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Chestnut-backed Thrush Zoothera dohertyi
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

This species is listed as Near Threatened because there are some indications that its population is fragmented and undergoing a continuing moderately rapid decline owing to trapping. However, little is currently known about the population size and structure of, and threats to, this species. Further information may indicate it is more threatened.

Taxonomic source(s)
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.

Distribution and population
Zoothera dohertyi is restricted to three Endemic Bird Areas (Northern Nusa Tenggara, Sumba, and Timor and Wetar) in Indonesia and Timor-Leste. It is considered generally uncommon to rare, only locally common at higher elevations, and is probably already extinct on Lombok and close to extinction on Sumbawa.

Population justification
Variably common, the species has declined to near (if not total) extinction on Lombok and Sumbawa. The total population is estimated to fall within the band 24,600-47,300 individuals.

Trend justification
The species is assumed to be experiencing a moderately rapid and on-going decline, owing to high trapping pressure for the cage-bird trade and continuing forest loss at lower altitudes within its range.

It occurs at 400-1,700 m in semi-evergreen, lower montane and montane forest, occurring at highest densities within primary forest. It is usually solitary but may assemble when at a food source. It has been recorded associating with Chestnut-capped Thrush Z. interpres. It is generally less shy and retiring than other Zoothera thrushes in the region. It typically forages on the ground. Juveniles have been recorded from July-September but singing within this period suggests an extended breeding season.

It has been traded in very high volume within Indonesia in recent years because of its voice, and its apparent preference for lower elevation forests on Flores and Sumbawa may render it susceptible to deforestation. Trapping within its range for Chestnut-capped Thrush Z. interpres has been intensive and Z. dohertyi may have suffered "bycatch" as a result.

Conservation Actions Underway
None are known. Conservation Actions Proposed
Monitor domestic trade in songbirds within Indonesia. Raise awareness about the damaging impacts of trade and promote sustainable practices and alternative livelihoods. Protect areas of lowland forest within the species's range. Enforce restrictions on hunting and logging within such protected areas. Determine its habitat association and generate density estimates to inform a revised population estimate for the species.

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

Clement, P.; Hathway, R. 2000. Thrushes. Christopher Helm, London.

Collar, N. J. 2005. Family Turdidae (Thrushes). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Christie, C. (eds), Handbook of birds of the world Vol. 10, pp. 514-807. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Further web sources of information
Detailed species accounts from the Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 2001).

Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Bird, J., Khwaja, N.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Zoothera dohertyi. Downloaded from on 20/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 20/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Chestnut-backed thrush (Zoothera dohertyi) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Near Threatened
Family Turdidae (Thrushes)
Species name author (Hartert, 1896)
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 13,400 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species