The avian species diversity of Kerala got a boost in the last days of 2016 with BirdLife International dividing a species in two. BirdLife International, an organisation which assesses the conservation status of birds globally, has split the group of montane laughing thrushes, which are endemic to the Western Ghats, and recognised them as two new species. As a result, Kerala now has four mountain laughing thrushes in place of two.
The newly accepted species are Banasura laughing thrush (Trochalopteron jerdoni), which has a very restricted distribution in Wayanad district and Travancore laughing thrush (Trochalopteron merdionale) found in Thiruvananthapuram district. While the conservation status of the Banasura species was assessed as endangered, the Travancore variety was considered vulnerable, considering the risk the species were facing.