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Slaty-backed Thrush Zoothera schistacea
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species is relatively common within its range, but given that this area is very restricted the global population is thought to be moderately small. It is also thought to be losing suitable habitat through logging pressure, and therefore is considered Near Threatened. Recent records from heavily degraded habitats suggest it may be resilient to habitat degradation and current concerns of its status may prove unwarranted in the future.

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
Zoothera schistacea is restricted to the Tanimbar Islands (Larat and Yamdena), Indonesia. It has been described as generally common, but it is likely to be declining owing to on-going forest loss within its very small range. It is inferred to have a relatively small population owing to the small size of its range.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as generally common (del Hoyo et al. 2005).

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction and fragmentation.

It inhabits the undergrowth and subcanopy of lowland forests (primary and secondary), preferring dense vegetation along watercourses. It has also been found in degraded forest on the edge of cultivation. It forages on the forest floor, though it is not as terrestrial as other thrushes of the region and will sit high in the subcanopy and middle storeys if flushed. It is sometimes seen in small groups. It is considered to be more active during the wet season.

Logging in the south of Yamdena probably represents the most severe threat.

Conservation Actions Underway
None are known. Conservation Actions Proposed
Map forest loss over time within the species's range. Research the species population density and habitat preferences to inform a global population estimate. During fieldwork assess threats to the species and recommend conservation actions appropriately. Protect significant areas of forest at key sites, in both strictly protected areas and community-led multiple use areas.

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

Clement, P.; Hathway, R. 2000. Thrushes. Christopher Helm, London.

Collar, N. J. 2005. Family Turdidae (Thrushes). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Christie, C. (eds), Handbook of birds of the world Vol. 10, pp. 514-807. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Christie, D. 2005. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 10: Cuckoo-shrikes to Thrushes. 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., Bird, J., Khwaja, N., Mahood, S.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Zoothera schistacea. 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 - Slaty-backed thrush (Zoothera schistacea) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Near Threatened
Family Turdidae (Thrushes)
Species name author (Meyer, 1884)
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 3,500 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species