List of endemic birds of Sri Lanka

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Sri Lanka is home to 26 endemic bird species and seven proposed endemic species.[1] The total number of bird species recorded in the island is 492 of which 219 are breeding residents. BirdLife International recognize Sri Lanka as one of the world's Endemic Bird Areas (EBAs).[2] The number of endemic species has changed many times over the years.[3] This is largely due to "close taxonomic revisions". The number of endemic species has fluctuated from a minimum 20 to a maximum 47.[1] From 1977 the number settled at around 21. The figure was increased to 23 with the addition of two species in 1990. Many authorities have accepted this figure since then.[3] Wijesinghe published A checklist of the birds of Sri Lanka in 1994 which considered the addition of three more species, but this move did not receive widespread recognition because its rationale was not in keeping with rigorous taxonomic practice. Subsequent publications on the avifauna of Sri Lanka and the South Asia region have not listed these three as endemics. However, within some Sri Lankan circles considered the endemics proposed by Wijesinghe as acceptable. This may be due to an over-enthusiasm in increasing endemic numbers to create a better ornithological image and increase the demand for commercial birdwatching.[3]

In 2001, Warakagoda and Rasmussen described a new bird species, the Serendib Scops-owl Otus thilohofmanni. This is the first new bird species discovered in Sri Lanka since 1868, when the Sri Lanka Whistling-thrush (Myophonus blighi) was described.[4] There are some proposals for species level taxonomic revisions, and therefore endemic status in Sri Lanka.[1] The country prefix "Sri Lanka" in common names is normally restricted to endemic species. However Kotagama et al. (2006) disagree with Sibley and Monroe (1990) on the use of "Ceylon" in common species' names, suggesting instead that they should reflect the change of the official English name of the island from Ceylon to name Sri Lanka.[3] Sibley and Monroe's rationale was "Ceylon" is the geographical unit and "Sri Lanka" is the country which occupies the island. The geographical name is normally used for bird ranges, for example Madagascar is used rather than its nation, the Malagasy Republic."[3]

Change in number of endemics[edit]

Year Number of Species Reference Comment
1872 37 Holdsworth – Catalogue of Birds found in Ceylon
1880 47 Legge – A history of birds of Ceylon Included 17 species in the present list
1931 25 Wait – Manual of Birds of Ceylon Excluded the Red faced-Malkoha
1944 22 Whistler – Avifaunal survey of Ceylon
1946 20 Ripley – Comments to Endemic Birds of Ceylon Grey Hornbill, Rufous Babbler and Red- faced Malkoha were excluded
1952 21 Phillips – Revised Checklist of Birds of Ceylon Red-faced Malkoha and Ceylon Grackle included
1975 20 Phillips – Revised Checklist of Birds of Ceylon Black capped Bulbul excluded
1977 21 Flemming – Notes on endemic birds of Ceylon Rufous Babbler included
1978 21 Phillips – Revised checklist of Birds of Ceylon
1990 23+1 Sibley & Monroe – Distribution and Taxonomy of Birds of the World Crimson fronted Barbet suggested as Endemic
1994 23+1 Kotagama and Fernando – A field guide to the Birds of Sri Lanka Follow Sibley and Monroe
1994 23+3 Wijesinghe – A checklist of the birds of Sri Lanka 3 species are suggested as Endemic
1996 23+3 Inskip et al.An Annotated Checklist of the Birds of the Oriental Region Follow Sibley and Monroe refers to Wijesinghe
1998 23 Grimmett et al.Birds of the Indian Subcontinent
1999 23 Harrison – A Field Guide to the Birds of Sri Lanka

Source: Kotagama et al., 2006

Endemic species[edit]

Species which are validly published are considered as definitive endemic species.[1]

Low Vulnerability Threatened
Fl mammals lc.svg
Least Concern
Fl mammals nt.svg
Near Threatened
Fl mammals vu.svg
Vulnerable
Fl mammals en.svg
Endangered
Common name Binomial Family Habitat, Abundance, Distribution Status
Order Galliformes
Sri Lanka Spurfowl

GalloperdixBicalcarataLegge.jpg

Galloperdix bicalcarata
(Forster, 1781)
Phasianidae Humid forests. Common. All zones, except Northern region.[5]
Fl mammals lc.svg
[6]
Sri Lanka Junglefowl

Thimindu 2009 09 04 Yala Sri Lanka Junglefowl 1.JPG

Gallus lafayetii
Lesson, 1831
Phasianidae Forests, scrub jungles. Very common. All zones.[5]
Fl mammals lc.svg
[7]
Order Columbiformes
Sri Lanka Wood-pigeon

