Initial deadline for comments: 31 January 2012 [note that this has been moved back by about two months].
Nonggang Babbler Stachyris nonggangensis has a very restricted range in extreme south-eastern China, where it inhabits limestone karst seasonal rainforest. It is listed as Near Threatened under criterion B1a+b(iii) on the basis that although it occupies a very small range, with an Extent of Occurrence (EOO) estimated to be c.590 km2, within which selective logging is thought to be driving a decline in the quality of suitable habitat, it is not known whether the species’s habitat is severely fragmented or if the species occurs at fewer than 11 locations.
It has recently been proposed that the species be uplisted to Vulnerable under criteria B2, as well as C2a(ii) and D2 (Zhou Fang et al. in litt. 2010). BirdLife does not possess data on the species’s Area of Occupancy, which is required for criterion B2; however, the species may qualify as Vulnerable under criterion B1 based on its very small EOO, if it is shown that its habitat is severely fragmented or that it is known from fewer than 11 locations.
Extensive surveys conducted since 2008 have resulted in an estimate of 1,000-2,000 mature individuals, all in one subpopulation (Zhou Fang et al. in litt. 2010), potentially qualifying the species as Vulnerable under criterion C2a(ii), as the population is already suspected to be in decline owing to continued logging.
Qualification as Vulnerable under D2 would only be possible if the species occurs at a few locations, typically fewer than six, and there is an immediate threat which could result in the species qualifying as Critically Endangered or Extinct in a short space of time. Given the existing information on this species, it is unlikely to be listed under D2.
Further information is requested in relation to the potential uplisting of this species under criteria B1a+b(iii); C2a(ii), in particular the number of locations it is known from or the level of habitat fragmentation (i.e. the percentage of suitable habitat in fragments too small to support viable populations).