This is part of a consultation on the Red List implications of extensive changes to BirdLife’s taxonomy for passerines
Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International will soon publish the second volume of 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 2 of the checklist (for passerines) will begin to be incorporated into the 2016 Red List update, with the remainder 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.
Rufous Antpitta Grallaria rufula is being split into G. rufula and G. saltuensis, following the application of criteria set out by Tobias et al. (2010).
Prior to this taxonomic change, G. rufula was listed as Least Concern, on the basis that it did not approach the threshold for Vulnerable under any criterion. G. rufula (as now defined following the taxonomic change) is found across mountainous regions of northern South America, occurring in the Andes in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecudaor and Peru and into Bolivia, as well as in the Santa Marta Mountains in northern Colombia. It is uncommon to locally common in montane forest understorey and forest floor (Krabbe and Schulenberg 2016) and is not thought to approach the threshold for Vulnerable under any criterion. Therefore, it is proposed that it be listed as Least Concern.
G. saltuensis is found only in the Perija Mountains on the border of Colombia and Venezuela, in montane forest understorey and on the forest floor (Krabbe and Schulenberg 2016). While lower-elevation habitat (below 2,000 m) is under threat from a range of processes (including colonisation, ranching, the cultivation of narcotics, and mineral exploitation – which are aided by the roads approaching the Colombian side – [C. J. Sharpein litt.1997, 2000, A. Viloria per J. Fjeldså in litt. 1998, Sharpe and Lentino 2008]), it was thought high-elevation habitat was less likely to be affected by these factors. However, such areas are now believed to be being affected by illegal cultivation, causing suitable habitat to decline and become fragmented (Renjifo et al. 2002, C. J. Sharpe in litt. 2003). Only patches of montane forest remain on the steepest slopes of the Cerro Pintado, and forest is still being lost to burning and poppy cultivation, while access to the area is difficult due to security issues (R. Strewe in litt. 2003). The population size of this species has not been quantified, but it is thought to be declining due to the ongoing threats in the area, and the overall population size is unlikely to be large given the species’s restricted range with limited habitat available. Therefore, it may qualify as Vulnerable under criterion B1ab(i,ii,iii,v);C2a(ii) if there is evidence to suggest that the population size is less than 10,000 mature individuals and the population has become severely fragmented (IUCN 2001, 2012).
Comments are invited on these proposed categories and further information would be welcomed.
IUCN. 2001. IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria: Version 3.1. Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK: IUCN Species Survival Commission.
IUCN. 2012. Guidelines for Application of IUCN Red List Criteria at Regional and National Levels: Version 4.0. Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK: IUCN.
Krabbe, N.K. and Schulenberg, T.S. 2016. Rufous Antpitta (Grallaria rufula). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from http://www.hbw.com/node/56911 on 23 September 2016).
Renjifo, L. M., Franco-Maya, A. M., Amaya-Espinel, J. D., Kattan, G. H. and López-Lanús, B. 2002. Libro rojo de aves de Colombia. Instituto de Investigación de Recursos Biológicos Alexander von Humboldt y Ministerio del Medio Ambiente, Bogotá, Colombia.
Sharpe, C.J. and Lentino, M. 2008. Piscuiz de Perijá Schizoeaca perijana. In: Rodríguez, J.P. and Rojas-Suárez, F. (eds), Libro Rojo de la fauna Venezolana. Tercera Edición, pp. 150. Provita & Shell Venezuela, S.A., Caracas, Venezuela.
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.