ColumbaTorringtoniLegge.jpg

Columba torringtoni
(Blyth & Kelaart, 1853)
Columbidae Forests, gardens. Restricted range. Hill country. Descends to low country wet zone during fruiting seasons.[8]
Fl mammals vu.svg
[9]
Order Psittaciformes
Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot

Loriculus beryllinus -Sri Lanka -adult-8.jpg

Loriculus beryllinus
(Forster, 1781)
Psittacidae Forests, gardens. Common. All zones. More common in wet zone.[10]
Fl mammals lc.svg
[11]
Sri Lanka Emerald-collared Parakeet

Psittacula calthropae -Sri Lanka -eating fruit-8.jpg

Psittacula calthropae
(Blyth, 1849)
Psittacidae Forests, gardens. Common. Wet zone and some riparian forests dry zone.[10]
Fl mammals lc.svg
[12]
Order Cuculiformes
Sri Lanka Red-faced Malkoha

Red-faced Malkoha x.jpg

Phaenicophaeus pyrrhocephalus
(Pennant, 1769)
Cuculidae Forests. Confined to undisturbed forest areas in the wet zone and riparian forests of the dry zone. Restricted location. All zones.[13]
Fl mammals vu.svg
[14]
Sri Lanka Green-billed Coucal

CentropusChlororhynchusLegge.jpg

Centropus chlororhynchos
Blyth, 1849
Cuculidae Undisturbed forests. Associated with bamboo and cane rushes. Restricted range. Low country wet zone and wet foothills.[15]
Fl mammals vu.svg
[16]
Order Strigiformes
Sri Lanka Serendib Scops-owl Otus thilohoffmanni
Warakagoda & Rasmussen, 2004
Strigidae Restricted range. Low country wet zone.[17]
Fl mammals en.svg
[18]
Sri Lanka Chestnut-backed Owlet

Chestnut-backed Owlet (right) with an Oriental Scops-owl

Glaucidium castanonotum
(Blyth, 1846)
Strigidae Forests, scrubs, cultivations. Restricted range. Wet zone and hill country.[17]
Fl mammals nt.svg
[19]
Order Coraciiformes
Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill Ocyceros gingalensis
(Shaw, 1811)
Bucerotidae Forests, gardens. Very common. All zones. Most plentiful in dry zone.[20]
Fl mammals lc.svg
[21]
Order Piciformes
Sri Lanka Yellow-fronted Barbet

Megalaima flavifrons -Sinharaja Forest Reserve, Sri Lanka-8.jpg

Megalaima flavifrons
(Cuvier, 1816)
Megalaimidae Forests, home gardens. Very common. More common in hill country.[20]
Fl mammals lc.svg
[22]
Order Passeriformes
Suborder Passeri: Songbirds
Sri Lanka Magpie

Thimindu 2010 02 20 Sinharaja Sri Lanka Blue Magpie 1.jpg

Urocissa ornata
(Wagler, 1829)
Corvidae Undisturbed forests. Restricted range. Wet zone.[23]
Fl mammals vu.svg
[24]
Sri Lanka Yellow-eared Bulbul

Pycnonotus penicillatus.jpg

Pycnonotus penicillatus
Blyth, 1851
Pycnonotidae Forests, gardens close to forest, Common. Hill country.[25]
Fl mammals nt.svg
[26]
Sri Lanka Bush-warbler

Sri Lanka Bush-warbler (below) with a Yellow-eyed Babbler

Bradypterus palliseri
(Blyth, 1851)
Sylviidae Forest undergrowth. Restricted range. Hill country.[27]
Fl mammals nt.svg
[28]
Sri Lanka Brown-capped Babbler

Flickr - Rainbirder - Brown-capped Babbler (Pellorneum fuscocapillum) (cropped).jpg

Pellorneum fuscocapillus
(Blyth, 1849)
Timaliidae Forests, scrub jungles. Ground level. Common. All zones.[29]
Fl mammals lc.svg
[30]
Sri Lanka Scimitar-babbler

above with an Ashy-headed Laughingthrush

Pomatorhinus melanurus
Blyth, 1847
Timaliidae Forests understory. Common. All zones.[29]
Fl mammals lc.svg
[31]
Sri Lanka Orange-billed Babbler

Orange-billed Babbler (below) with a Yellow-eared Bulbul

Turdoides rufescens
(Blyth, 1847)
Timaliidae Forests. Common. Wet zone. Less in hill country.[29]
Fl mammals nt.svg
[32]
Sri Lanka Ashy-headed Laughingthrush

