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 2018 Red List update this post remains open and the date of posting has been updated.
BirdLife species factsheet for Yellow-breasted Pipit: http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/species/factsheet/22718444
This species occurs in eastern South Africa and, marginally, eastern Lesotho. It is threatened by the loss and decrease in quality of its grassland habitat and until recently it had been thought to be declining at a moderate rate which was expected to increase to >30%. As such it had previously been listed as Vulnerable under criteria A3c; B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v), and has been listed as Vulnerable under criteria A2bc+A4c; B1bc+B2bc; C1 in the 2015 Red Data Book of Birds of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland (Taylor et al. 2015).
More recent data from Pietersen et al. in prep. suggests that the population decline has been more rapid than expected with declines of 72-75% recorded since the assessment in Barnes (2000). While such a decline may in fact arise from more accurate population assessments, the population is still likely to have declined at a fast rate in line with the loss and degradation of its habitat. Still, using a conservative lower bound for the decline of at least 50% (given the 72-75% presented by Pietersen et al.) this species would qualify as Endangered under criteria A2bc (past declines based on index of abundance and declines in EOO/AOO/habitat quality, where the threat has not ceased).
Comments are invited for this proposed uplisting and any further information would be welcome.
Barnes, K. N. 2000. The Eskom Red Data Book of birds of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. BirdLife South Africa, Johannesburg
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