This is part of a consultation on the Red List implications of extensive changes to BirdLife’s taxonomy for non-passerines
Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International will soon publish the HBW-BirdLife Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World, building off the Handbook of the Birds of the World series, and BirdLife’s annually updated taxonomic checklist.
The new Checklist will be based on the application of criteria for recognising species limits described by Tobias et al. (2010). Full details of the specific scores and the basis of these for each new taxonomic revision will be provided in the Checklist.
Following publication, an open and transparent mechanism will be established to allow people to comment on the taxonomic revisions or suggest new ones, and provide new information of relevance in order to inform regular updates. We are also actively seeking input via a discussion topic here regarding some potential taxonomic revisions that currently lack sufficient information.
The new Checklist will form the taxonomic basis of BirdLife’s assessments of the status of the world’s birds for the IUCN Red List. The taxonomic changes that will appear in volume 1 of the checklist (for non-passerines) will begin to be incorporated into the 2014 Red List update, with the remainder, and those for passerines (which will appear in volume 2 of the checklist), to be incorporated into subsequent Red List updates.
Preliminary Red List assessments have been carried out for the newly split or lumped taxa. We are now requesting comments and feedback on these preliminary assessments.
Blue-rumped Parrot Psittinus cyanurus is being split into P. cyanurus and P. abbotti, following the application of criteria set out by Tobias et al. (2010).
Prior to this taxonomic change, P. cyanurus (BirdLife species factsheet) was listed as Near Threatened under criteria A2cd+3cd+4cd, on the basis that it was suspected to be undergoing a moderately rapid population decline (approaching 30% over three generations [c.11 years]) owing to the extensive clearance of lowland forest throughout much of its range and the potential impacts of exploitation for the cagebird trade. It was not considered more threatened because of its ability to use secondary forest and less-threatened lower montane forest.
P. abbotti is found on the islands of Simeulu and Simuat (del Hoyo et al. 1997). It may qualify as Vulnerable under criterion C2a(ii), on the basis that there are estimated to be fewer than 10,000 mature individuals, assumed to form a single subpopulation, which is inferred to be in decline owing to on-going habitat loss and degradation.
P. cyanurus (as defined following the taxonomic change, and incorporating pontius) is widely distributed in the Sundaic region, being found in the Thai-Malay Peninsula, Sumatra and Borneo, as well as several other islands, where it inhabits primary forest and some degraded and modified habitats (del Hoyo et al. 1997). It may warrant listing as Near Threatened under criteria A2cd+3cd+4cd, on the basis that it could be undergoing a moderately rapid population decline (approaching 30% over three generations [c.11 years]), owing to on-going habitat loss and potential levels of exploitation.
Comments on these suggested categories are invited and further information would be welcomed.
del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Sargatal, J. (1997) Handbook of the birds of the world, Vol 4: Sandgrouse to Cuckoos. Barcelona, Spain: Lynx Edicions.
Tobias, J. A., Seddon, N., Spottiswoode, C. N., Pilgrim, J. D., Fishpool, L. D. C. and Collar, N. J. (2010) Quantitative criteria for species delimitation. Ibis 152: 724–746.