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Saxicola macrorhynchus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA AVES PASSERIFORMES MUSCICAPIDAE

Scientific Name: Saxicola macrorhynchus
Species Authority: (Stoliczka, 1872)
Common Name(s):
English White-browed Bushchat, Stoliczka's Bushchat, White-browed Bush Chat
Synonym(s):
Saxicola macrorhyncha BirdLife International (2004)
Saxicola macrorhyncha BirdLife International (2000)
Saxicola macrorhyncha Collar et al. (1994)
Saxicola macrorhyncha Collar and Andrew (1988)
Saxicola macrorhyncha Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993)
Taxonomic Notes: Gender agreement of species name follows David and Gosselin (2002b).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable C2a(i) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Harvey, B., Tiwari, J., Rahmani, A., Sharma, S., Sangwan, P., Deshmukh, A. & Devasar, N.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Derhé, M., Gilroy, J.
Justification:
This semi-arid desert specialist is poorly known, but is thought to have a small, declining population as a result of agricultural intensification and encroachment, which qualifies it as Vulnerable.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Saxicola macrorhynchus is endemic to the north-west Indian subcontinent. Its historical distribution included Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat, India, adjacent parts of Punjab and Sind, Pakistan (probably now extinct) and Afghanistan (now extinct). Formerly locally distributed but sometimes common or extremely abundant, it appears to have declined. Recent records are from parts of the Thar Desert in Rajasthan and neighbouring Gujarat (Rahmani 1996), in many areas of the Little Rann of Kutch (Nikhil Devasar pers. comm. 2009 to Rahmani in prep.), as well as numerous records from the Don grasslands in Kutch (B. Harvey in litt. 2006), Hissar District, Haryana (Harvey 2002, Sharma and Sangwan 2005) and two records from Maharashtra (Deshmukh 2006, Rao 2007). In 1993-1994, four intensive surveys located c.86 birds in 18 localities, including 25 over a 45 km stretch on one day, suggesting that it remains common at certain localities (Rahmani 1996). There are recent regular and maybe breeding records of this species from Tal Chhapar in Churu district (Rahmani in prep.).

Countries:
Native:
India
Possibly extinct:
Pakistan
Present - origin uncertain:
Afghanistan
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population is estimated to number 2,500-9,999 mature individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. This estimate is equivalent to 3,750-14,999 individuals in total, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It inhabits dry, sandy semi-deserts and desert plains with low herbs and scattered shrubs, where ground-cover ranges between 25% and 50%. In Pakistan, it also inhabited arid subtropical thorn-scrub and perhaps irrigated cultivation and tall grass, though these are thought to be suboptimal habitats. Its movements are poorly understood. Most records are from the winter period (November-March), and it is thought likely that birds move to the deserts of central and western Rajasthan to breed with the onset of the rains in June.

Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The key threat is agricultural intensification and encroachment, primarily through the introduction of irrigation schemes to semi-arid areas and their subsequent conversion into croplands. Overgrazing by livestock may also reduce the extent of suitable habitat. Intensive use of chemical pesticides in cotton crops may negatively affect this species in Kutch (Tiwari in litt. 2006). These trends are expected to continue with the development of the Rajasthan Canal and widespread application of modern agricultural techniques.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
CMS Appendix II. Its occurrence has been confirmed from various protected areas in recent years, including the Desert (breeding likely) and Keoladeo National Parks and Ranthambore Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan, and Velavadar National Park in Gujarat, and Lala Bustard Sanctuary in Kutch. Extensive surveys have been conducted throughout its Indian range.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Continue to monitor its distribution, population status and seasonal movements. Conduct further detailed investigations into its ecology, and identify significant breeding populations. Investigate the impact threats, including canal irrigation, on the species and its habitat. Develop a conservation strategy for the species based on these surveys, including the gazetting of strictly protected areas, perhaps in combination with areas designated for the conservation of the Great Indian Bustard Ardeotis nigriceps.


Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Saxicola macrorhynchus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 23 July 2014.
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