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Xinjiang Ground-jay Podoces biddulphi
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species is considered Near Threatened as it is likely to have a moderately small and fragmented global population size, and is inferred to be in decline owing to habitat fragmentation and degradation; it almost qualifies for listing under criterion C1+2a(i). Further studies are required to clarify the current magnitude of risk to this species.

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
Podoces biddulphi is known from Xinjiang, western China, where it occurs in the Taklimakan Desert (and there is a recent sight record well to the east of this area, near Golmud in Qinghai) (BirdLife International 2001). It was described as being common in 1929-1930, but it was scarce and difficult to locate in the same areas in 1988. However, it has recently been found to be widespread and locally common in the interior of the Taklimakan Desert.

Population justification
The total population of this species is estimated to number c.10,700 individuals, equivalent to c.7,100 mature individuals.

Trend justification
Precise data on population trends are not available, but a slow to moderate decline is suspected to be occurring as a result of habitat conversion and degradation.

This species is found in sandy desert, scrub and desert poplar.

This species is probably declining because of the fragmentation and degradation of desert habitats through the intensive grazing of goats and camels, extraction of fuelwood and the conversion of huge areas to irrigated land.

Conservation Actions Underway
No targeted conservation actions are known for this species, although some of its habitat is protected.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct repeated surveys within the species's range to determine its 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. Effectively protect significant areas of suitable habitat, especially desert poplar, at key sites.

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. 2009. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 14: Bush-shrikes to Old World Sparrows. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

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

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. & Ashpole, J

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Podoces biddulphi. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016.

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 Corvidae (Crows and jays)
Species name author Hume, 1874
Population size 7100 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 283,000 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species