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Bornean Bristlehead Pityriasis gymnocephala
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This unusual species is likely to be declining moderately rapidly throughout much of its range as a result of forest loss and degradation. It is currently considered Near Threatened, and 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
Pityriasis gymnocephala is restricted to Borneo, where it occurs patchily in lowland forests of Sabah and Sarawak, East Malaysia, Brunei and Kalimantan, Indonesia (BirdLife International 2001).

Population justification
The population size of this species has not been quantified, but it is described as uncommon.

Trend justification
Data on trends are lacking, but at least moderately rapid population declines have almost certainly occurred as a result of widespread and rapid forest destruction within the species's range.

This species is found principally in peatswamp forest, but is also recorded from primary evergreen forest, logged forest and tall secondary forest up to 1,000 m. It is a noisy and social species, moving in small groups through the canopy and feeding on invertebrates, small reptiles and amphibians.

Rates of forest loss in the lowlands of Borneo have been rapid, particularly in Kalimantan, where the forests have suffered a recent escalation of illegal logging and land conversion, with deliberate targeting of all remaining stands of valuable timber including those inside protected areas. Forest fires have also had a damaging effect (particularly in 1997-1998), with peatswap forests being particularly affected. The magnitude of these threats may be allayed by this species's tolerance of logged, secondary and hill forest, although more research is required to determine the full habitat requirements of this unique species.

Conservation Actions Underway
No targeted conservation actions are known for this species, although it occurs in a number of protected areas.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct repeated surveys in areas within and surrounding the species's range to measure rates of population decline or range contraction. Conduct ecological studies to improve understanding of its precise habitat requirements, tolerance of secondary habitats and response to fragmentation. Campaign for the protection of remaining tracts of peatswamp forest on Borneo.

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.

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: Pityriasis gymnocephala. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016.

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 - Bornean bristlehead (Pityriasis gymnocephala) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Near Threatened
Family Pityriaseidae (Bristlehead)
Species name author Temminck, 1835
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 737,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species