This scarce and poorly known species is currently considered Near Threatened, as it is suspected to be declining moderately rapidly throughout its range as a result of continuing habitat loss.
Distribution and populationPycnonotus melanoleucos
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.
is confined to the Sundaic lowlands, where is it known from peninsular Thailand
, Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia
, Singapore (formerly), Kalimantan and Sumatra (including Mentawai Island), Indonesia
(BirdLife International 2001). In is generally scarce, although it is sporadically fairly common in parts of Peninsular Malaysia and Borneo. It may undertake nomadic movements. Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as fairly common in Malaysia and Borneo and rather rare in Sumatra (del Hoyo et al. 2005).Trend justification
Moderately rapid declines in this species's population are suspected to be occurring as a result of widespread and rapid deforestation throughout its range.Ecology
This species occurs in broadleaved evergreen forest (including selectively logged forest), mixed-dipterocarp forest, secondary growth and forest edge, from lowlands up to at least 1,830 m. It is also recorded from luxuriant gardens and cultivation, peatswamp forest and overgrown plantations. Its nomadic tendencies suggest a degree of specialisation in its foraging niche, although further research is needed to determine its habitat requirements. Threats
Rates of forest loss in the Sundaic lowlands have been extremely rapid, owing partly to the 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). The magnitude of these threats may be allayed by this species's tolerance of hill forest, which is under less pressure from logging and agricultural conversion. However, as a nomadic species, it may be more susceptible to the effects of habitat fragmentation. 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 ecological studies to improve understanding of its precise habitat requirements, particularly the causes of nomadic movements, as well as levels of persistence in secondary and fragmented habitats. 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. Effectively protect significant areas of suitable 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.
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., Gilroy, J., Taylor, J.
IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.
BirdLife International (2015) Species factsheet: Pycnonotus melanoleucos. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 02/07/2015.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2015) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 02/07/2015.
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
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