Archived 2014 discussion: Sunda Coucal (Centropus nigrorufus): uplist to Endangered?

This discussion was first published as part of the 2013 Red List update, but remains open for comment to enable reassessment in 2014.

BirdLife species factsheet for Sunda Coucal

Sunda Coucal Centropus nigrorufus is restricted to Indonesia, where it occurs on Java, and possibly Sumatra (from where there is one specimen of doubtful origin and recent unconfirmed sight records) (BirdLife International 2001). It is currently listed as Vulnerable under criteria A2cd+3cd+4cd; C2a(i), because it has a small population, preliminary estimated to fall in the band 2,500-9,999 mature individuals, which is likely to be undergoing a rapid decline owing to habitat destruction and trapping.

It is a locally common, but rather sparsely distributed species. It is relatively understudied across the majority of its range (N. Brickle in litt. 2012) and so could be under-recorded. A very isolated population is still found at Maura Angke (N. Brickle in litt. 2007, 2012), which is completely surrounded by Jakarta. It can still be found in suitable habitat right along the north Java coast, but this area is under considerable pressure from the intensification of agriculture and fish farming (N. Brickle in litt. 2012). The relatively high numbers on sale in markets and displayed in zoos suggest it may be more common and well-distributed than records reflect, but although there are few records on population trends, the large number in trade could also indicate that the population is undergoing a rapid population reduction.

If there is sufficient evidence to suspect a population size reduction of ≥50% over the last three generations (11 years in this species), based on a decline in area of occupancy, extent of occurrence, and/or quality of habitat, and levels of exploitation, and reduction at this rate is suspected to continue over the next 11 years, this species would warrant uplisting to Endangered under criteria A2cd+3cd+4cd of the IUCN Red List. Should the global population now be estimated to number <2,500 mature individuals, inferred to be undergoing a continuing decline owing to habitat destruction and widespread trapping, and if all subpopulations contain ≤250 mature individuals, this species could also qualify as Endangered under criterion C2a(i).

Information is required on this species’s likely population size, rate of decline and distribution. Comments are also invited on the severity of threats to this species’s global population.


BirdLife International (2001) Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International: Cambridge, U.K.

This entry was posted in Archive, Asia and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Archived 2014 discussion: Sunda Coucal (Centropus nigrorufus): uplist to Endangered?

  1. Joe Taylor says:

    The following comments were received from Muhammad Iqbal on 4 April 2013:

    I have three recent observation during Javan Lapwing survey in Java. First, one in Muara Gembong (West Java) on 17 Septemebr 2012; and two other are in Meleman (south-East coast Java) on December 2012.

    I agree that the threats are “pressure from the intensification of agriculture and fish farming”, including rice field.

  2. Except Muara Angka, the other recent sightings come from:

    – two sightings at two localities in Meleman, southeast coast Java (14-15 December 2012)
    – Muara Gembong, West Java (17 September 2012, personal observation)
    – Baluran National Park, North-eastern tip Java (26 April 2009, 9 December 2009: see OBI Images)
    – Surabaya, East Java province (13 August 2008: see OBI Images)
    – Semarang, Central Java province (11 February 2006: see OBI Images)

    Baluran National Park and Meleman are additional localities after Birdlife International (2001). These records also easternmost record for this species.

    BirdLife International. 2001. Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

  3. Craig Robson says:

    I am not sure about EN for this species, as it occurs in some pretty poor habitat. I guess its populations are getting fragmented and isolated and some, like that at Muara Angke, may not survive this isolation. Surely many more areas need to be surveyed before the true threat status can be established. Clearly it is going to be under serious threat though, just like any lowland Javan bird that can not live in intensive agriculture.

  4. Bas van Balen says:

    A survey of the northern coastal areas of west, central and east Java yielded records in 2006 and 2009 in just four localities: Muara Gembong (W), Kendal (C), Situbondo and Baluran (E). Nevertheless, the observations were made in secondary habitat, like most recent observations, but the birds occur in very small numbers. I would give it a Vulnerable status.

  5. Ding Li Yong says:

    There is quite a lot of suitable habitat in Segara Anakan and on the north coast of Nusa Kembangan island so further surveys could be conducted here to assess the population.

  6. Andy Symes says:

    Preliminary proposals

    Based on available information and comments posted above, our preliminary proposal for the 2014 Red List would be to treat Sunda Coucal Centropinus nigrorufus as Vulnerable under criterion C2a(i).

    There is now a period for further comments until the final deadline of 31 March, after which recommended categorisations will be put forward to IUCN.

    The final Red List categories will be published on the BirdLife and IUCN websites in mid-2014, following further checking of information relevant to the assessments by both BirdLife and IUCN.

  7. Andy Symes says:

    Recommended categorisation to be put forward to IUCN

    Following further review, there has been no change to our preliminary proposal for the 2014 Red List status of this species.

    The final categorisation will be published later in 2014, following further checking of information relevant to the assessment by BirdLife and IUCN.

Comments are closed.