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Sooty Babbler Stachyris herberti
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This species is listed Least Concern as it is more widespread than once thought, and because the forests it inhabits are naturally protected by the inaccessible nature of the karst formations on which they are located.

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
Stachyris herberti was historically known from only two lowland localities in central Laos, where it was collected in 1920. However, in 1994 it was found to be not uncommon in primary forest at a single locality in central Annam, Vietnam. Recent observations suggest that it is locally common in central Laos over a fairly wide area (del Hoyo et al. 2007).

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

Trend justification
Slight declines are suspected to have occurred as a result of deforestation occurring within lower parts of the elevational range of this species.

This species frequents stunted evergreen forest in limestone gullies, steep cliffs and adjacent rock, at 230-610 m, foraging in small groups for small invertebrates (del Hoyo et al. 2007).

This species is presumably threatened by lowland deforestation, although this is proceeding at an extremely slow rate in the inaccessible karstic regions it occupies. Deforestation is occurring in the lower parts of karst areas, and these forests could be an important habitat component for this species. However, the majority of its habitat is protected because the karst hills on which it grows are difficult to penetrate (del Hoyo et al. 2007).

Conservation Actions Underway
This species occurs in a few protected areas: Hin Nam No, Khammouane Limestone and Nam Kading National Biodiversity Conservation Areas, Laos and Phong Nha Nature Reserve, Vietnam.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct repeated surveys within the range to determine current distribution and abundance, and assess population trends and rates of habitat loss. Conduct ecological studies to improve understanding of its precise habitat requirements, particularly the importance of forests in lower karst areas, where deforestation is proceeding more rapidly. Effectively protect significant areas of suitable forest (particularly in lower parts of karst areas) at key sites, in both strictly protected areas and community led multiple use areas.

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., Mahood, S., Gilroy, J., Calvert, R.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Stachyris herberti. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016.

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 Least Concern
Family Timaliidae (Babblers and parrotbills)
Species name author (Baker, 1920)
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 19,100 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species