Archived 2015 topics: Semi-collared Flycatcher (Ficedula semitorquata) – downlist from Near Threatened to Least Concern?

Semi-collared Flycatcher Ficedula semitorquata breeds in SE Europe, from the Balkans east through Turkey, and from the Caucasus and Transcaucasus south to N & NW Iran, and winters in EC Africa, from extreme S Sudan south to W Tanzania (Taylor & Christie 2013). It is currently listed as Near Threatened, because when last assessed it was estimated to be undergoing a moderately rapid population decline.

Globally, it has a very large range in both the breeding season (>800,000 km2) and in winter (>900,000 km2), and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criteria (B and D2). Its population size is also very large (with 43,000–175,000 mature individuals in Europe alone; BirdLife International 2015), and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criteria (C and D1). Therefore, the only potentially relevant criterion is A, which relates to reductions in population size. Until recently, the population was thought to be declining moderately rapidly, at a rate approaching the threshold for listing as Vulnerable under criterion A (at least a 30% decline over ten years or three generations, whichever is longer), based largely on trend data collated from across its European range for the period 1990–2000 (BirdLife International 2004).

New data collated from across Europe for the European Red List of Birds (BirdLife International 2015) suggest that the species may no longer be declining so steeply, although there are many gaps in the data. A combination of official data reported by 27 EU Member States to the European Commission under Article 12 of the EU Birds Directive and comparable data from other European countries, provided by BirdLife Partners and other leading national ornithologists, suggests that the European breeding population may only have declined overall by 1–19% over the last three generations (11.7 years, based on a generation length estimated by BirdLife to be 3.9 years). Consequently, the species is now classified as Least Concern at European level (BirdLife International 2015).

Based on its distribution, Europe holds more than 80% of the global range of this species, so its trend in this region is of global significance. The limited information available implies that the species is not declining sufficiently rapidly to be listed as Near Threatened, and hence should be reclassified as Least Concern.

Comments on this proposal are welcome, along with any data regarding the recent trend of its breeding population in the Caucasus, Transcaucasus and Iran, and of its wintering population in Africa.

References

BirdLife International (2004) Birds in Europe: population estimates, trends and conservation status. Cambridge, UK: BirdLife International (Conservation Series No. 12).

BirdLife International (2015) European Red List of Birds. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities. http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/info/euroredlist

Taylor, B. & Christie, D.A. (2013). Semi-collared Flycatcher (Ficedula semitorquata). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.) (2013). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. www.hbw.com

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2 Responses to Archived 2015 topics: Semi-collared Flycatcher (Ficedula semitorquata) – downlist from Near Threatened to Least Concern?

  1. Andy Symes (BirdLife) says:

    Preliminary proposals

    Based on available information, our preliminary proposal for the 2015 Red List would be to treat:

    Semi-collared Flycatcher as Least Concern.

    There is now a period for further comments until the final deadline of 31 August, after which the recommended categorisation will be put forward to IUCN.

    The final Red List categories will be published on the BirdLife website in late October and on the IUCN website in November, following further checking of information relevant to the assessments by both BirdLife and IUCN.

  2. Andy Symes (BirdLife) says:

    Recommended categorisation to be put forward to IUCN

    Following further review, there have been no changes to our preliminary proposal for the 2015 Red List status of this species.

    The final categorisation will be published on the BirdLife website in late October and on the IUCN website in November, following further checking of information relevant to the assessment by BirdLife and IUCN.

Comments are closed.