Ashy-headed Laughingthrush (Garrulax cinereifrons).jpg

Garrulax cinereifrons
Blyth, 1851
Timaliidae Forests, mainly in understory and on the ground. Common. Wet zone. More in low country.[29]
Fl mammals vu.svg
[33]
Sri Lanka White-eye

Sri Lanka Hill White-Eye.jpg

Zosterops ceylonensis
Holdsworth, 1872
Zosteropidae Forests, gardens, cultivations. Very common. Hill country.[34]
Fl mammals lc.svg
[35]
Sri Lanka Myna

Flickr - Rainbirder - Ceylon Myna (Gracula ptilogenys).jpg

Gracula ptilogenys
Blyth, 1846
Sturnidae Forests. Common. Wet zone. More common in Low country.[36]
Fl mammals nt.svg
[37]
Sri Lanka White-faced Starling

SturnusAlbofrontatusLegge.jpg

Sturnus albofrontatus
(Layard, 1854)
Sturnidae Forests. Restricted range. Wet zone. Less in hill country.[36]
Fl mammals vu.svg
[38]
Sri Lanka Whistling-thrush

Whistling Thrush in foreground

Myophonus blighi
(Holdsworth, 1872)
Turdidae Undisturbed montane forests, streams. Restricted range. Hill country.[39]
Fl mammals en.svg
[40]
Sri Lanka Spot-winged Thrush

Spot-winged Thrush on the right

Zoothera spiloptera
(Blyth, 1847)
Turdidae Humid forest undergrowth. Common. All zones. More common in wet zone.[39]
Fl mammals nt.svg
[41]
Sri Lanka Scaly Thrush

Sri Lanka Thrush (left)

Zoothera imbricata
Layard, 1854
Turdidae Forests undergrowth. Common. Hill country, some locations in low country wet zone.[39]
Fl mammals nt.svg
[42]
Sri Lanka Dull-blue Flycatcher

(below) with Brown-breasted Flycatcher and Black-naped Monarch

Eumyias sordida
(Walden, 1870)
Muscicapidae Forests, home gardens, well-wooded ravines. Hill country. Also in humid locations in the Low country wet zone.[43]
Fl mammals nt.svg
[44]
Sri Lanka White-throated Flowerpecker

with Yellow-bellied Flowerpecker below

Dicaeum vincens
(Sclater, 1872)
Dicaeidae Forests. Common. Low country wet zone and lower hill country.[34]
Fl mammals nt.svg
[45]

Source: Kaluthota and Kotagama, 2009

Proposed endemics[edit]

Rasmussen and Anderton (2005) proposed a number of species splits. Those that would create new endemic species for Sri Lanka are listed below along with their present taxon.[1]

Current species Binomial Proposed splitting Proposed binomial Family Status
Order Columbiformes
Pompadour Green Pigeon

Thimindu 2009 12 31 Kaudulla Pompadour Green Pigeon 1.jpg

Treron pompadora Sri Lanka Green Pigeon Treron pompadora Columbidae
Fl mammals lc.svg
[46]
Order Piciformes
Crimson-fronted Barbet

Ceylon Small Barbet MSW.jpg

Megalaima rubricapillus Sri Lanka Small Barbet Megalaima rubricapillus Megalaimidae
Fl mammals lc.svg
[47]
Greater Flameback

Flameback.jpg

Chrysocolaptes lucidus Crimson-backed Flameback Chrysocolaptes stricklandi Picidae
Fl mammals lc.svg
[48]
Order Passeriformes
Suborder Passeri: Songbirds
Common Woodshrike

Common Woodshrike (Tephrodornis pondicerianus) at Sindhrot near Vadodara, Gujrat Pix 102.jpg

Tephrodornis pondicerianus Sri Lanka Woodshrike Tephrodornis affinis Prionopidae
Fl mammals lc.svg
[49]
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo

Dicrurus paradiseus -Kerala -India-6-3c.jpg

Dicrurus paradiseus Sri Lanka Crested Drongo Dicrurus lophorinus Dicruridae
Fl mammals lc.svg
[50]
Red-rumped Swallow

Red-rumped Swallow (Hirundo daurica) collecting mud for nest W IMG 7964.jpg

Hirundo daurica Sri Lanka Swallow Hirundo hyperythra Hirundinidae
Fl mammals lc.svg
[51]
Black-crested Bulbul

