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Short-tailed Scimitar-babbler Jabouilleia danjoui
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species is thought to have a moderately small population, which is suspected to be experiencing a moderately rapid decline owing to on-going deforestation. It is therefore listed as Near Threatened as it almost qualifies for a threatened listing under criteria A2c+3c+4c; C1+2a(i).

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

19.5 cm. Robust, short-tailed babbler with narrow, slightly downcurved bill. Dark brown above with light shaft-streaks, whitish below with double dark brown moustachial/malar stripe. Rufescent breast with smudgy dark brown streaks and pale rufous neck-patch. Subspecies parvirostris has blacker moustachial/malar stripes and breast streaking, darker rufous on neck and breast and shorter bill. Newly discovered subspecies in central Vietnam is colder and darker brown and rufous plumage is duller and paler. Subspecies naungmungensis has longer bill, strong black moustachial line, no buffy-rufous tinge to breast, is shorter-tailed and longer-legged. Bill length roughly intermediate between other subspecies. Voice Sings with series of clear, monotone whistles. Harsh chrrr-chrrr-chrrr when alarmed.

Distribution and population
Jabouilleia danjoui is known from east Tonkin, north, central and south Annam, Vietnam, where small numbers have been recorded at many sites, and central Laos, where a fairly large population apparently survives near the Vietnamese border. In East Tonkin, it is found very close to the border with China and probably occurs in suitable habitat there also (Vogel et al. 2003). Race naungmungensis has been described from the Naung Mung area of Kachin State, northern Myanmar (Rappole et al. 2005). It is very localised in occurrence and absent from areas of apparently suitable habitat (R. Craik in litt. 2011, S. Mahood in litt. 2011).

Population justification
The global population size has not been formerly quantified, but the species is described as generally uncommon, although locally common (del Hoyo et al. 2007). The number of mature individuals is preliminarily estimated at fewer than 20,000.

Trend justification
Data on population trends are lacking, but high rates of forest clearance and degradation are occurring throughout much of the species's range (J. Pilgrim in litt. 2011), the effects of which are perhaps partially buffered by the species's occurrence in montane forest in some areas and its apparently tolerance of some habitat modification (del Hoyo et al. 2007). On the basis of this information, a moderately rapid population decline is suspected.

In south Annam, subspecies danjoui is found in montane evergreen forest between 1,500 and 2,100 m, but the northern subspecies parvirostris is mainly found in lowland forest between 50 and 900 m, ascending locally to 1,650 m. This species frequents the lower storey, often foraging on the ground. It is noted to tolerate some habitat modification as it is able to survive in secondary forest (del Hoyo et al. 2007).

This species is threatened by deforestation and forest degradation throughout its range, particularly in areas where it occurs at lower elevations. The occurrence of subspecies danjoui at higher elevations may render is susceptible to the effects of projected climate change.

Conservation Actions Underway
It occurs in several protected areas throughout its range, including Nakai-Nam Theun NBCA in Laos, Ke Go, Vu Quang and Pu Mat nature reserves in Vietnam. Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct repeated surveys within the species's range to determine its current distribution and abundance, as well as assess population trends. Monitor rates of habitat loss. Conduct ecological studies to improve understanding of its precise habitat requirements, tolerance of secondary habitats and response to fragmentation. Increase the area of suitable habitat that has protected status.

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

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

IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. Available at: (Accessed: 19 November 2015).

Rappole, J.H.; Renner, S.C.; Nay Myo Shwe; Sweet, P. R. 2005. A new species of Scimitar-Babbler (Timaliidae: Jabouilleia) from the sub-Himalayan region of Myanmar. The Auk 122: 1064-1069.

Vogel, C. J.; Sweet, P. R.; Le Manh Hung; Hurley, M. M. 2003. Ornithological records from Ha Giang province, north-east Vietnam, during March-June 2000. Forktail 19: 21-30.

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., Gilroy, J., Taylor, J. & Symes, A.

Duckworth, W., Eames, J.C., Mahood, S. & Pilgrim, J.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Jabouilleia danjoui. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016.

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.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Near Threatened
Family Timaliidae (Babblers and parrotbills)
Species name author (Robinson & Kloss, 1919)
Population size 10000-19999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 126,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species