Garrulax bicolor 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Leiotrichidae

Scientific Name: Garrulax bicolor Hartlaub, 1844
Common Name(s):
English Sumatran Laughingthrush, Black-and-white Laughingthrush
Taxonomic Source(s): del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A., Fishpool, L.D.C., Boesman, P. and Kirwan, G.M. 2016. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 2: Passerines. Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.
Identification information: 30 cm. Brownish-black with unmistakeable white head with slightly erectile crest extending to the breast, distinctive triangular black forehead, lores and drooping eye-stripe. Similar spp body colour of bicolor is darker than continental forms of White-crested Laughingthrush Garrulax leucolophus, lacking the rufous or mouse-brown tones shown in that species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered A2cd+3cd+4cd ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Brickle, N., Hogberg, S., Shepherd, C., Owen, A., Eaton, J. & Chng, S.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Bird, J., Butchart, S., Gilroy, J., Taylor, J., Allinson, T & Martin, R
The species has suffered a very rapid, ongoing population decline due to trapping for trade compounded by habitat loss. Local extinctions have been observed across much of the range within the past 10-15 years concurrent with price increases and reduced availability in the market. For these reasons Black-and-white Laughingthrush is evaluated as Endangered.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Garrulax bicolor was originally distributed along the length of the montane spine of Sumatra, Indonesia, from Aceh in the north to Lampung in the south (van Marle and Voous 1988), and was reportedly common. Recent evidence suggests that it has undergone a very considerable decline and become locally extinct at several locations where it present less than a decade ago (Eaton et al. 2015). It was present at a small number of sites scattered across Sumatra, including Bukit Barisan Selantan National Park, Danau Ranau (South Sumatra) (R. Thomas per C. R. Shepherd in litt. 2012), Batang Toru (North Sumatra) and Ulu Masen (Aceh) (N. Brickle in litt. 2007), and a single locality in Kerinci Seblat National Park (S. Högberg in litt. 2006). However, since 2012 there have been few records away from Aceh province. A small group of three birds was camera trapped in Batang Toru (G. Fredriksson per C. R. Shepherd in litt. 2012).

Countries occurrence:
Indonesia (Sumatera)
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:218000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Continuing decline in number of locations:Yes
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:NoLower elevation limit (metres):750
Upper elevation limit (metres):2000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The species was reportedly common and widespread in 1988 but is now known few sites throughout the range where only very small numbers have been located in the wild recently. More than 45 km of transects in suitable habitat in 2013 returned only a single record of the species (Eaton et al. 2015). Trappers in West Sumatra stated in 2015 that it remained in forests three days walk from a road (Eaton et al. 2015). The largest extent of remaining habitat is in Aceh province, where the species is still relatively widespread though highly localised and heavily trapped (Eaton et al. 2015). Recent bird tours to this area have located groups by the roadside, indicating that trapping pressure is lower in this culturally separate region of Sumatra (Eaton 2014). The paucity of records from the majority of the range indicates that the species now has a small population size.

For these reasons it is believed to have a small population and 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.

Trend Justification:  Numbers in trade have been falling coincident with a rapid increase in the price per bird from $8-15 in 2007 to $90 in 2014 (Chng et al. 2014, Harris et al. 2015), and this data is coupled with an expert review of the status of the bird in the wild concluding that it was 'Severely Declining' (Harris et al. 2015). In the wild the species appears to have disappeared from several sites where it was being regularly recorded only a decade ago.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:2500-9999Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
No. of subpopulations:2-100Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No
No. of individuals in largest subpopulation:1-89

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is known from montane forest (with unsubstantiated reports of a lowland population in Berbak Game Reserve, Jambi). It lives in flocks in the middle and lower storeys of forest sometimes coming to the ground.

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 principal threat to this species is the illegal trade for the cage bird industry at a national level (Eaton et al. 2015, Harris et al. 2015, Shepherd 2006, 2007, 2011). Prior to 2005 the widespread sister species G. leucolophus was preferentially traded but international imports of wild birds were stopped in that year due the avian flu risk (Owen et al. 2014), which appeared to drive a sudden surge of domestic bird trapping within Indonesia and G. bicolor was the ready replacement at hand in Sumatra (Owen et al. 2014, Shepherd et al. 2006). Numbers observed in markets increased and 20-30 were regularly seen between 2008-2013, but in 2016 only 5 birds were observed and prices had increased to two birds for ca US$100 (A. Owen in litt. 2016). As no quota has ever been set on the species, all trade in the species is illegal under Indonesian law. The vast majority of this trade is illegal and unregulated (Shepherd 2007, 2011). It may also have declined owing to deforestation within its range, though perhaps principally through increasing the percentage of the species range that is accessible for trapping.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
The species currently receives no legal protection within Indonesia, however there is a zero harvest quota, meaning that species may not be removed from the wild. Captive breeding of this species has been successful on a small scale in the UK, and attempts at establishing a second ex situ captive breeding population in Java, Indonesia, are in progress (Owen et al. 2014, C. R. Shepherd in litt. 2012).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Review the species's status in trade and consider listing under CITES. Support measures to regulate the cage bird industry nationally in Indonesia and internationally. Surveys are urgently required to determine whether additional sub-populations still persist within the historical range. The species is currently only protected due to lack of a harvest and trade quota being established for it, and the absence of trapping permits being granted. Grant full legal protection for the species under Indonesian law. Support the development of captive breeding programmes with the aim of future reintroduction.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2016. Garrulax bicolor. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22734448A95085919. . Downloaded on 16 October 2018.
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