Chaetornis striata


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Chaetornis striata
Species Authority: (Jerdon, 1841)
Common Name(s):
English Bristled Grassbird
Chaetornis striatus BirdLife International (2004)
Chaetornis striatus BirdLife International (2000)
Chaetornis striatus Collar et al. (1994)
Chaetornis striatus Collar and Andrew (1988)
Chaetornis striatus 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 A2c+3c+4c;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): Choudhury, A., Jayadevan, P. & Sharma, M.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Gilroy, J., Taylor, J.
This grassland specialist has a small, rapidly declining population owing to the loss and degradation of its grassland habitat, primarily through drainage and conversion to agriculture. It therefore qualifies as Vulnerable.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Chaetornis striata is endemic to the Indian Subcontinent, where it is patchily and locally distributed in India, Nepal, and Pakistan (BirdLife International 2001). Formerly described as common in at least Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal (India), and parts of Bangladesh, it has evidently declined. Recent records come from Pakistan, the terai of Nepal, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Gujarat and Assam, as well as Delhi, Punjab, Maharashtra and Kerala, India. The species was recorded in Gujarat in August 2010, apparently for the first time since 1876 ( Recent photographs from Katampally and Kole Wetlands in February-March indicate that the species winters as far south as Kerala, and has evaded detection owing to its secretive behaviour (per Praveen J. in litt. 2012). It is now usually found in small numbers.

India; Nepal; Pakistan
Possibly extinct:
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population size of this species is difficult to estimate because it is easily overlooked outside of the breeding season. An analysis of detailed accounts in BirdLife International (2001) tentatively suggests that total population may number fewer than 10,000 individuals, and so it is placed in the band 2,500-9,999 mature individuals. This equates to 3,750-14,999 individuals, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It inhabits tall grassland (often dominated by Imperata and Saccharum species) and reed Phragmites, particularly in riverine and swampy areas, and intermixed with low thorny scrub or standing crops of rice. In Nepal, it occurs in relatively open, short grasslands, mostly on dry soils, but also in moist areas with tall reeds and scattered bushes. It is generally encountered singly or in pairs and is difficult to observe, except when song-flighting or breeding in May-September. In Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand, pairs have been observed in courtship in May, with the presence of juvenile birds recorded in July (M. Sharma in litt. 2012). The species has been recorded breeding in Uttar Pradesh during August-October, and observations suggest that some males may be polygamous (Arya 2010). It nests on the ground in dense vegetation (Arya 2010). It makes some nomadic local movements in response to rainfall patterns, often appearing at sites for only a few months then disappearing again.

Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Large tracts of natural swamp and wet grassland have been destroyed or degraded across its range, as a result of drainage and conversion for agriculture, and most remaining habitat is subject to intense pressure from human encroachment, fire, grass harvesting, grazing by domestic livestock, commercial forestry plantations, dam projects and irrigation schemes.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
There are recent records from several protected areas, including Sultanpur National Park, Haryana, Manas, Rajiv Gandhi Orang and Kaziranga National Parks, Assam, Okhla Bird Sanctuary, Uttar Pradesh, Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand, and Chitwan National Park, Sukla Phanta and Kosi Tappu Wildlife Reserves, Nepal.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct further surveys to establish its current distribution and population status relative to its historical range. Investigate its ecology and seasonal movements, both inside and outside protected areas, to clarify how changes in land-use patterns may affect survival. Identify the most important sites for the species and make management recommendations for these localities and, where appropriate, campaign for their gazetting as protected areas. Regulate harvesting of grass, overgrazing and encroachment at key sites.

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Chaetornis striata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 29 August 2015.
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