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White-browed Nuthatch Sitta victoriae
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This nuthatch is known from just one small area of mountains, and is likely to have a small population which is declining as a result of habitat degradation, which qualifies it as Endangered. However, if future surveys discover populations in other nearby mountain ranges, it may warrant downlisting to Vulnerable.

Taxonomic source(s)
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.

11.5 cm. Dainty nuthatch with long, narrow white supercilium and chestnut sides. Whitish lores and white head-sides. White underparts with contrasting orange-rufous on head-sides to flanks. Juvenile has fainter orange-rufous on head-sides to flanks. Similar spp. White-tailed Nuthatch S. himalayensis has buffish-chestnut breast and belly and lacks white supercilium. Voice Probable song is rapid 9-12 note crescendo whi-whi-whi-whi-whi-whi-whi-whi-whi. Calls with subdued pit notes and insistent pee pee pee.

Distribution and population
Sitta victoriae is only known from the southern Chin Hills of Myanmar. Historical records are all from the Mt Victoria area. There have been recent records from this site where it appears to be scarce, with 14 birds recorded in 1995, five records in a two-week period in April 2000, and 45 sightings during four months of fieldwork in 2001-2002 (Naing 2003). Other sightings include three birds recorded at nearby Mindat in 1995. Recent surveys of the adjacent central Chin Hills failed to find this species, suggesting that it is genuinely restricted to the Mt Victoria range (T. Htin-hla in litt. 2007).

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 2,500-9,999 mature individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. This estimate is equivalent to 3,750-14,999 individuals, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.

Trend justification
Habitat degradation and destruction are continuing within this species's small range, primarily from logging and shifting cultivation, suggesting that moderate to slow population declines are likely to be on-going (Naing 2003). However, given the high altitudinal range of this species, it may not be at great risk from agricultural development (T. Htin-hla in litt. 2007).

Birds exhibit a preference for oak Quercus semicarpifolia and Rhododendron arboreum forest between 2,300-3,000 m (Naing 2003), feeding in mixed flocks, generally in the outer branches of large trees. It appears to be most common below 2,500 m.

Forest up to 2,000 m has been almost totally cleared on Mt Victoria and some habitat from 2,000-2,500 m has been heavily degraded, but most above 2,300 m (the species's lower limit) remains secure from logging. The only major threat is slash-and-burn clearance for agriculture, which sometimes reaches these elevations (T. Htin Hla in litt. 2012).

Conservation Actions Underway
Mt Victoria falls within Natma Taung National Park, although no management activities have yet been initiated and it is unclear how effective protection is likely to become. Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys in montane forest in the southern Chin Hills to determine the exact range, status and conservation requirements of this species. Lobby for the increased protection and improved management of natural habitat in Natma Taung National Park, particularly at the lower forest fringes occupied by this species. Promote conservation awareness initiatives in Chin Hills communities aimed at reducing habitat loss and fragmentation resulting from shifting cultivation. Enforce regulations on logging, shifting cultivation and hunting within Natma Taung National Park.

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

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

Naing, T.Z. 2003. Ecology of the white-browed nuthatch Sitta victoriae in Natmataung National Park, Myanmar, with notes on other significant species. Forktail 19: 57-62.

Further web sources of information
Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) species/site profile. This species has been identified as an AZE trigger due to its IUCN Red List status and limited range.

Click here for more information about the Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE)

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.

Htin Hla, T.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Sitta victoriae. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016.

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 - White-browed nuthatch (Sitta victoriae) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Endangered
Family Sittidae (Nuthatches and Wallcreeper)
Species name author Rippon, 1904
Population size 2500-9999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 820 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species