Toutouwai are listed as not threatened under the New Zealand Threat Classification System. Despite this, deforestation and habitat loss, as well as introduced predators do expose them to risk.

The size of a sparrow, they enjoy forests with dense, even, canopies and ground covered with leaf litter where they forage for worms and beetles. They are relatively long-lived, surviving up to 14 years where few or no predators exist. Pest control (to improve overall forest health) in areas where robins live,  has helped.

The Upper Dart population has helped repopulate the West Matukituki valley areas where robins may have died out due to predation.

They are found locally in the Dart and Routeburn valleys

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