Russet-winged Spadebill (Platyrinchus leucoryphus): downlist from Vulnerable to Near Threatened?

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 2018 Red List update this post remains open and the date of posting has been updated.

BirdLife species factsheet for Russet-winged Spadebill

Russet-winged Spadebill is found in southern Brazil, south-eastern Paraguay and north-east Argentina. The species is listed as Vulnerable under A2c+3c+4c. The species appears to be reliant on primary Atlantic forest, which continues to be lost throughout its range. Recent surveys have failed to find new populations and known populations are now known to be less extensive than previously estimated. It is likely to be undergoing a continued rapid population decline owing to extensive habitat loss. The population is preliminarily estimated at 2,500-9,999 mature individuals.

Recent evidence shows that it is largely reliant on primary forest, but it has also been found in disturbed forest and in an isolated 1 ha forest patch with an open understorey created by cattle grazing (Esquivel et al. 2007). There is extensive and continuing loss and degradation of Atlantic forest throughout its range, through forest clearing and selective logging, which therefore constitute serious threats to this species.

In the Brazilian Red List assessment for birds (MMA 2014) this species is listed as Near Threatened. Should the species be downlisted to Near Threatened globally?

Up-to-date information is requested on the species’s likely population decline owing to habitat loss and the species’s current population size. Extensive and continuing habitat loss has been recorded across most of the species’s range (Tello and de Juana 2016). Is habitat loss within the species’s range likely to have contributed to a population decline of <30% over 10 years or three generations? If the population decline is <30% in 10 years (three generations) then the species would warrant downlisting to Near Threatened.

New information and comments on the proposed downlisting are welcome.

Esquivel, A.; Velázquez, M. C.; Bodrati, A.; Fraga, R.; del Castillo, H.; Klavins, J.; Clay, R. P.; Peris, S. J. 2007. Status of the avifauna of San Rafael National Park, one of the last large fragments of Atlantic forest in Paraguay. Bird Conservation International 17(4): 301-317.


MMA (2014) Lista Nacional Oficial de Espécies da Fauna Ameaçadas de Extinção. Portaria No 444, de 17 de dezembro de 2014. Diário Oficial da União – Seção 1. Nº 245, quinta-feira, 18 de dezembro de 2014.


Tello, J. and de Juana, E. (2016). Russet-winged Spadebill (Platyrinchus leucoryphus). 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.


This entry was posted in South America and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Russet-winged Spadebill (Platyrinchus leucoryphus): downlist from Vulnerable to Near Threatened?

  1. Hannah Wheatley (BirdLife) says:

    Preliminary proposals

    Based on available information, our proposal for the 2017 Red List would be to pend the decision on this species and keep this discussion open until 2018, while leaving the current Red List category unchanged in the 2017 update.

    Final 2017 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.

Leave a Reply

You have to agree to the comment policy.