Archived 2010-2011 topics: Pale-throated Wren-babbler (Spelaeornis kinneari): uplist to Vulnerable?

Pale-throated Wren-babbler Spelaeornis kinneari is currently classified as Least Concern owing to a belief that it did not approach the thresholds for classification as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.

It is restricted to forest between 1,400-2,600 m elevation in the Hoang Lien mountains of north-west Vietnam and adjacent border areas in Guanxi Province, China. It is tolerant of forest with a degraded understory (it has been recorded in areas under cardamom cultivation), and it is likely to be tolerant of degraded forest.

However, overall forest loss within its range means that it is likely to exceed the threshold for Vulnerable (under criterion B1a+b[i,iii,iv,v]) because its Extent of Occurrence is likely to be less than 20,000 km2 and there is likely to be a continuing decline in its extent of occurrence, the area, extent and quality of habitat, the number of locations and subpopulations and the number of mature individuals; it has been recorded at less than ten locations.

Comments and information on the species likely rate of recent population decline, the extent of its range, and the degree to which its habitat is fragmented would be welcome.

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2 Responses to Archived 2010-2011 topics: Pale-throated Wren-babbler (Spelaeornis kinneari): uplist to Vulnerable?

  1. Simon Mahood says:

    Given the size of this species range, and the ongoing forest loss within it, this reassessment is sensible.

  2. John Pilgrim says:

    A map (similar to that for White-throated Wren-babbler) would help to ascertain the approximate EOO. If this is well below 20,000 km2, then I agree that this species is Vulnerable. The extent and rate of forest loss in north-west Vietnam and the explosion of cardamom cultivation over the last five years are certain to have reduced the EOO of this species. I question whether we know enough about its tolerance of intensive cardamom cultivation (rather than the patchy loose cultivation that is currently predominant) to know that its AOO is also not declining. Exact rate of decline of this species’ habitat could be quantified by remote sensing. However, it is certainly undergoing a continuing decline in its area, extent and quality.

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