This discussion was first published as part of the 2012 Red List update, but remains open for comment to enable reassessment in 2013.
Taiwan Partridge Arborophila crudigularis is endemic to the mountains of central Taiwan (China), where it inhabits thickets and dense undergrowth in broadleaved evergreen forest, at 700-3,000 m, although confusingly Brazil (2009) gives an elevation range of 100-2,300 m. It is currently listed as Near Threatened under criteria B1a+b(iii); C1; C2, on the basis that it is likely to have a small population, occupying a moderately small range, both of which are probably in decline owing to forest clearance for timber extraction and agricultural expansion. An apparent lack of information on the species’s sub-population structure and the level of habitat fragmentation in its range places limitations on its Red List assessment.
Mapping of the species’s range by BirdLife has resulted in an estimated Extent of Occurrence of c.18,200 km2 (based on an elevation range of 700-3,000 m), which meets the range size threshold for Vulnerable under criterion B1. It is not clear, however, if the species’s habitat is severely fragmented, i.e. more than 50% existing in patches that are too small to support viable populations.
The population is thought to number fewer than 10,000 individuals (del Hoyo et al. 1994). Whilst it is secure in some protected areas, it is suspected to be declining elsewhere owing to on-going deforestation and habitat degradation, and there is a scarcity of records from outside protected areas (Madge and McGowan 2002). Thus, if all mature individuals are shown to form one sub-population, or conversely that all sub-populations number no more than 1,000 individuals, the species could qualify as Vulnerable under criterion C2.
Further information on this species is requested, including details of its likely sub-population structure (the number of sub-populations and the size of the largest and/or the maximum percentage of all mature individuals in one sub-population) and the level of habitat fragmentation in its range (that is, the percentage of suitable habitat that exists in patches too small to support viable populations).
Brazil, M. (2009) Field Guide to the Birds of East Asia. London, UK: Christopher Helm.
del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Sargatal, J. (1994) Handbook of the birds of the world, Vol 2: New World Vultures to Guineafowl. Barcelona, Spain: Lynx Edicions.
Madge, S. and McGowan, P. (2002) Pheasants, partridges and grouse: including buttonquails, sandgrouse and allies. London: Christopher Helm (Helm Identification Guide).
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