Helmeted Woodpecker Dryocopus galeatus is currently listed as Vulnerable under criteria A2c; A3c; A4c on the basis that a population decline equivalent to 30-49% over 10 years was suspected in the past and is projected in the future, owing to widespread deforestation.
The currently suspected rate of decline may no longer be justified, as deforestation rates throughout the species’s range may have slowed and now perhaps average lower than 30% over 10 years (R. Clay in litt. 2007). Based on this observation, the inference of a lower rate of decline is probably justified, as deforestation and habitat degradation are nevertheless ongoing threats. However, improved knowledge of the species’s life history means that the rate of decline should be estimated for a period of 21 years (estimate of three generations).
The species may be eligible for downlisting to Near Threatened under the A criterion; however the rate of decline needs to be re-estimated. It has been noted that the species could potentially qualify for Vulnerable status under criterion C2a(i), on the basis that the declining population may number fewer than 10,000 mature individuals; however, the population is thought to number more than this, albeit not much more (R. Clay in litt. 2007).
Comments are invited on the proposed downlisting to Near Threatened and up-to-date information is requested on this species’s likely population size, the estimated rate of decline over 21 years and the severity of threats.