The Collared Crow occurs in southern and eastern China, and northern Vietnam. It is currently listed as Near Threatened by BirdLife International as it seems to be suffering a moderately rapid decline. A paper* in the recent edition of Forktail, the journal of the Oriental Bird Club, looks at the historical literature and compares the Collared Crow’s past status with a review of recent records (2003-2014). The authors conclude there has been a major decline in both the abundance and distribution of the species, primarily because of a change in farming practices since the 1950s, namely agricultural intensification leading to a reduction in food supply combined with an over-use of pesticides. Human persecution is also a contributory factor.
The total number counted during surveys in 2003-2014 amounts to just 1,847 individuals. Of these, 525 were recorded in the Dabie Shan in central China (Henan, Hubei and Anhui provinces) and 362 were recorded in Hong Kong. These two areas (along with Cao Bang in north Vietnam – 120 birds) are therefore of particular conservation importance for this species. The authors suggest that its status be uplisted to Vulnerable.
*Leader, P.J., Stanton, D.J., Lewthwaite, R.W. & Matrinez, J. (2016) A review of the distribution and population of the Collared Crow Corvus torquatus. Forktail 32:41-53.
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