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Nonggang Babbler Stachyris nonggangensis

Justification
This recently described species has been uplisted to Vulnerable on the basis that improved knowledge suggests that it has a small population, which is suspected to be in decline owing to on-going habitat degradation. Further improvements in knowledge could result in it qualifying as Endangered.

Taxonomic source(s)
Zhou Fang; Jiang Aiwu. 2008. A new species of Babbler (Timaliidae: Stachyris) from the Sino-Vietnamese border region of China. The Auk 125(2): 420-424.

Taxonomic note
Stachyris nonggangensis was described as new to science by Zhou Fang and Jiang Aiwu (2008). Comparison of nonggangensis with its closest relative S. herberti reveals relatively minor but consistent morphological differences that justify its specific status.

Identification
16-17 cm. Dark brown babbler with heavy, dark bill, checkered white throat and whitish crescent shapes behind ear coverts.

Distribution and population
Stachyris nonggangensis was described in 2008 from the Nonggang Natural Reserve, China (Zhou Fang and Jiang Aiwu 2008, Jiang Aiwu 2009). It appears to occupy a limited distribution in the Sino-Vietnamese border region in southwest Guangxi, China, and adjacent Vietnam (Zhou Fang and Jiang Aiwu 2008, Jiang Aiwu in litt. 2011), although its presence in Vietnam is yet to be confirmed. Suitable habitat may extend into Yunnan Province (Zhou Fang and Jiang Aiwu 2008).

Population justification
Extensive surveys conducted since 2008 have resulted in an estimate of 1,000-2,000 mature individuals, all in one subpopulation (Zhou Fang et al. in litt. 2010), with an estimate of 1,300 individuals in three reserves (Nonggang, Bangliang and Chunxiu) (Zhou Fang in litt. 2012), but the extent of suitable habitat implies that there are probably more than 2,500 mature individuals in total.

Trend justification
Population trends have not been quantified; however, given that its habitat is selectively logged, the species is suspected to be in decline owing to on-going habitat degradation.


Ecology
This species occupies limestone karst seasonal rainforest. Extensive observational and netting surveys in forest in the non-limestone mountains of the Sino-Vietnamese border areas of south Guangxi since 2004 failed to record the species, indicating that it has very specific habitat requirements. Individuals have been seen foraging in gaps between two rocks by turning over fallen leaves, apparently preying on insects and other arthropods. Single-species flocks have been observed in winter (Zhou Fang and Jiang Aiwu 2008).

Threats
Its habitat has been fragmented by agricultural expansion and road-building (Jiang Aiwu in litt. 2011), and is subject to on-going selective logging, driven at least partly by charcoal production (Zhou Fang and Jiang Aiwu 2008, Jiang Aiwu in litt. 2011).


Conservation Actions Underway
The species is present in Nonggang National Nature Reserve (Zhou Fang and Jiang Aiwu 2008, Jiang Aiwu in litt. 2011), Bangliang Nature Reserve (established in 2008), where it is thought to be very rare (Jiang Aiwu in litt. 2011), and Chunxiu Nature Reserve (Zhou Fang in litt. 2012). These three reserves are estimated to harbour c.1,300 individuals of this species (Zhou Fang in litt. 2012). Conservation Actions Proposed
Establish a monitoring programme to assess population trends. Monitor rates of habitat fragmentation and degradation within the species's range. Study the ecology of the species, particularly its ability to persist in other habitats. Identify, assess and mitigate threats. Ensure that existing protected areas within its range are effectively managed. Increase the area of suitable habitat that is protected. 

References
Fang, Z. and Aiwu, J. 2008. A new species of babbler (Timaliidae: Stachyris) from the Sino-Vietnamese border region of China. Auk 125(2): 420-424.

Jiang Aiwu. 2009. Unexpected returns from a study of birds in southwest Guangxi karst forests. Living Forests: 41-44.

Further web sources of information
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
Calvert, R., Taylor, J.

Contributors
Jiang, A., Zhou, F.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Stachyris nonggangensis. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/08/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/08/2014.

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 Vulnerable
Family Timaliidae (Babblers and parrotbills)
Species name author Zhou & Jiang, 2008
Population size 2500-9999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 590 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species