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Overview

Distribution

Range Description

Luscinia ruficeps is known from four confirmed or probable breeding sites in north-central Sichuan and southern Shaanxi, south-western China, although there are recent records from only one of these. In Jiuzhaigou National Park, six singing males were heard along 3-4 km of the valley near Nuorilong in 1991, and four singing males and two females were seen along c.400 m of trail in the valley above "Pearl Shoal waterfall" in June 1995. It has been recorded once on passage in central Phnom Penh, Cambodia (Mahood et al. 2013, S. Mahood in litt. 2013) and in winter in Peninsular Malaysia. The paucity of records suggests that it probably has a localised distribution and a very small population. At the only breeding site with recent records, the species shows restricted habitat use in a narrow elevation range, which if assumed to be representative of the species's ecology suggests that across its entire potential range it may not exceed 2,500 mature individuals.

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Range

N-central China (Tsingling Mountains of Shaanxi and Sichuan).
  • Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2014. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.9. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
In its breeding range, it occurs in areas of temperate mixed coniferous and deciduous forest and scrub, particularly associated with narrow river valleys at 2,400-2,800 m, where it appears to be specialised to areas of successional scrub in valley bottoms which develop following flash-floods. The single winter record is from ericaceous scrub at 2,030 m.


Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Freshwater
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
EN
Endangered

Red List Criteria
C2a(ii)

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2013

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

Reviewer/s
Butchart, S.

Contributor/s
Hornskov, J., Mahood, S. & Eaton, J.

Justification
This poorly known species has been uplisted from Vulnerable owing to evidence that its population is smaller than previously thought. It is now listed as Endangered on the basis that it has a very small population, which is thought to be declining as a result of habitat loss and degradation.


History
  • 2012
    Vulnerable
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Population

Population
This species's population was previously estimated to number 2,500-9,999 mature individuals, based on an analysis of records by BirdLife International (2001), who noted that it can occur at high densities in suitable habitat, but that the paucity of records suggests that it is probably highly localised in distribution and could have a small total population. However, evidence indicates that the population is likely to be smaller than this. There are recent breeding records from only one site, where it is restricted to a specific habitat type within a narrow elevation range. The population estimate is thus placed in the band for 1,000-2,499 mature individuals, roughly equivalent to 1,500-3,800 individuals in total. All mature individuals are precautionarily assumed to form one subpopulation.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
The main threat is likely to be the loss and fragmentation of forest. Forest cover has declined rapidly in Sichuan since the late 1960s, through timber production and conversion to cultivation and pasture, and it is assumed that substantial areas of temperate forest have been lost. In one of the valleys where it was recently recorded in Jiuzhaigou Nature Reserve, limited cutting and lopping of wood had occurred, and in two valleys flood-control dams have been constructed. Dam construction may be negatively affecting successional habitats utilised during the breeding season, as exemplified by one area of the known breeding site, where the species has disappeared or become scarce following the flooding of suitable habitat after dam construction (J. Eaton in litt. 2013). Habitat degradation caused through over-grazing by livestock is a further threat in its breeding range (J. Eaton in litt. 2013, S. Mahood in litt. 2013). If it winters in primary lowland forest in the Sundaic region, it is likely to experience intense pressures from habitat loss in that part of its range.

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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Conservation Actions Underway
CMS Appendix II. A number of protected areas established for giant panda Ailuropoda melanoleuca contain suitable habitat, but this species's distribution and abundance in these areas is poorly known. It has been recorded from Jiuzhaigou Nature Reserve and Wanglang Nature Reserve, Sichuan, and Taibai Shan National Nature Reserve in Shaanxi.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey protected areas in or near to its known range, and seek to determine its winter range. Research its habitat requirements, altitudinal range and population status and in particular determine its utilisation of successional habitats and modified forest, as well as habitat requirements in wintering grounds. Strengthen protection and link, where possible, protected areas where it occurs and where new populations are discovered. Support recommendations to control logging and fire and restore damaged giant panda habitat where this would benefit this species and other endemic temperate forest bird species. Control tourism in Jiuzhaigou Nature Reserve. List it as a protected species in China.

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Wikipedia

Rufous-headed robin

The rufous-headed robin (Luscinia ruficeps) is a species of bird in the Muscicapidae family.

It is found in China and Malaysia.

Its natural habitats are temperate forests and temperate shrubland.

It is threatened by habitat loss.

References[edit]

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