Liocichla bugunorum


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Liocichla bugunorum
Species Authority: Athreya, 2006
Common Name/s:
English Bugun Liocichla
Taxonomic Notes: Described as new to science by Athreya (2006).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable D2 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor/s: BirdLife International
Reviewer/s: Symes, A. & Butchart, S.
Contributor/s: Athreya, R., Bonpo, C., Dalvi, S., Praveen, J. & Alstrom, P.
Facilitator/s: Bird, J., Butchart, S., Derhé, M., Gilroy, J.
This recently described species is known from only a very small area, rendering it susceptible to human impacts. It is therefore classified as Vulnerable. Given the lack of previous records despite its spectacular appearance, it is not thought to be common or widespread, but further evidence may reveal a larger range and population. Should the population be found to be extremely small or undergoing a continuing decline, it would warrant uplisting to a higher threat category.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Liocichla bugunorum was described from Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary, Arunachal Pradesh, India. Since the original sighting, the species has also been sighted near Bomdila (C. Bonpo in litt. 2011) and during May-June 2009, at least six breeding territories were recorded in a small area of Lama Camp in Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary (Grewal 2009, S. Dalvi and P. Alstrom in litt. 2012). There are only three known localities at present, although analysis of the distribution of apparently suitable habitat suggests it could range further east in central and eastern Arunachal Pradesh and also into neighbouring Bhutan and China (Peterson and Papes 2006). However, a survey of other suitable areas surrounding the type locality failed to record this species (R. Athreya in litt. 2007). Given its striking plumage and distinctive vocalisations it is unlikely that the species could have escaped detection for so long if it were relatively common and widespread.

Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This is a poorly known species and no population estimates are available.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Little is known about this species, although all sightings have occurred on heavily disturbed hillsides over 2,000 m and among dense scrub, small trees (Anon 2006) and bamboo (C. Bonpo in litt. 2011). Other Liocichla spp. occur in evergreen primary and some secondary habitats, typically singly or in pairs. They tend to be unobtrusive. The area where this species has been recorded is part of a wider area of contiguous closed canopy forest.

Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Little is known, but the species has been recorded from logged forest which may well be sub-optimal habitat, as surveys of similar habitat surrounding known localities were fruitless (Anon 2006). Logging for fuel wood and timber continues at one of the two known localities for the species, as local Bugun people rely heavily on local timber for fuel and construction. A proposal for the development of a new road through the area has stalled, although improvements to the existing track are still planned (R. Athreya in litt. 2007). Increasing tourism could pose a long term threat if it remains unregulated.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
The species has been described from within the Bugun community forest area adjacent to Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary. Between them, Eaglenest and Sessa sanctuaries protect a microcosm of the wider Kameng protected area. The type locality and surrounding areas have been proposed as a community reserve, which is a new category of protected area in India in which local communities play a significant role in partnership with the forest department (R. Athreya in litt. 2007).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct further surveys to improve understanding of the species's range, population and ecology. Appraise potential threats to this species. Ensure that habitats within the Kameng protected area remain safe, particularly by opposing planned road developments that threaten to impact habitat integrity at the only known location.

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Liocichla bugunorum. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <>. Downloaded on 20 April 2014.
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