Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Sittidae

Scientific Name: Sitta yunnanensis
Species Authority: Ogilvie-Grant, 1900
Common Name(s):
English Yunnan Nuthatch, Black-masked Nuthatch
Identification information: 12 cm. Small nuthatch with long, broad black mask and narrow white supercilium. Similar spp. Combination of size, supercilium, grey crown and uniform whitish underparts (including undertail-coverts), with only faint pale pinkish-buff wash, rule out other nuthatches in same range. Juveniles have narrower mask and shorter supercilium. Voice Calls include nasal kni, pi, tit and toik notes (former two often repeated) and harsh, scolding schri-schri-schri.., sometimes grading to strident, nasal ziew-ziew-ziew...

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., Gilroy, J., Khwaja, N.
This species has a moderately small range, within which it is patchily distributed, and consequently it is thought to have a small global population size. Numbers are suspected to be declining owing to habitat loss, although it is apparently tolerant of some levels of habitat degradation; the species is therefore considered Near Threatened.

Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Near Threatened (NT)
2004 Near Threatened (NT)
2000 Lower Risk/near threatened (LR/nt)
1996 Vulnerable (VU)
1994 Vulnerable (VU)
1988 Threatened (T)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Sitta yunnanensis is known from south-east Tibet, southern Sichuan and northern Yunnan, and the western extreme of Guizhou, China. It is locally common, but it has disappeared from several of the localities where it was recorded in the early 20th century.

Countries occurrence:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 170000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Yes
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO): No
Continuing decline in number of locations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations: No
Lower elevation limit (metres): 2400
Upper elevation limit (metres): 3400
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population size of this species has not been quantified, but it is described as locally common.

Trend Justification:  A moderate and on-going population decline is suspected to be occurring as a result of habitat degradation and clearance.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: Unknown Continuing decline of mature individuals: Yes
Extreme fluctuations: No Population severely fragmented: No
Continuing decline in subpopulations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations: No All individuals in one subpopulation: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species occurs in open mature pine forest (avoiding other types of coniferous forest) with little undergrowth or scrub, mainly from 2,400-3,400 m.

Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Yes
Generation Length (years): 4
Movement patterns: Altitudinal Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is presumably continuing to decline as a result of logging and forest fires, although it does appear able to adapt to degraded and secondary forest.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct repeated surveys within the range to determine current distribution and abundance, as well as assess population trends and rates of habitat loss. Conduct ecological studies to improve understanding of its precise habitat requirements, particularly tolerance of secondary habitats and response to fragmentation. Effectively protect significant areas of suitable forest at key sites.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2012. Sitta yunnanensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22711192A38238562. . Downloaded on 07 October 2015.
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