The initial deadline for comments on this topic is 10 March 2014, and therefore later than for most other topics currently under discussion.
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.
Red-fronted Parakeet Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae, Norfolk Island Parakeet C. cookii and New Caledonian Parakeet C. saisseti are being lumped as C. novaezelandiae, following the application of criteria set out by Tobias et al. (2010).
Prior to the taxonomic change, C. novaezelandiae (BirdLife species factsheet) was listed as Vulnerable under criterion B1ab(i,ii,v), on the basis that it was estimated to have a small range, within which it was known from fewer than 11 locations, with continuing declines taking place in its range, habitats and population; C. cookii (BirdLife species factsheet) was listed as Critically Endangered under criteria B1ab(iii,v)+2ab(iii,v);C2a(ii), on the basis that it was estimated to have an extremely small range and was considered to occur at one location, with continuing declines in its habitat taking place and continuing declines in its extremely small population inferred as a result; C. saisseti (BirdLife species factsheet) was listed as Vulnerable under criterion C2a(ii), on the basis that it was estimated to have a small population, forming a single subpopulation, which was inferred to be in continuing decline.
C. novaezelandiae (as defined following the taxonomic change) is found on several offshore islands in New Zealand (it is now considered effectively extinct on the mainland), on New Caledonia and on Norfolk Island. It occurs in a variety of habitats across its range, with each of the lumped taxa differing in their habitat preferences, but overall these range from dense forest, to modified wooded habitats, cultivation and open areas. There is some indication that overall the species prefers native habitat with large trees for nesting. It is estimated to have a population of c.16,500-35,300 mature individuals (based on estimates collated by BirdLife for each of the formerly recognised species being lumped), which occupies a total range estimated at c.19,900 km2, and is thought to be in continuing decline.
The newly defined species may qualify as Near Threatened under criterion B1ab(ii,iii,v), if suitable habitat is considered to be at least very fragmented (approaching 50% in patches too small to support viable populations), as it occupies a total range of less than 20,000 km2, and the area and quality of its habitats are in continuing and projected decline owing to the impacts of introduced species across its range (Gula et al. 2010, Garnett et al. 2011), forest management practices and expected nickel mining on New Caledonia. On-going declines are inferred to be taking place in the population as a result of habitat loss, introduced predators (e.g. on New Caledonia and Stewart Island [G. Harper in litt. 2005, 2012; Harper 2009]), and potentially owing to Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (Ortiz-Catedral et al. 2009).
Further information is requested on the likely rate of decline in the overall population of the newly-defined species. If the species is estimated, projected or suspected to experience a decline approaching 30% over 14 years (estimated period of three generations) the species may qualify as Near Threatened under criterion A. If the rate of decline is thought to be 30-49% over this time period the species may qualify as Vulnerable under the same criterion.
Comments are invited and further information would be welcomed.
Garnett, S. T., Szabo, J. K. and Dutson, G. (2011) The Action Plan for Australian Birds 2010. Collingwood, Australia: CSIRO Publishing.
Gula, R., Theuerkauf, J., Rouys, S. and Legault, A. (2010) An audio/video surveillance system for wildlife. European Journal of Wildlife Research 56: 803–807.
Harper, G. A. (2009) The native forest birds of Stewart Island/Rakiura: patterns of recent declines and extinctions. Notornis 56: 63–81.
Ortiz-Catedral, L., McInnes, K., Hauber, M. E. and Brunton, D. H. (2009) First report of beak and feather disease virus (BFDV) in wild Red-fronted Parakeets (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae) in New Zealand. Emu 109: 244–247.
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.