This discussion was first published as part of the 2013 Red List update, but remains open for comment to enable reassessment in 2015.
Black-chested Honeyeater Lichmera notabilis is restricted to the small island of Wetar, Indonesia. It is currently classified as Near Threatened, approaching the thresholds for Vulnerable under criteria C1+2a(i), because it was thought to have a moderately small population (approaching as few as 10,000 mature individuals) and suffering slow declines owing to habitat loss and degradation.
However, recent information suggests that the population of this species may be greater than previously thought. A systematic survey by Trainor et al. (2009) on the birds of Wetar recorded this species as widespread and abundant in all tropical forests and areas of flowering Eucalyptus woodland. The population size was crudely estimated at c.500,000 pairs (Trainor et al. 2009) and it does not appear to be declining anywhere on the island (C. Trainor in litt. 2012). If this information is confirmed, the Black-chested Honeyeater would no longer approach the thresholds for Vulnerable, and thus, it would warrant downlisting to Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.
Comments on the proposed downlisting are welcome.
Trainor, C. R., Imanuddin, Aldy, F., Verbelen, P. and Walker, J. S. (2009) The birds of Wetar, Banda Sea: one of Indonesia’s forgotten islands. Birding ASIA 12: 78-93.