Habitat and Ecology
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
It is legally protected in Sri Lanka. A moratorium was passed in 1990 to protect wet zone forests from logging. It occurs in several national parks and forest reserves, most notably Peak Wilderness Sanctuary, Hakgala Strict Nature Reserve and Dothalugala Man and Biosphere Reserve (V. Samarawickrama in litt. 2005). A survey of the biodiversity of 200 forest sites was carried out from 1991-1996. Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct a comprehensive survey in order to clarify its status and produce management recommendations for this species in conservation forests and other protected areas. Research the effects of pesticide pollution on this and other species associated with upland streams. Encourage protection of important areas of forest holding this and other threatened species, including proposals to designate conservation forests, and ensure their effective management. Maintain the current ban on logging of wet zone forests. Promote programmes to create awareness of the value of biological resources amongst local communities. Provide an alternative source of heating or fuel to reduce pressure on firewood (C. Kaluthota in litt. 2012). Ensure the continuing protection of Dothalugala Man and Biosphere Reserve (V. Samarawickrama in litt. 2007).
Sri Lanka Whistling Thrush
It is found in the highlands of Sri Lanka in jungle or other dense forest near water. It is omnivorous, eating a wide range of insects, frogs, earthworms and berries. It lays one or two eggs in a neat cup-shaped nest in a bush or on a ledge near water.
It does not form flocks, although several birds may be loosely associated in suitable habitat.
This is a small whistling thrush, at only 20 cm. Adult males are dark blue with a darker head and back. There are bright blue patches on the shoulders, supercilia and forehead. The female is brown above and chestnut below, but has a bright blue shoulder patch like the male.
The male sings its simple whistling song from trees, usually in deep cover.
This is a notoriously difficult species to see, even when the males are singing in the breeding season, which starts in February. It is very shy, scarce, localised and declining due to habitat loss. Perhaps the best chance is at dawn at Horton Plains National Park, 2000m up in the highlands of Sri Lanka.
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