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Grey-breasted Babbler Malacopteron albogulare
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species occurs within a relatively large range, but is scarce and local in most areas. Its habitat requirements are poorly understood. It is suspected to be declining moderately rapidly owing to habitat loss, and is therefore considered Near Threatened. If further studies reveal that it is restricted to primary habitats, or declining at a higher rate than currently thought, its status may change 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.

Distribution and population
Malacopteron albogulare is restricted to Sabah, Sarawak, and peninsular Malaysia; Sumatra (including Batu Islands and Lingga archipelago) and Kalimantan, Indonesia, and Brunei. There are few recent records from many apparently suitable areas, e.g. North Selangor Peat Swamp Forest, Panti Forest Reserve, Pondok Tanjong Forest Reserve, and South Pahang Peat Swamp Forest, Malaysia (D. L. Yong in litt. 2007), which suggests that it is now rare and declining.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as scarce (del Hoyo et al. 2007).

Trend justification
This species has become increasingly scarce in recent years, and is likely to be declining as a result of widespread habitat loss.

This species occurs primarily in the understorey of lowland forests on poor soils, particularly freshwater peatswamp and heath forests on alluvial plains or terraces. In some areas it is restricted to lowland peatswamps and kerangas, although it is also recorded from mixed dipterocarp and dryland forests, lightly-logged forests and forests on sandy or rocky terrain. Its absence in many areas of apparently suitable habitat suggest that it may have specific and unidentified habitat requirements that influence its distribution.

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). Peatswamp forests are being lost at a particularly high rate, and currently receive relatively scant protection from reserve networks.

Conservation Actions Underway

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct repeated surveys within the range to determine current distribution and abundance, as well as assess population trends and rates of habitat loss. Conduct ecological studies to improve understanding of its precise habitat requirements, tolerance of secondary habitats and response to fragmentation. Improve the management of any protected areas within the species's range that are suffering encroachment. Increase the area of suitable habitat that has protected status. Implement measures to reduce the number and severity of forest fires.

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. 2007. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 12: Picathartes to Tits and Chickadees. 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. & Khwaja, N.

Yong, D.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Malacopteron albogulare. 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.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Near Threatened
Family Timaliidae (Babblers and parrotbills)
Species name author (Blyth, 1844)
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 592,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species