Archived 2011-2012 topics: Short-tailed Scimitar-babbler (Jabouilleia danjoui): downlist to Least Concern?

Initial deadline for comments: 31 January 2012 [note that this has been moved back by about two months].

BirdLife species factsheet for Short-tailed Scimitar-babbler

Short-tailed Scimitar-babbler Jabouilleia danjoui is a resident of primary and secondary forest in Vietnam, central Laos and northern Myanmar, with elevation ranges varying amongst its subspecies (del Hoyo et al. 2007). It is listed as Near Threatened under criteria A2c; A3c; A4c; C1; C2a(i), on the basis that it is thought to have a moderately small population and is suspected to be undergoing a moderately rapid population decline owing to on-going deforestation.

Following the description of a taxon from northern Myanmar (Rappole et al. 2005) that BirdLife recognises as a subspecies (naungmungensis) of J. danjoui, the species is now considered to have a larger range than previously thought. It is also noted to tolerate some habitat modification as it is able to survive in secondary forest. It is therefore possible that the population is not moderately small (approaching as few as 10,000 mature individuals) and is not in moderately rapid decline (typically 20-29% over 10 years or three generations, but estimated at 1-19% in this species), despite the need for the rate of decline to be corrected to a trend period of 17 years (estimate of three generations; BirdLife International unpubl. data).

It is suggested that this species be downlisted to Least Concern as it is unlikely to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under any of the IUCN criteria. Further information on this species is requested, especially on the likely population size and rate of decline over a period of 17 years.


del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Christie, D. (2007) Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 12: Picathartes to Tits and Chickadees. Barcelona, Spain: Lynx Edicions.

Rappole, J. H., Renner, S. C., Nay M. S. and Sweet, P. R. (2005) A new species of scimitar-babbler (Timaliidae: Jabouilleia) from the sub-Himalayan region of Myanmar. Auk 122: 1064-1069.

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5 Responses to Archived 2011-2012 topics: Short-tailed Scimitar-babbler (Jabouilleia danjoui): downlist to Least Concern?

  1. Simon Mahood says:

    A difficult one to call owing to a lack of good data. This species has a patchy distribution, is absent from much apparently suitable habitat, occurs at different elevations in different parts of its range and even where it does occur is usually quite localised.

  2. I would be cautious about downlisting Short-tailed Scimitar-Babbler to Least Concern. From my experience, this species has a wide distribution in southern Central and Central Vietnam, but it is by no means common and is very localised. Habitat loss also continues to be a problem at some of the sites where it is found.

  3. John Pilgrim says:

    Agree with Simon and Richard – this species is so patchily distributed that it is likely it has microhabitat requirements that are not yet clear to us. AOO may thus be considerably smaller than EOO. Rates of forest loss/degradation through the range of the species continue to be high. I suggest retaining this species as NT until further information casts light on the situation. I have never recorded this in *secondary* forest (versus *degraded* forest) – what is the reference for this comment?

  4. Joe Taylor says:

    The reference to the species’s occurrence in secondary forest was taken from the account in del Hoyo et al. (2007).

  5. Joe Taylor says:

    The following comments were sent by Will Duckworth on 24 November 2011:

    I know of no Lao records in the last decade, but survey effort in suitable habitat is very low. The species’s occurrence in Lao seems to be marginal and its status there is probably irrelevant to the global picture.

Comments are closed.