National Park, Arunachal Pradesh, and it occurs in adjacent Kamlang Wildlife Sanctuary (U. Srinivasan in litt. 2016).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys in suitable habitat to establish its range, distribution and population status and to assess its habitat requirements and main threats. Make recommendations for its conservation, based on survey findings, including the establishment of protected areas, linked to existing reserves where appropriate. Discourage further large-scale montane timber extraction within its range. Promote widespread conservation awareness initiatives in hill and mountain communities. Support proposals to establish a 100-km2 buffer zone along the western lowland boundary of Namdapha National Park and effectively protect core areas.

Identification

16 cm. Medium-small, distinctive babbler with broad white supercilium, cheeks and throat. Grey breast and black mask. Warm brown crown and rest of upperparts, wings and tail finely barred dark brown. Similar spp. Spot-necked Babbler S. striolata has black malar line. Voice Rapid, metallic rattles when agitated.

Acknowledgements

Text account compilers
Westrip, J., Taylor, J., Gilroy, J., Benstead, P.

Contributors
Srinivasan, U., Choudhury, A.


Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Stachyris oglei. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/10/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/10/2020.