Archived 2017 topics: Gurney’s Sugarbird (Promerops gurneyi); Black-eared Sparrow-lark (Eremopterix australis); Drakensberg Rockjumper (Chaetops aurantius); Ground Woodpecker (Geocolaptes olivaceus); Sentinel Rock-thrush (Monticola explorator); Forest Buzzard (Buteo trizonatus): request for information

This discussion was first published as part of the 2016 Red List update. At the time a decision regarding its status was pended, but to enable potential reassessment of this species as part of the 2017 Red List update this post remained open and the date of posting was updated.

These species have all been recently assessed as Least Concern in the 2015 Eskom Red Data Book of Birds of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland (Taylor et al. 2015), and are endemic or near endemic to this region. However, range analyses as part of Lee et al. (in press) give possible declines that may be great enough for uplisting. Information is therefore requested to ascertain whether these species may require uplisting.

Gurney’s Sugarbird (Promerops gurneyi) http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/species/factsheet/22717443

This species occurs in South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, and is described as common (Cheke et al. 2001). However, Lee et al. (in press) suggest a range decline of 40% with a core range decline of 35% in South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland between Southern African Bird Atlas Project (SABAP) recording periods (SABAP1 1987-1992; SABAP2 2007-2014. Note SABAP2 is ongoing but data taken from 2014). Further information across its range is welcome, and if this trend is causing a concomitant population reduction this species may qualify for Vulnerable under criterion A2c+3c+4c (>30% decline over three generations/22 years, where cause has not ceased).

Black-eared Sparrow-lark (Eremopterix australis) http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/species/factsheet/22717197

This species has a large range and occurs in South Africa, Namibia and Botswana and is described as common (Keith et al. 1992). However, Lee et al. (in press) suggest a range decline of 41% with a core range decline of 39% in South Africa between Southern African Bird Atlas Project (SABAP) recording periods (SABAP1 1987-1992; SABAP2 2007-2014. Note SABAP2 is ongoing but data taken from 2014). While trends are not sufficient to qualify this species as Vulnerable under criterion A2c+3c+4c (>30% decline over three generations/11 years, where cause has not ceased), if trends are similar across its range and it is causing a concomitant population decline, then it would qualify for uplisting to Near Threatened. Any further information about trends across its range is welcome.

Drakensberg Rockjumper (Chaetops aurantius) http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/species/factsheet/22708101

This species is found only in South Africa and Lesotho, and the population size is believed to be >10,000 mature individuals. However, Lee et al. (in press) suggest a range decline of 42% with a core range decline of 35% between Soutern African Bird Atlas Project (SABAP) recording periods (SABAP1 1987-1992; SABAP2 2007-2014. Note SABAP2 is ongoing but data taken from 2014). While trends are not sufficient to qualify this species as Vulnerable under criterion A2c+3c+4c (>30% decline over three generations/13 years, where cause has not ceased), if this trend is causing a concomitant population decline, then it would qualify for uplisting to Near Threatened. Any further information is welcome.

Ground Woodpecker (Geocolaptes olivaceus) http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/species/factsheet/22680945

This species is found in South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland, and is described as common (del Hoyo et al. 2002). However, Lee et al. (in press) suggest a range decline of 43% with a core range decline of 40% between South African Bird Atlas Project (SABAP) recording periods (SABAP1 1987-1992; SABAP2 2007-2014. Note SABAP2 is ongoing but data taken from 2014). Further information about trends is welcome, and if this trend is causing a concomitant population decline this species may qualify for Vulnerable under criterion A2c+3c+4c (>30% decline over three generations/15 years, where cause has not ceased).

Sentinel Rock-thrush (Monticola explorator) http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/species/factsheet/22708233

This species is found in South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland and is described as fairly common above 1,500m in South Africa and 2,500m in Lesotho (del Hoyo et al. 2005). However, Lee et al. (in press) suggest a range decline of 49% with a core range decline of 38% between Southern African Bird Atlas Project (SABAP) recording periods (SABAP1 1987-1992; SABAP2 2007-2014. Note SABAP2 is ongoing but data taken from 2014). While trends are not sufficient to qualify this species as Vulnerable under criterion A2c+3c+4c (>30% decline over three generations/13 years, where cause has not ceased), if this trend is causing a concomitant population decline, then it would qualify for uplisting to Near Threatened. Any further information about trends is welcome.

