email a friend
printable version
Hainan Leaf-warbler Phylloscopus hainanus
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

This species, known from only a handfull of sites, and has a small and declining range and population as a result of widespread deforestation. It therefore qualifies as Vulnerable.

Taxonomic source(s)
Olsson, U.; Alström, P.; Colston, P. R. 1993. A new species of Phylloscopus warbler from Hainan Island, China. Ibis 135: 2-7.

Taxonomic note
Described as new to science by Olsson et al. (1993).

10-11 cm. Small, slim, warbler. Vivid green upperparts with slightly darker lateral crown-stripes and pale yellow median crown-stripe. Warm yellow supercilium and well-defined, dark eye-stripe. Warm yellow underparts. Two broad, yellowish wing-bars formed by tips of greater and median coverts. White inner web to outer two tail feathers. Similar spp. White-tailed Leaf-warbler P. davisoni is paler below with more distinct, darker lateral crown-stripes. Sulphur-breasted Warbler P. ricketti and Mountain Leaf-warbler P. trivirgatus lack white in outer tail feathers. Voice High-pitched song tsitsisui-tsisui ... titsu-titsui-titsui. Call pitsitsui, pitsiu or pitsi-pitsu.

Distribution and population
Phylloscopus hainanus, described in 1993, is known from only eight localities in the mountains of Hainan Island, China (BirdLife International 2001). Although it is locally common, with flocks of up to 40 recorded (Anon. 2002), it is absent from some apparently suitable forest sites and is probably declining.

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 2,500-9,999 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 1,667-6,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 1,500-7,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
This species's population size and trend are poorly known, but a moderate and continuing decline is suspected, in line with rates of habitat loss and degradation occurring throughout its range.

It occurs in primary, selectively logged and secondary forest and scrub at 640-1,500 m. It may previously have occurred at lower elevations where very little forest now remains. Fledged young and a nest have been found in April, with breeding apparently completed by May.

Forest loss and fragmentation is the main threat. The area of natural forest on Hainan decreased from 16,920 km2 in 1943 to 3,000 km2 in 1994, mainly as a result of timber extraction, the replacement of forest by rubber plantations, slash-and-burn agriculture and the unrestricted cutting of wood for fuel and other uses. Much of the remaining forest is disturbed or modified, although some large primary tracts remain (J. Fellowes in litt. 2007).

Conservation Actions Underway
It has been recorded in Bawangling, Jianfengling, Wuzhishan and Diaoluoshan National Nature Reserve, Nanweiling Forest Area and Jiaxi, Yinggeling and Limushan Nature Reserves. Recent surveys from Exianling and south-east Hainan have added considerably to knowledge of its distribution and abundance. Hainan Wildlife Conservation Centre (HWCC) of the Hainan Forestry Department, supported by Kadoorie Farm & Botanic Garden in Hong Kong, has worked hard to protect remaining natural forests including the large central Yinggeling Nature Reserve. Conservation Actions Proposed
Ensure effective forest protection across all protected areas in its range. Conduct surveys of its distribution, with the aim of determining whether existing protected areas are adequate for its conservation and, if not, to identify additional areas that need to be protected. Research its habitat requirements. Extend and link existing protected areas within the range. At Jianfengling Nature Reserve, enlarge the reserve to link up with Houmiling; at Wuzhi Shan Nature Reserve, reconstruct forest corridors to link this reserve with Qizhiling Nature Reserve; consider linking Limu Shan Nature Reserve with Fanjia Nature Reserve; at Jiaxi Nature Reserve, extend the reserve to Houmiling and strengthen forest protection.

Anon. 2002. Records of globally and nationally threatened wildlife in Guangdong, Guangxi and Hainan, 2001. White-eared Night Heron. Living Forests: 30-32.

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

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., Harding, M., Taylor, J., Allinson, T

Fellowes, J., Wei, L.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Phylloscopus hainanus. 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 - Hainan leaf warbler (Phylloscopus hainanus) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Sylviidae (Old World warblers)
Species name author Olsson, Alström & Colston, 1993
Population size 1500-7000 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 13,200 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species