Justification of Red List Category
This species has a moderately small global range, and is likely to be declining as a result of habitat loss. It is able to persist in some degraded habitats, suggesting that it may not be at imminent risk, but the situation requires careful monitoring. It is currently considered Near Threatened.
The population size of this species has not been quantified, but it is described as uncommon and local.
Declines are suspected to be occurring as a result of widespread forest destruction, although rates of decline are unlikely to be higher than moderate, as this species is tolerant of secondary and degraded habitats.
Gracula ptilogenys is endemic to the wet zone of Sri Lanka, where it is common to very common in lowlands and hills wherever forest persists.
This species prefers natural forest and well-wooded country, although it also visits gardens and plantations if forest is nearby. It appears to be relatively tolerant of habitat degradation.
Forest on Sri Lanka has suffered rapid degradation and fragmentation in the past decades through excessive gathering of fuelwood, clearance for permanent agriculture, shifting cultivation, fire, urbanisation and logging. Closed-canopy forest is estimated to have declined from 29,000 km2 (44% of the island's area) in 1956 to 12,260 km2 in 1983. It is feared that this loss will continue.
Conservation Actions Underway
Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct repeated surveys within the range to determine population trends and rates of habitat loss. Conduct ecological studies to improve understanding of its precise habitat requirements, particularly tolerance of secondary habitats and response to fragmentation. Grant protected status to areas of forest occupied by the species.
Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Gilroy, J., Khwaja, N.
BirdLife International (2019) Species factsheet: Gracula ptilogenys. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 17/02/2019. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2019) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 17/02/2019.