Forest Buzzard (Buteo trizonatus) http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/species/factsheet/22735392

This species is endemic to South Africa, and the population is estimated to number 1,000-10,000 individuals, roughly equating to 670-6,700 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2016). Lee et al. (in press) suggest a range decline of 14% with a core range decline of 3% between Southern African Bird Atlas Project (SABAP) recording periods (SABAP1 1987-1992; SABAP2 2007-2014. Note SABAP2 is ongoing but data taken from 2014). Also using SABAP data Cooper (2015) described a potential 8% range decline. Further information about population trends and species ecology is welcome to determine whether this species qualifies for Vulnerable under criterion C1 (population size <10,000 individuals, and observed, estimated or projected 10% continuing decline over three generations/29 years) or C2a (population size <10,000 individuals, decline and ≤1,000 individuals per subpopulation and/or 100% individuals in one subpopulation). Alternatively if it approaches the thresholds for either of these criteria but does not meet all conditions it could warrant listing as Near Threatened.

Comments are invited for all of these species and any further information would be welcome.

References:

BirdLife International. 2016. Species factsheet: Buteo trizonatus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org

Cheke, R. A.; Mann, C. F.; Allen, R. 2001. Sunbirds: a guide to the sunbirds, flowerpeckers, spiderhunters and sugarbirds of the world. Christopher Helm, London

Cooper, T. J. G. 2015. The effects of land use changes on the distribution of forest dependent bird species in South Africa. Master’s thesis, Stellenbosch University

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Christie, D. 2005. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 10: Cuckoo-shrikes to Thrushes. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. 2002. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 7: Jacamars to Woodpeckers. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Keith, S.; Urban, E. K.; Fry, C. H. 1992. The birds of Africa vol. IV. Academic Press, London

Lee, A.; Barnard, P.; Altwegg, R. (in press) Estimating conservation metrics from atlas data: the case of southern African endemic birds. Bird Conservation International.

Taylor, M. R.; Peacock, F.; Wanless, R. M. 2015. The 2015 Eskom Red Data Book of Birds of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. BirdLife South Africa, Johannesburg.

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2 Responses to Archived 2017 topics: Gurney’s Sugarbird (Promerops gurneyi); Black-eared Sparrow-lark (Eremopterix australis); Drakensberg Rockjumper (Chaetops aurantius); Ground Woodpecker (Geocolaptes olivaceus); Sentinel Rock-thrush (Monticola explorator); Forest Buzzard (Buteo trizonatus): request for information

  1. James Westrip (BirdLife) says:

    Based on available information, our proposal for the 2016 Red List would be to pend the decision on these species and keep this discussion open until 2017, while leaving the current Red List category unchanged in the 2016 update.

    Final 2016 Red List categories will be published on the BirdLife and IUCN websites in early December, following further checking of information relevant to the assessments by both BirdLife and IUCN.

  2. James Westrip (BirdLife) says:

    Preliminary proposals

    Based on available information, our preliminary proposal for the 2017 Red List would be to list:

    Gurney’s Sugarbird as Near Threatened under criteria A2bc+3bc+4bc.

    Black-eared Sparrow-lark as Least Concern.

    Drakensberg Rockjumper as Near Threatened under criteria A2bc+3bc+4bc.

    Ground Woodpecker as Near Threatened under criteria A2bc+3bc+4bc.

    Sentinel Rock-thrush as Near Threatened under criteria A2bc+3bc+4bc.

    Forest Buzzard as Near Threatened under criterion D1.

    There is now a period for further comments until the final deadline of 4 August, after which the recommended categorisations will be put forward to IUCN.

    Please note that we will then only post final recommended categorisations on forum discussions where these differ from the initial proposal.

    The final 2017 Red List categories will be published on the BirdLife and IUCN websites in early December, following further checking of information relevant to the assessments by both BirdLife and IUCN.

Comments are closed.