Main Article Content
The White-throated Bushchat, also known as Hodgson’s Bushchat, is a long-distance migratory and specialist grassland bird categorized as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. In Nepal, White-throated Bushchat winters in the lowlands, and has been primarily recorded in large Phantas (=open plains of grassland). We present the population status of the species in Shukla Phanta, the largest continuous lowland grassland in Nepal that is known to hold the largest wintering population of White-throated Bushchat in the Indian subcontinent. Our 2013–2014, 2016–2017, and 2017–2018 winter surveys for White-throated Bushchat followed the same method used in the 1997–1998 and 2007 surveys in Shukla Phanta for comparable assessment of the status of the species. Our study provided overwhelming evidence that the species has undergone a steep decline over the last two decades (probability of 92% for a decline greater than 5% per year). Shukla Phanta is dominated by the species’ preferred habitat of Imperata cylindrica, Narenga porphyrocoma, and Saccharum bengalensis. Grassland patches managed through controlled burning leaving enough reeds for perches, grazed at medium level of intensity by wildlife and within close distance to water were found to support higher numbers of White-throated Bushchat. Given the observed steep decline in the largest known wintering population of the species and similar declines observed in the wintering populations in India, its status warrants uplisting to Critically Endangered, and we recommend an urgent review of its global status.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors own the copyright to the articles published in JoTT. This is indicated explicitly in each publication. The authors grant permission to the publisher Wildlife Information Liaison Development (WILD) Society to publish the article in the Journal of Threatened Taxa. The authors recognize WILD as the original publisher, and to sell hard copies of the Journal and article to any buyer. JoTT is registered under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY), which allows authors to retain copyright ownership. Under this license the authors allow anyone to download, cite, use the data, modify, reprint, copy and distribute provided the authors and source of publication are credited through appropriate citations (e.g., Son et al. (2016). Bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera) of the southeastern Truong Son Mountains, Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam. Journal of Threatened Taxa 8(7): 8953–8969. https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.2718.104.22.16853-8969). Users of the data do not require specific permission from the authors or the publisher.
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, UK Government
Grant numbers 22009
Ali, S. & S.D. Ripley (1987). Compact handbook of the birds of India and Pakistan, Second edition. Oxford University Press, New Delhi, xiii+737pp.
Baral, H.S. (1998). White-throated Buschat Saxicola insignis Gray and Gray 1846 in Nepal. Unpublished: Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (HMG, Nepal), Biodiversity Support Program (USA) and Oriental Birds Club (UK).
Baral, H.S. (2001). Community structure and habitat associations of lowland grassland birds in Nepal. PhD Thesis. Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, The University of Amsterdam, x+235pp.
BirdLife International (2018). Saxicola insignis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: e.T22710172A131880644. Downloaded on 17 July 2019. https://doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-2.RLTS.T22710172A131880644.en
BirdLife International (2019). Species factsheet: Saxicola insignis. http://datazone.birdlife.org/species/factsheet/22710172. Accessed on 17 July 2019.
Caughley, G. (1977). Analysis of vertebrate populations. John Wiley and Sons, London, 234pp.
Clement, P. & C. Rose (2015). Robins and Chats, First edition. Christopher Helm, London, 688pp.
Crome, F.H.J, M.R. Thomas & L.A. Moore (1996). A novel Bayesian approach to assessing impacts of rain forest logging. Ecological Applications 6: 1104–1123.
CMS (2018). Appendices I and II: Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS). https://www.cms.int/sites/default/files/basic_page_documents/cms_cop12_appendices_e_0.pdf. Downloaded on 17 July 2019.
Gombobaatar S., E. Monks, R. Seidler, D. Sumiya, N. Tseveenmyadag, S. Bayarkhuu, J. Baillie, S. Boldbaatar & C. Uuganbayar (2011). Regional Red List Series Vol. 7. Birds. Zoological Society of London, National University of Mongolia and Mongolian Ornithological Society, London, 1036pp.
Grimmett, R., C. Inskipp & T. Inskipp (2000). Birds of Nepal. Prakash Books, New Delhi, 288pp.
Grimmett, R., C. Inskipp & T. Inskipp (2011). Birds of Indian Subcontinent. Christopher Helm, London, 528pp.
Inskipp, C., H.S. Baral, S. Phuyal, T.R. Bhatt, M. Khatiwada, T. Inskipp, A. Khatiwada, S. Gurung, P.B. Sing, L. Murray, L. Poudyal & R. Amin (2016). The Status of Nepal’s Birds: The national red list series. London: Zoological Society of London. https://www.zsl.org/conservation/regions/asia/national-red-lists-of-nepals-birds-and-mammals. Downloaded on 20 December 2019.
Inskipp, C., H.S. Baral, T. Inskipp, A.P. Khatiwada, M.P. Khatiwada, L. Poudyal & R. Amin (2017). Nepal’s National Red List of Birds. Journal of Threatened Taxa 9(1): 9700–9722. https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.2822.214.171.12400-9722
Kleijn, D., H. Schekkerman, W.J. Dimmers, R.J. Van Kats, D. Melman & W.A. Teunissen (2010). Adverse effects of agricultural intensification and climate change on breeding habitat quality of Black‐tailed Godwits Limosa limosa in the Netherlands. Ibis 152(3): 475–486. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1474-919X.2010.01025.x
Olson, D.M., E. Dinerstein, E.D. Wikramanayake, N.D. Burgess, G.V. Powell, E.C. Underwood, J.A. D’amico, I. Itoua, H.E. Strand & J. C. Morrison (2001). Terrestrial ecoregions of the World: a new map of life on Earth -- A new global map of terrestrial ecoregions provides an innovative tool for conserving biodiversity. BioScience 51(11): 933–938. https://doi.org/10.1641/0006-3568(2001)051[0933:TEOTWA]2.0.CO;2
Rahmani, A.R. (2012). Threatened Birds of India - Their Conservation Requirements. Oxford University Press, India, 870pp.
ShNP (2017). Grassland Management Guideline for Shuklaphanta National Park 2017. Shuklaphanta National Park, Kanchanpur, Nepal, 17pp.
Thakuri, J. (2012). Study of population, status, distribution and ecology of White-throated bushchat Saxicola insignis in Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve, Nepal Unpublished: Mohamed Bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund.
Urquhart, E. (2002). Stonechats: a guide to the Genus Saxicola. Christopher Helm, London, 320pp.
Yadav, B.P. (2007). Status, Distribution and Habitat Preference of White-throated bushchat (Saxicola insignis) in Grassland of Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve of Far-western Development Region of Nepal. Oriental Bird Club (OBC), United Kingdom, 53pp. http://himalaya.socanth.cam.ac.uk/collections/inskipp/2005_007.pdf. Downloaded on 17 July 2019.