Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Timaliidae

Scientific Name: Liocichla omeiensis
Species Authority: Riley, 1926
Common Name(s):
English Omei Shan Liocichla, Mount Omei Liocichla, Emei Shan Liocichla
Identification information: 20.5 cm. Grey-and-olive babbler with prominent red wing-patches. Male has extensive orange-red on undertail-coverts and tip of tail which is yellow on females. Mostly grey sides of head. Voice Song is slightly descending, musical, whistled w'yii-i w'yii-u w'yiiwi w'yii-u.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Dowell, S., Wang, J. & Yiqiang, F.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Derhé, M., Gilroy, J., Khwaja, N.
This species has a small, declining population and range, which is also severely fragmented as a result of destruction of subtropical forest. It therefore qualifies as Vulnerable.

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: Liocichla omeiensis is endemic to China, where it is known from mountain ranges in south-central Sichuan, and has more recently been found in extreme north-east Yunnan. It has been found to be locally common at some localities (e.g. Laojunshan and Wawushan) in the Liaoliangshan and Daxiangling ranges. However, the latest research shows that its geographic range is probably declining (Fu Yiqiang in litt. 2012).

Countries occurrence:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 6800
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Yes
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO): No
Number of Locations: 11-100
Continuing decline in number of locations: Yes
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations: No
Lower elevation limit (metres): 500
Upper elevation limit (metres): 2400
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species occurs at high densities at some sites (mean 60 individuals/km2 at two localities), but it is 'very local', and the detailed analysis of records in BirdLife International (2001) concludes that 'its total population may be rather small' i.e. 2,500-9,999 individuals. This equates to 1,667-6,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 1,500-7,000 mature individuals.

Trend Justification:  The population is suspected to be declining at a moderate rate, in line with rates of habitat loss and degradation within the species's range.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: 1500-7000 Continuing decline of mature individuals: Yes
Extreme fluctuations: No Population severely fragmented: Yes
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: It is found in pairs or small groups in the undergrowth of subtropical and temperate montane broadleaved forest and in secondary forest, scrub and bamboo, mainly from 1,400-2,400 m in summer, but generally from 500-1,400 m in winter (Fu Yiqiang in litt. 2012). Its diet includes fruit and invertebrates.

Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Yes
Generation Length (years): 5.5
Movement patterns: Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The main threat is the loss and fragmentation of forest within its range, much of which has already been cleared or degraded, through logging and conversion to agriculture. Remaining areas of forest are under some pressure from localised wood cutting and logging, although there has been a recent ban on large scale commercial logging in this part of China, and the species is tolerant of logged forest habitats, surviving in secondary growth and bamboo. Disturbance from people collecting bamboo shoots and other forest products, and from grazing livestock and trapping for export as cage-birds may be minor threats (Jie Wang in litt. 2007).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. It is a protected species in Sichuan. Since 1999, the export of wild birds from China has been banned, but this legislation may be difficult to enforce. It occurs in or near several protected areas, including the Emei Shan Protected Scenic Site, and Mabian Dafengding, Mamize, Heizhugou and Laojun Shan nature reserves. Emei Shan is a sacred mountain and has therefore only been subject to limited forest clearance. Laojunshan, Mamize and Heizhugou nature reserves have received support to train and equip staff and to encourage alternative livelihoods and sustainable management practices amongst local communities through the Sichuan Forest Biodiversity Project, a collaboration between the Sichuan Forest Department, Chester Zoo and Liverpool John Moores University (S. Dowell in litt. 2007, Jie Wang in litt. 2007).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct further surveys and ecological studies of this and other threatened species in its habitat, to clarify its population, distribution and habitat requirements, with the aim of producing management recommendations for forests where it occurs. Support recommendations to establish a network of at least four protected areas for the Sichuan Partridge Arborophila rufipectus, including an extension to Mabian Dafengding Nature Reserve, as this will also protect habitat for this species. Support proposals to upgrade Laojunshan and Mamize nature reserves to national status. Jointly manage Mabian Dafengding Nature Reserve with Meigu Dafengding Reserve. Gazette Emei Shan Protected Scenic Site as a nature reserve, control tourism and strengthen research work. List it as a protected species in China.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2012. Liocichla omeiensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22715770A38191850. . Downloaded on 08 October 2015.
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