Pycnonotus melanicterus -Miami Metrozoo, Florida, USA-8a.jpg

Pycnonotus melanicterus Black-capped Bulbul Pycnonotus melanicterus Pycnonotidae
Fl mammals lc.svg
[52]

Source: Kaluthota and Kotagama, 2009

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Kaluthota, C. D.; Kotagama, S.W. (October 2009). "Revised Avifaunal List of Sri Lanka" (PDF). Occasional Paper No.02 (Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka). 
  2. ^ "BirdLife EBA Factsheet". BirdLife's online World Bird Database: the site for bird conservation. BirdLife International. 2003. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Kotagama, Sarath W.; De Silva, Rex I.; Wijayasinha, Athula S.; Abeygunawardane, Vathsala; (2006). "Avifaunal List of Sri Lanka" (PDF). In Bambaradeniya, C.N.B. Fauna of Sri Lanka: Status of Taxonomy, Research and Conservation. The World Conservation Union, Colombo, Sri Lanka & Government of Sri Lanka. pp. 164–203. ISBN 955-8177-51-2. 
  4. ^ Warakagoda, Deepal (January–February 2001). "Discovery of a new species of owl in Sri Lanka" (PDF). CBCN. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  5. ^ a b Kotagama 2006: p. 44
  6. ^ BirdLife International (2009). "Galloperdix bicalcarata". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  7. ^ BirdLife International (2009). "Gallus lafayetii". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  8. ^ Kotagama 2006: p. 62
  9. ^ BirdLife International (2008). "Columba torringtoniae". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  10. ^ a b Kotagama 2006: p. 54
  11. ^ BirdLife International (2009). "Loriculus beryllinus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  12. ^ BirdLife International (2009). "Psittacula calthropae". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  13. ^ Kotagama 2006: p. 52
  14. ^ BirdLife International (2008). "Phaenicophaeus pyrrhocephalus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  15. ^ Kotagama 2006: p. 50
  16. ^ BirdLife International (2008). "Centropus chlororhynchus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  17. ^ a b Kotagama 2006: p. 58
  18. ^ BirdLife International (2008). "Otus thilohoffmanni". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  19. ^ BirdLife International (2008). "Glaucidium castanonotum". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  20. ^ a b Kotagama 2006: p. 48
  21. ^ BirdLife International (2009). "Ocyceros gingalensis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  22. ^ BirdLife International (2009). "Megalaima flavifrons". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  23. ^ Kotagama 2006: p. 72
  24. ^ BirdLife International (2008). "Urocissa ornata". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  25. ^ Kotagama 2006: p. 82
  26. ^ BirdLife International (2008). "Pycnonotus penicillatus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  27. ^ Kotagama 2006: p. 84
  28. ^ BirdLife International (2008). "Bradypterus palliseri". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  29. ^ a b c d Kotagama 2006: p. 90
  30. ^ BirdLife International (2009). "Pellorneum fuscocapillus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  31. ^ BirdLife International (2009). "Pomatorhinus melanurus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  32. ^ BirdLife International (2008). "Turdoides rufescens". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  33. ^ BirdLife International (2008). "Garrulax cinereifrons". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  34. ^ a b Kotagama 2006: p. 88
  35. ^ BirdLife International (2009). "Zosterops ceylonensis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  36. ^ a b Kotagama 2006: p. 80
  37. ^ BirdLife International (2008). "Gracula ptilogenys". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  38. ^ BirdLife International (2008). "Sturnus albofrontatus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  39. ^ a b c Kotagama 2006: p. 78
  40. ^ BirdLife International (2008). "Myophonus blighi". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  41. ^ BirdLife International (2008). "Zoothera spiloptera". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  42. ^ BirdLife International (2008). "Zoothera imbricata". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  43. ^ Kotagama 2006: p. 76
  44. ^ BirdLife International (2008). "Eumyias sordidus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  45. ^ BirdLife International (2008). "Dicaeum vincens". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  46. ^ BirdLife International (2009). "Treron pompadora". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  47. ^ BirdLife International (2009). "Megalaima rubricapillus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  48. ^ BirdLife International (2009). "Chrysocolaptes lucidus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  49. ^ BirdLife International (2009). "Tephrodornis pondicerianus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  50. ^ BirdLife International (2009). "Dicrurus paradiseus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  51. ^ BirdLife International (2009). "Hirundo daurica". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  52. ^ BirdLife International (2009). "Pycnonotus melanicterus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 

Literature cited[edit]

  • Kotagama, Sarath (2006). Common, Endemic & Threatened Birds in Sri Lanka. Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka. p. 125. ISBN 955-8576-19-0.