Zoothera spiloptera


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Zoothera spiloptera
Species Authority: (Blyth, 1847)
Common Name(s):
English Spot-winged Thrush

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Symes, A. & Butchart, S.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Bird, J., Khwaja, N.
This species is listed as Near Threatened because forest cover has declined steadily to the point that the area of available suitable habitat within its range is now moderately small and fragmented. Ongoing declines are suspected as, despite a moratorium imposed on clearing forest within Sri Lanka's wet zone, habitat loss continues.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Zoothera spiloptera is an endemic resident in southern Sri Lanka. It occurs mainly in the wet zone of the island and although its range is highly restricted it is locally common within it.

Sri Lanka
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as fairly common to common (del Hoyo et al. 2005).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It favours lowlands and hills of the wet zone from 300-1,220 m. It inhabits the leaf-litter of damp, dense, wooded areas and occasionally gardens near forest, also occurring sporadically in the dry zone of Sri Lanka, although there are no recent records from this part of the island. It is apparently most abundant in primary habitat, and although also recorded in selectively logged forest, forest edges or near tea cultivation and scrub, it may be dependent on relatively intact forest remaining nearby. It forages for terrestrial invertebrates, spending c.90% of time on the ground during the day, but will also sally for insects in the air. It breeds in March-May and July-January.

Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Forest on the island has suffered rapid degradation and fragmentation in past decades through excessive gathering of fuelwood, clearance for permanent agriculture, shifting cultivation, fire, urbanisation and logging. Closed-canopy forest is estimated to have declined from 29,000 km2 (44% of the island's area) in 1956 to 12,260 km2 in 1983. It is feared that this loss will continue and the status of this species therefore requires monitoring.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
A moratorium was passed in 1990 to protect wet zone forests from logging, but encroachment continues. It occurs in several national parks and forest reserves. A survey of the biodiversity of 200 forest sites was carried out from 1991-1996.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Protect areas of lowland forest within the species's range. Enforce restrictions on logging and agricultural encroachment within wet zone forests. Generate density estimates to inform a revised population estimate for the species.

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Zoothera spiloptera. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 02 September 2015.
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