Archived 2016 topics: Streaked Fantail (Rhipidura verreauxi) is being split: list R. verreauxi, R. spilodera and R. layardi as Least Concern and R. rufilateralis as Near Threatened?

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.

Streaked Fantail Rhipidura verreauxi is being split into R. verreauxi, R. spilodera, R. layardi and R. rufilateralis, following the application of criteria set out by Tobias et al. (2010).

Prior to this taxonomic change, Rhipidura verreauxi was listed as Least Concern on the basis that it did not approach the threshold for Vulnerable under any criterion. R. verreuaxi (as defined following the taxonomic change) is found in New Caledonia and on Ile des Pins and the Loyalty Islands of Maré and Lifou. It inhabits a range of habitats, including forest, forest edge, and gardens (Boles 2016). It is considered common (Boles 2016), and is unlikely to approach the threshold for Vulnerable under any criterion. Therefore, it is proposed that this species be listed as Least Concern.

R. spilodera is found on the Banks Islands and north and central Vanuatu. It inhabits a range of habitats, including forest, forest edge, and gardens (Boles 2016). It is considered common (Boles 2016), and is unlikely to approach the threshold for Vulnerable under any criterion. Therefore, it is proposed that this species be listed as Least Concern.

R. layardi is found on the western Fiji islands of Viti Levu, Ovalau and on Vanua Levu in norther Fiji, as well as surrounding islands. It inhabits a range of habitats, including forest, forest edge, and gardens (Boles 2016). It is considered common (Boles 2016), and is unlikely to approach the threshold for Vulnerable under any criterion. Therefore, it is proposed that this species be listed as Least Concern.

R. rufilateralis is only found on Taveuni Island, Fiji, with an Extent of Occurrence of c.1,400km2. It inhabits a range of habitats, including forest, forest edge, and gardens (Boles 2016). It is considered common (Boles 2016), but given its very restricted range the population may not be greater than 10,000 individuals. The quality of the habitat for this species has declined over recent years as agriculture intensifies (see Nisha et al. 2014), and with further information about the population size this species may qualify as Vulnerable under criterion C2a(ii). In the absence of accurate population estimates it is proposed that this species be listed as Near Threatened under criterion C2a(ii).

Comments are invited on these proposed categories and further information would be welcomed.

 

References:

Boles, W. 2016. Streaked Fantail (Rhipidura verreauxi). 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/59151 on 15 September 2016).

Nisha, S., Prasad, S. and Bhati, J. 2014. Evaluation of soil management practices of taro farmers’ in Taveuni, Fiji. The South Pacific Journal of Natural and Applied Sciences 32: 61-68

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.

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2 Responses to Archived 2016 topics: Streaked Fantail (Rhipidura verreauxi) is being split: list R. verreauxi, R. spilodera and R. layardi as Least Concern and R. rufilateralis as Near Threatened?

  1. Guy Dutson says:

    NT C2aii is appropriate but precautionary

  2. James Westrip (BirdLife) says:

    Based on available information, our preliminary proposal for the 2016 Red List would be to adopt the proposed classifications outlined in the initial forum discussion.

    There is now a period for further comments until the final deadline of 28 October, after which the recommended categorisations will be put forward to IUCN.

    Please note that we will then only post final recommended categorisations on forum discussions where these differ from those in the initial proposal.

    The final 2016 Red List categories will be published on the BirdLife and IUCN websites in early December, following further checking of information relevant to the assessments by both BirdLife and IUCN.

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