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Chestnut-headed Partridge Arborophila cambodiana
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This partridge is listed as Least Concern because, despite its small range and suspected modest population declines, habitat remains contiguous through large parts of its range and it is not believed to approach any of the thresholds for classification as Vulnerable. The impacts of selective logging do not appear to be adverse and the extent of clear-felling within its altitudinal range is low.

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.

28 cm. Distinctive partridge with mostly plain chestnut head. Similar spp. Markedly different to any other partridge occurring within its range. The extralimital Bar-backed Partridge A. brunneopectus has similar upperparts but is typically less heavily marked with black. Voice Said to recall A. brunneopectus, which gives a rapid series of loud "brr" notes, leading up to separate series of "wi-wu" couplets (with stressed first note).

Distribution and population
Arborophila cambodiana is endemic to south-east Thailand (subspecies diversa) and the Cardamom mountains of south-west Cambodia (subspecies cambodiana and the recently described chandamonyi (Eames et al. 2002)). In Thailand, it is known from Khao Sabap, within the Namtok Phliu National Park, and Khao Soi Dao Wildlife Sanctuary, with just three confirmed recent records, all from Khao Soi Dao (the last in 2000 (Carroll 2001)). In Cambodia cambodiana appears to be relatively common above 200-300 m throughout the Cardamon Mountains (C. Samnang in litt. 2004). The newly described sub-species chamdamonyi is known only from the Samkos Range of the Cardamom Mountains. The Thailand population is thought to number 100-200 individuals, but in Cambodia it occurs at relatively high densities in several thousand km2 of essentially unfragmented habitat above the 200 m contour (S. Browne in litt. 2007, T. Evans in litt. 2007). Hence its global population likely falls within the band 20,000-50,000 individuals.

Population justification
An increase in ornithological surveys within Cambodia has revealed that extensive areas of suitable habitat appear to support this species at relatively high densities. Hence its population estimate has been revised upwards considerably and is probably best placed within the band 20,000-50,000 individuals.

Trend justification
The species is thought to be decreasing owing to habitat encroachment and the ongoing loss of forest, particularly in Cambodia. However, it is unlikely to be adversely affected by selective logging, and large parts of its range will avoid exploitation in the near future owing to areas of uncleared landmines.

It is presumed resident in evergreen forest on slopes and plateaus, and has also been recorded in open areas. It is generally found in mountains from 700-1,400 m in Thailand, and on plateaux (up to 1,000 m) in Cambodia, although it has been recorded down to 300 m and 400 m in both countries, and 200 m in Cambodia (S. Browne in litt. 2004, C. Samnang in litt. 2004). It commonly forms groups of 5-6, although up to 30 individuals have been observed together. The diet includes ants, termites and other invertebrates which are obtained by scratching in the leaf-litter (C. Samnang in litt. 2004). It has been observed feeding in rice-paddies in the foothills between November and January (C. Samnang in litt. 2004).

In Cambodia, logging and hunting are probably the most significant threats. Both Bokor and Kirirom National Parks are subject to heavy (mostly clandestine) logging, which has affected an estimated 80% of Bokor. However, the species is unlikely to be adversely affected by selective logging and large areas of suitable habitat remain essentially unfragmented (S. Browne in litt. 2007, T. Evans in litt. 2007). In Thailand, selective logging and small-scale forest encroachment are minor threats. Levels of hunting are high in areas where the species occurs but this may have neglible impact on species with high breeding productivity like Arborophila partridges (P. Davidson in litt. 2003). The use of poisons for fishing in forest streams (C. Samnang in litt. 2004), disturbance through occasional dry-season fires and perhaps the local avicultural trade may be additional threats. Although most forest within the species's range has escaped severe fragmentation to date, there is potential for relatively rapid clearance in the future and this will remain a potential threat (S. Browne in litt. 2007).

Conservation Actions Underway
The species is afforded full legal protection in both Thailand and Cambodia. It occurs within Namtok Phliu National Park and Khao Soi Dao Wildlife Sanctuary, Thailand. In the Cardamom Mountains, Cambodia, the species is protected in the Phnom Samkos Wildlife Sanctuary, Central Cardamom Protected Forest, Southwest Elephant Corridor and the Phnom Aural Wildlife Sanctuary (S. Browne in litt. 2004, C. Samnang in litt. 2004). It also occurs in Bokor and probably Kirirom National Parks, Cambodia. Political instability and uncleared landmines in Cambodia have made conservation difficult, but surveys have been carried out and further research is planned. The World Pheasant Association and Forestry Administration of the Cambodian Government have established a Cambodian Galliformes Conservation Programme (S. Browne in litt. 2004). Bird tours and individuals regularly visit Bokor National Park to search for this species, generating revenue for the species's conservation. Conservation Actions Proposed
Promote public awareness of the species's conservation and protected status in Thailand and Cambodia. Lobby for a moratorium on logging throughout the Cardamom Range, including Bokor and Kirirom National Parks, Cambodia. Identify and implement management requirements for the species within protected areas in Cambodia, especially Bokor National park and Phnom Aural. Encourage community-based conservation groups at key sites. Monitor the Khao Soi Dao population. Monitor, potentially using remote satellite technologies, forest cover in the Cardamon Mountains. Investigate the species's ecology, in particular sensitivity to habitat degradation and disturbance, and altitudinal distribution.

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

Carroll, J. 2001. Chestnut headed Hill Partridge captured in Thailand. Species 35: 7.

Eames, J. C.; Steinhammer, F. D.; Bansok, R. 2002. A collection of birds from the Cardamom Mountains, Cambodia, including a new subspecies of Arborophila cambodiana. Forktail 18: 67-86.

Keane, A.M.; Carroll, J. P.; Fuller, R. A.; McGowan, P.J. K. in press. Partridges, quails, francolins, snowcocks, guineafowl and turkeys: status survey and conservation action plan 2005-2009. IUCN and WPA, Gland, Switzerland.

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
Davidson, P., Benstead, P., Keane, A., Bird, J.

Davidson, P., Duckworth, W., Browne, S., Evans, T., Samnang, C., Tordoff, J.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Arborophila cambodiana. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016.

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.

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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-headed partridge (Arborophila cambodiana) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Least Concern
Family Phasianidae (Pheasants, Partridges, Turkeys, Grouse)
Species name author Delacour & Jabouille, 1928
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 17,900 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species