White-bellied Pitohui Pseudorectes incertus


Justification of Red List Category
This species is classified as Near Threatened because it is known from only two tiny, widely separated, locations where habitat is thought to be secure. Were fieldwork to reveal its presence at other locations it may warrant downlisting to Least Concern. Conversely, if habitat is lost at either of the currently known sites, it may be uplisted to a higher category of threat.

Population justification
The population size of this species has not been quantified, but it is described as locally fairly common to common.

Trend justification
The species's habitat is thought to be secure at the two known sites and no threats are known; thus the population is suspected to be stable.

Distribution and population

Pitohui incertus is known from two tiny areas of New Guinea: about 90 km up the Noord River in Papua, formerly Irian Jaya (Indonesia) and 320 km to the east, between Kiunga and the Palmer Junction on the Fly River (Papua New Guinea) (Diamond and Raga 1978, Beehler et al. 1986, Coates 1990). It may prove to be widespread across the northern Trans-Fly region since studies in its habitat have been restricted to these two locations (Diamond and Raga 1978). It appears to be common in the two known localities (P. Gregory in litt. 1994, K. D. Bishop in litt. 1996, Eastwood 1998, B. Whitney in litt. 2000).


It occurs in seasonally flooded lowland forest, usually with a broken canopy and open middle storey, on flat subcoastal plains; in areas of high annual rainfall (more than 3,750 mm). Travels in groups of  3-6 individuals that are sometimes joined by other species to form mixed flocks. Feeds on insects and fruit (Pratt and Beehler 2015).


Its habitat is not thought to be under threat at present, but if it is only present in these two sites, any degradation of the habitat at either site would be detrimental the long-term survival of the species.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
None is known.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey in suitable habitat between the two known locations to locate additional sub-populations. Monitor habitat trends at the two known sites. Protect significant areas of forest at the two sites where it is currently known to occur.


21·5–23 cm; 75 g (Boles 2016). Pale and tan, dark eye against pale face (Pratt and Beehler 2015).


Text account compilers
Derhé, M., Dutson, G., Mahood, S., O'Brien, A., North, A.

Whitney, B., Gregory, P., Bishop, K.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Pseudorectes incertus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/09/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/09/2020.