Le Conte's Thrasher
The Le Conte’s Thrasher is an uncommon resident lowland desert scrub habitats of the American southwest and northwestern Mexico, inhabiting some of the most desolate habitats on the continent. Although the species is listed as Least Concern by the IUCN, it is on the PIF Red Watch List because of its restricted range and steep population declines since 1970. In California the Le Conte’s Thrasher is designated as a species of special concern by the Department of Fish and Game.
There have been surprisingly few studies on this species, but the availability of suitable habitat appears to be the major limiting factor for the Le Conte’s Thrasher population density and distribution. Loss of habitat from development and conversion to irrigated agriculture and livestock grazing threaten the sustainability of this species’ population. Additionally, competition with other sickle-billed thrashers (California and Crissal Thrashers) may be a factor in some portions of their range as the highly territorial Le Conte’s Thrasher is never found concurrently co-occupying territories with congeners.
Primary Habitats:Aridlands - Desert Scrub
Changing Rangeland Conditions, Agricultural Conversion, Urbanization, Energy/Resource Extraction, Climate Change
Population Loss Since 1970: 67%
Urgency/Half Life: 27 years
Global Conservation Status: IUCN 2016-3 Red List – Least Concern
U.S. Conservation Status: N/A
Canadian Conservation Status: N/A
Birds of Conservation Concern: USFWS – Bird of Conservation Concern
- 88% public lands in US, 12% private lands – BLM estimated to have 44% of Le Conte’s Thrashers
- Conservation Business Plan – West Mexico Thorn Forest
|Region||Area Importance||Long-term Population Change||Half Life|
|Sonoran Joint Venture||90%||-64%||29 years|
|Intermountain West Joint Venture||8%||-64%||29 years|
- Desert Thrasher Working Group
- Promote management practices that minimize habitat disturbance and restore degraded saltbush communities, especially in areas of energy development and rangeland grazing
Species Conservation Plans:
Recovery Plan for Le Conte’s Thrasher, San Joaquin Valley Population. http://esrp.csustan.edu/publications/pubhtml.php?doc=sjvrp&file=chapter02M08.html
Key Species References:
Peer Reviewed Papers:
Zink et al. 1999. Species limits in the Le Conte’s Thrasher.
Birds of North America (BNA) Species Account