email a friend
printable version
Mangrove Pitta Pitta megarhyncha
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

This scarce species is restricted to a highly specialised and restricted habitat, and is therefore likely to have a moderately small global population. It is also suspected to be in moderately rapid decline as a result of habitat loss and degradation. It is therefore listed as Near Threatened, and rates of population decline and habitat loss should be carefully monitored.

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
Pitta megarhyncha occurs in Bangladesh (probably a very local resident in the Sundarbans, common at Khulna); its presence in the Sundarbans of India has also recently been confirmed with photographic evidence (S. K. Sen in litt. 2009); it also occurs in Myanmar (scarce to locally common), peninsular Thailand (uncommon to locally common in west), Peninsular Malaysia, where it is now considered uncommon, East Malaysia (one record), Singapore, where it is rare, and Indonesia, where it ranges south from the Riau archipelago, through the eastern lowlands of Sumatra to Bangka (Choy and Wee 2010). It is restricted to coastal mangroves, suggesting that its population is likely to be moderately small.

Population justification
The population size of this species has not been quantified, but it is described as generally scarce to locally common.

Trend justification
Data on precise rates of decline are lacking, but continuing patterns of loss and degradation of mangrove habitats suggest that a moderately rapid decline is likely to be occurring throughout the species's range.

This species occurs in coastal mangroves, as well as in mangrove and Nipa palm stands along tidal rivers, and freshwater swamp forest. It feeds on crustaceans, molluscs and terrestrial insects in drier mud at the bases of mangroves. Nesting has been recorded between May and June (Choy and Wee 2010).

Coastal mangrove forests are suffering severe pressure through clearance for fuelwood, charcoal production and construction materials, as well as for the development of fish and shrimp ponds.

Conservation Actions Underway
The species occurs in a number of protected areas.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct repeated surveys across its range to determine the magnitude of declines. Campaign for the protection of remaining tracts of coastal mangrove woodland throughout its range.

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

Choy, W. M.; Wee, Y. C. 2010. Observations at a Mangrove Pitta Pitta megarhyncha nest in peninsula Malaysia. BirdingASIA: 30-33.

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Christie, D. 2003. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 8: Broadbills to Tapaculos. 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., Khwaja, N., Taylor, J.

Sen, S.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Pitta megarhyncha. 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.

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 - Mangrove pitta (Pitta megarhyncha) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Near Threatened
Family Pittidae (Pittas)
Species name author Schlegel, 1863
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 173,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species