BirdLife species factsheet for Rufous-headed Robin Rufous-headed Robin Luscinia ruficeps is known to breed at four sites in north-central Sichuan and southern Shaanxi, south-west China, and has been recorded once in winter in peninsular Malaysia (and recently in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in November 2012 – see http://cambodiabirdingnews.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/rufous-headed-robin-in-phnom-penh.html). It is currently listed as Vulnerable under criterion C2a(i) because it has a small, declining population as a result of forest destruction and possibly dam construction. The paucity of records of this species suggests that it probably has a localised distribution and a small population. The population was previously estimated to number 2,500-9,999 mature individuals (rounded to 3,500-15,000 individuals), based on an analysis of records in BirdLife International (2001), who noted that it can occur at high densities in suitable habitat. However, it has recently been suggested that that there are fewer than 2,500-9,999 mature individuals (J. Hornskov in litt. 2012). It is likely that the population is more localised than the suitable habitat for this species and so, in addition to problems associated with development and habitat degradation at the breeding grounds, it may also be under threat within its wintering grounds (J. Hornskov in litt. 2012). Dam construction in particular is likely to be strongly affecting habitat at these wintering sites, as well as habitat used on migration (J. Hornskov in litt. 2012), and possibly successional habitats utilised during the breeding season. If there is sufficient information to suggest that the population of this species is likely to number fewer than 2,500 mature individuals, the population is inferred to be undergoing a continuing decline, and ≥95% mature individuals are in one subpopulation (on the basis that most/all individuals of this species winter in one subpopulation), this species would warrant uplisting to Endangered under criterion C2a(ii) of the IUCN Red List. Further information is required on this species’s likely distribution, population size, trends and size of the largest subpopulation. Reference: BirdLife International (2001) Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International: Cambridge, U.K.
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