Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Timaliidae

Scientific Name: Garrulax bieti
Species Authority: (Oustalet, 1897)
Common Name(s):
English White-speckled Laughingthrush, Biet's Laughingthrush
Identification information: 25.5 cm. Warm brown laughingthrush. White facial patch and black-and-white speckling on upperparts and wing-coverts. Blackish-brown throat and upper breast, the latter with white speckling. Similar spp. Barred Laughingthrush G. lunulatus has barred, pale buff markings on upperparts and wing-coverts and paler brown underparts. Voice Song a loud, clear, descending wi wi-wi-wuu, less descending wi ch'wi wi ch'wu and wi chiu-wu wu-wu-wi which rises towards end. In all cases, wi notes are louder and rising and phrases are repeated 2-3 times.

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): Anderson, B.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Derhé, M., Gilroy, J., Khwaja, N.
This species qualifies as Vulnerable as it has a small, declining and severely fragmented population, with destruction of temperate and subalpine forest continuing throughout its range through logging and conversion to agriculture.

Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Vulnerable (VU)
2004 Vulnerable (VU)
2000 Vulnerable (VU)
1996 Vulnerable (VU)
1994 Vulnerable (VU)
1988 Threatened (T)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Garrulax bieti is endemic to China, where it is known from the mountains of north-west Yunnan and south-west Sichuan. Its population and range are poorly known, but it can occur at quite high densities in suitable habitat; e.g. a 2008 visit to Muli County, Sichuan, reported as many as six territories in one day in a 1 km long valley of primary mixed forest with dense bamboo undergrowth (Anderson and Dymond 2008). However, the paucity of records suggests that it probably has a highly localised distribution and a small population, which is likely to be declining given the threats to its habitat.

Countries occurrence:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 23400
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Yes
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO): No
Continuing decline in number of locations: Yes
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations: No
Lower elevation limit (metres): 2500
Upper elevation limit (metres): 4270
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 a detailed analysis in BirdLife International (2001), who concluded that this species may have a small total population, i.e. fewer than 10,000 individuals. This estimate equates to 3,750-14,999 individuals, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.

Trend Justification:  A moderate and continuing population decline is suspected to be occurring, as habitat degradation is known to be continuing across the species's range.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: 2500-9999 Continuing decline of mature individuals: Yes
Extreme fluctuations: No Population severely fragmented: No
No. of subpopulations: 2-100 Continuing decline in subpopulations: Yes
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations: No All individuals in one subpopulation: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Its habitats and altitudinal range are little-known. It appears to occur mainly in undisturbed forest, including mixed forest, thickets, spruce-fir, and fir-rhododendron forest, particularly those with dense bamboo understorey, in the upper temperate and subalpine zone from 2,500-4,270 m, and possibly as high as 4,570 m. A 2008 visit to Muli County reported that the species was only recorded in unlogged mixed forest with a rather dense undergrowth of bamboo (Anderson and Dymond 2008). Its diet includes fruit and invertebrates.

Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Yes
Generation Length (years): 4.7
Movement patterns: Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The main threat is likely to be the loss and fragmentation of forest. Forest cover in Yunnan declined from c.55% of the land area in the early 1950s, to c.30% in 1975, as a result of logging, and has also declined rapidly in Sichuan since the late 1960s, because of logging for timber and conversion to agriculture and pasture. It is assumed that substantial areas of upper temperate and subalpine zone forests have been lost. Virtually all forest at Kianwu Liangsi, where it was seen in 1989, had been logged. Hunting and trapping may also represent a threat (B. Anderson in litt. 2008).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
It has not been recorded in any protected areas. However, there are several reserves in Yunnan which probably contain suitable habitat including Baima Xue Shan National Nature Reserve, Haba Xue Shan, and Bitahai and Yulong Xue Shan nature reserves.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey protected areas and areas of suitable habitat in or near to its known range to determine whether in occurs in any of them. Research its habitat requirements, altitudinal range and population status. Examine the feasibility of establishing a protected area for it in the Ma Hung Valley (Sichuan). List it as a protected species in China.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2012. Garrulax bieti. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22715675A38189932. . Downloaded on 10 October 2015.
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