Archived 2015 topics: Iberian Green Woodpecker (Picus sharpei) – uplist from Least Concern to Near Threatened?

Iberian Green Woodpecker Picus sharpei is endemic to Spain, Portugal, the Pyrenees and extreme SW France. It was recently elevated to full species status, having previously been considered conspecific with Eurasian Green Woodpecker P. viridis (del Hoyo & Collar 2014). It is currently listed as Least Concern, because when last assessed it was not thought to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under any of the IUCN Red List criteria.

Globally, it has a very large range (>500,000 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 (490,000–940,000 mature individuals; 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 slowly, but not sufficiently rapidly to approach the threshold for listing as Vulnerable under criterion A (at least a 30% decline over ten years or three generations, whichever is longer).

New data collated from across Europe for the European Red List of Birds (BirdLife International 2015) indicate that the species has declined significantly in recent years, and that this decline is ongoing. Official data reported by 27 EU Member States to the European Commission under Article 12 of the EU Birds Directive suggest that the European breeding population has declined overall by 25–30% over the last three generations (16.8 years, based on a generation length estimated by BirdLife to be 5.6 years), with a particularly steep decline in Spain (which holds c. 90% of the European population). Consequently, the species is now classified as Near Threatened at European level (BirdLife International 2015).

As a European endemic, this decline is obviously of global significance. Overall, the species’ global population has probably declined by more than 25% over the last three generations, and is continuing to decline, thereby qualifying it for uplisting to Near Threatened under criterion A.

Comments on this proposal are welcome, along with any information about the threats affecting this species across its range.

References

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

del Hoyo, J. & Collar, N. J. (2014) HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.

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2 Responses to Archived 2015 topics: Iberian Green Woodpecker (Picus sharpei) – uplist from Least Concern to Near Threatened?

  1. Andy Symes (BirdLife) says:

    Preliminary proposals

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

    Iberian Green Woodpecker as Near Threatened under criterion A2+3+4.

    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.