This discussion was first published as part of the 2016 Red List update. At the time a decision regarding its status was pended, but to enable potential reassessment of this species as part of the 2017 Red List update this post remained open and the date of posting was updated.
BirdLife species factsheet for Knysna Woodpecker: http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/species/factsheet/22680910
This species is thinly dispersed and endemic to the coastal lowlands of South Africa, with a range of c.50,000 km2, and a population size of 1,000-3,300 mature individuals (Taylor et al. 2015). It is currently classified as Near Threatened on the basis that its small population may approach the threshold for classification as Vulnerable under criterion C1.
There is little information about population trends but it has been recently listed as Near Threatened in the 2015 Eskom Red Data Book of Birds of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland (Taylor et al. 2015) based on inferred population declines due to loss of habitat in the Eastern Cape. Lee et al. (in press) suggest instead there may have been a very slight range increase. We request further information on any population trends, and confirmation of a halt in declines which may mean this species qualifies for downlisting to Least Concern.
Lee, A.; Barnard, P.; Altwegg, R. (in press) Estimating conservation metrics from atlas data: the case of southern African endemic birds. Bird Conservation International.
Taylor, M. R.; Peacock, F.; Wanless, R. M. 2015. The 2015 Eskom Red Data Book of Birds of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. BirdLife South Africa, Johannesburg.