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Sumatran Cochoa Cochoa beccarii
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species qualifies as Vulnerable because it occurs at very low densities and thus is suspected to have a small population, which is likely to be undergoing a continuing decline owing to habitat loss at the lower fringes of its altitudinal range.

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

28 cm. Large, thrush-like bird of forest canopy. Male predominantly black with conspicuous powder-blue crown, wing-patch and base of tail. Female apparently duller with buff cheeks and throat. Similar spp. Shiny Whistling-thrush Myophonus melanurus is more plump, noisy and more uniform dark blue. Voice Rather thin, high-pitched and drawn out whistle (like other cochoas). Hints Carefully scan forest mid-storey and canopy for birds making occasional flights between perches.

Distribution and population
Cochoa beccarii is endemic to the island of Sumatra, Indonesia, where it is known from just four specimens and a few sight records (from five sites) along the Barisan Mts. However, observer coverage in likely areas across the remainder of the range has been extremely low. Little is known about its population status, but it appears to occur at low densities, in common with its congeners, and was considered very rare by collectors in the early 20th century. It is very unobtrusive, but is recorded regularly in suitable habitat once calls are known (N. Brickle in litt. 2007). It may be declining owing to loss of habitat in the lower portion of its altitudinal range, although the majority of populations should be relatively secure.

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 2,500-9,999 mature individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. This estimate is equivalent to 3,750-14,999 individuals, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.

Trend justification
A moderate population decline is suspected to be on-going, owing to the rapid loss of habitats at lower altitudes throughout this species's distribution.

It inhabits the middle and upper storeys of tropical lower montane forest between 1,000 m and 2,200 m (although two specimens were reportedly collected on or near the ground). It is thought likely to be largely sedentary, but may make some local seasonal movements.

At least a third of montane rainforest on Sumatra has already been lost, primarily as a result of agricultural encroachment and logging. These factors are affecting large areas of lower montane rainforest, even within protected areas. At one of the historical localities, Gunung Singgalang, forest had been cleared up to 1,800-1,900 m as early as 1917, and indeed all known localities are in areas with a high pressure from agriculture on their peripheries. However, much of the forest within suitable altitudinal limits is thought to be relatively secure, as it is uneconomical for both logging and agriculture. This species has been recorded in the international bird trade, and may be traded locally, albeit in low numbers (N. Brickle in litt. 2007). Hunting with air rifles is also common within the range.

Conservation Actions Underway
It occurs in two protected areas, Gunung Kerinci/Seblat National Park (which encompasses an area of nearly 15,000 km2, primarily forest, between 50 m and 3,800 m), from where there are recent records, and Gunung Singgalang (covering c.96.5 km2 between 1,000 m and 2,877 m), from where two historical specimen records derive but little suitable habitat remains. Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct extensive surveys for the species (surveyors should be familiar with its vocalisations to aid detection) in remaining tracts of lower montane rainforest in the Barisan Mts to establish its current distribution and population status. Propose key sites for establishment as protected areas, or as extensions to existing reserves. Promote a widespread conservation awareness campaign in the Barisan Mts, aimed at reducing rates of forest loss.

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

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., Derhé, M., Gilroy, J., Khwaja, N.

Brickle, N.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Cochoa beccarii. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016.

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 - Sumatran cochoa (Cochoa beccarii) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Turdidae (Thrushes)
Species name author Salvadori, 1879
Population size 2500-9999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 64,600 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species