Blue-crowned Laughingthrush

Scientific Name
Garrulax courtoisi
Conservation Status
Critically Endangered (CR)

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Blue-crowned Laughingthrush Images

Wikipedia Article

The Blue-crowned Laughingthrush or Courtois's Laughingbird (Garrulax courtoisi) is a Chinese species of bird in the Timaliidae family. Until recently, this critically endangered species was generally treated as a subspecies of the Yellow-throated Laughingthrush, but that species has a pale grey (not bluish) crown. Presently placed in the massively paraphyletic genus Garrulax, it might be among the laughingthrushes that are candidates for removal to Dryonastes. As it is altogether quite distinct from other laughingthrushes in ecology and behavior however, its taxonomic status remains to be resolved by a thorough review of the entire group. The nominate subspecies was only rediscovered in 2000 in Jiangxi, but remains very rare with a total wild population of approximately 200 individuals. The subspecies G. courtoisi simaoensis has not been encountered in the wild since the type specimens were collected in Yunnan in 1956. More than 100 Blue-crowned Laughingthrushes are kept in zoos (where part of a captive breeding program) and private aviculture, but it is unclear what subspecies they belong to. A recent review failed to support the distinction of two separate subspecies, leading to simaoensis being treated as a synonym of the nominate in Handbook of the Birds of the World. This bird was erroneously listed as a species of Least Concern in the 2006 IUCN Red List. Actually, it seems close to extinction at least in the wild, and its status was thus corrected to Critically Endangered 2007 Red List issue.