Visayan Rhabdornis Rhabdornis rabori


Justification of Red List Category
Although this species has a restricted range, it is does not meet the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 or Area of Occupancy <2,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation); and while the species has likely been extirpated from large areas of its historic range (especially on Negros), this damage was done more than 100 years ago and there is now no indication that forest loss is causing a continuing decline. The population size has not been accurately 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
There is approximately 1,650 km2 of forest cover at suitable elevations for the species (Global Forest Watch [2021], using data from Hansen et al. [2013] and methods disclosed therein). Although no density data exist for R. rabori, a congener (R. mystacilis) has been estimated to occur at densities of 75 birds/km2 (Evans et al. 1991); consequently, it is considered highly unlikely, even accounting for this species' apparent comparative scarcity, that the population falls below 10,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
The population was previously inferred to be in decline because of forest loss and fragmentation. While this species has undoubtedly lost habitat in its range in the past (especially on Negros, where almost all forest below 1,000 m was cleared by the 20th century), recent remote sensing data (Global Forest Watch [2021], using data from Hansen et al. [2013] and methods disclosed therein) indicate that over the last 10 years, forest loss in this species' range has been c.0.5-1.0%, which is too slow to infer a continuing decline, especially considering its apparent tolerance of small-scale degradation. In the absence of any other identified threats to the species, the population is therefore suspected to be stable.

Distribution and population

Rhabdornis rabori occurs on the islands of Panay and Negros in the Philippines, where it occupies (sub)montane forests between c.800-1,800 m (Allen 2020). The species occurs in the Central Panay Mountain Range (eBird 2021) and this is likely to be a particular stronghold for the species.


This species inhabits montane and submontane forest habitats, between 800 and 1,800 m, but will use forest edges and secondary growth (Allen 2020).


Deforestation has greatly affected the species’ habitat, particularly on Negros where only 4% of forest remained in 1988. This has now almost ceased, but it is unclear whether fragmentation and extinction debt processes are impacting this species.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
Mt. Canlaon National Park may offer this species some protection.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Increase protection of remaining forests. Conduct surveys to estimate the species' density and population size.


Text account compilers
Berryman, A., Ekstrom, J., Westrip, J.R.S., Butchart, S.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Rhabdornis rabori. Downloaded from on 01/12/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 01/12/2022.