email a friend
printable version
Giant Babax Babax waddelli
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

This species is now scarce within its restricted range, and is thought to be in moderately rapid decline owing to habitat loss and degradation. It is therefore currently listed as Near 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
Babax waddelli occurs in southern Tibet, China, and extreme north-eastern Sikkim, India. It is generally scarce across this range, although it may be locally common in suitable habitats.

Population justification
The current global population is estimated to be 120,000 individuals (del Hoyo et al. 2007).

Trend justification
Deforestation and habitat degradation are occurring within this species's altitudinal range, and a moderately rapid decline is suspected to be occurring in response.

This species inhabits dense deciduous scrub above the treeline, particularly around stands of willow (Salix spp.), sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) and prickly oak (Quercus spp.), and the edges of coniferous and mixed forests. Records are from 2,700-4,600 m.

This species is presumably declining because of deforestation, although extensive pine and mixed coniferous forests with prickly oak and rhododendron still remain to the east of Lhasa.

Conservation Actions Underway
No targeted conservation actions are known for this species.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct repeated surveys within the range to determine current distribution and abundance, as well as assess population trends and rates of habitat loss. Conduct ecological studies to improve understanding of its precise habitat requirements, particularly its tolerance of fragmentation and human degradation. Protect areas of suitable habitat.

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.

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.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Babax waddelli. 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 - Giant babax (Babax waddelli) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Near Threatened
Family Timaliidae (Babblers and parrotbills)
Species name author Dresser, 1905
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 59,900 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species