Friday, November 12, 2010
Whistling-thrush final report now available in pdf!
If you'd like a copy, email me at digdeep1962atyahoodotcom.
Here's the Exec Summary from the report:
Three whistling-thrush Myophonus spp. taxa occur in Peninsular Malaysia; the endemic Malaysian Whistling-thrush M. robinsoni, and two near-endemic races of Blue Whistling-thrush, M. caeruleus dicrorhynchus and M.c.crassirostris. The status and population of both species is clouded by uncertainty over field characters which can reliably differentiate them. The IUCN Red List status of Malaysian is currently Least Concern, a classification which may in part be based on inaccurate reporting of the species’ abundance in the Cameron Highlands.
The assessment found that the range of the dicrorhynchus race of Blue Whistling-thrush overlaps substantially with the known distribution of Malaysian Whistling-thrush. The latter is best distinguished from Blue in the field by its much smaller size and by differences in head and bill structure, rather than by plumage features.
The assessment found healthy populations of dicrorhynchus Blue Whistling-thrushes occurring in the Kinta Valley, Perak and the Cameron Highlands, Pahang, and crassirostris Blue Whistling-thrushes were widespread in suitable habitat in Perlis. Field characters differentiating crassirostris from dicrorhynchus Blue include brighter, more spangled plumage and greater extent of yellow on the bill of the former.
Malaysian Whistling-thrush was only recorded at one site – Fraser’s Hill, Pahang. It was notably unrecorded in the Cameron Highlands. The findings of the assessment suggest that the IUCN Red List status of the species should be re-evaluated.
Threats to whistling-thrushes in Peninsular Malaysia include clearing of forest and degradation of streams in montane areas and limestone quarrying at lowland sites.