A Review of the Red List Status of Endemic Birds of São Tomé and Príncipe

São Tomé and Príncipe is an island nation in the Gulf of Guinea, with each of its main two islands listed as separate Endemic Bird Areas (BirdLife International 2018b,c). The country’s native birds include 14 globally threatened species (16% of the avian diversity native to the islands) (BirdLife International 2018a). Twelve of these are endemic to the country and a further two endemic species are listed as Near Threatened. Therefore 50% of the endemic species of São Tomé and Príncipe are currently listed as Near Threatened or worse.

During our open call for potential topics R. F. de Lima (in litt. 2018) proposed several changes to the Red List status of the endemic species of São Tomé and Príncipe. We have, therefore, reviewed the entire endemic avifauna of the country (plus Sao Tome Bronze-naped Pigeon, Columba malherbi, which only occurs in this country and on the island of Annobón, Equatorial Guinea) to find inconsistencies in the current application of Red List criteria.

From this review, seven species were found to potentially warrant a change in Red List category. Each of these have their own individual topic to discuss any potential changes in Red List status, which can be found here:

Giant Sunbird (Dreptes thomensis)

Giant Weaver (Ploceus grandis)

Principe Speirops (Zosterops leucophaeus)

Principe White-eye (Zosterops ficedulinus)

Sao Tome Green-pigeon (Treron sanctithomae)

Sao Tome Thrush (Turdus olivaceofuscus)

Sao Tome White-eye (Zosterops feae)

 

To make sure that your comments are taken into account, if you have any comments or further information regarding these species please post them on their respective topics and not at the bottom of this one.

 

Of those Red List category changes proposed by R. F. de Lima (in litt. 2018), two were not considered to qualify for revision; the Critically Endangered Newton’s Fiscal (Lanius newtoni) and Sao Tome Grosbeak (Crithagra concolor), which were both proposed to be downlisted to Endangered as a result of de Lima et al. (2017).

De Lima et al. (2017) suggested that both species have population sizes in excess of 50 mature individuals (de Lima et al. 2017), and so may be eligible for downlisting. However, the Red List accounts for both species (BirdLife International 2018d,e) do already take into account the fact that the population sizes are >50 mature individuals; but at the moment there is insufficient evidence to say that their population sizes are >250 mature individuals. As both are considered to be undergoing continuing declines they, therefore, do still meet the threshold for listing as Critically Endangered under criterion C2a(ii).

Other species will not be discussed in their own specific topics as their global status in unchanged. However a number of potential criteria changes were identified so we provide, below, the list of the other species assessed with a summary of proposed criteria changes.

 

Sao Tome Olive-pigeon (Columba thomensis) – currently Endangered under criteria B1ab(ii,v); C2a(ii). Proposed change to Endangered under criteria B1ab(ii,iii,v)+B2ab(ii,iii,v); C2a(ii).

Sao Tome Bronze-naped Pigeon (Columba malherbi) – currently Near Threatened under criteria A2cd+3cd. Proposed change to Near Threatened under criteria A2cd+3cd+4cd; B1ab(iii,v); C2a(i).

Sao Tome Spinetail (Zoonavena thomensis) – retain as Least Concern.

Dwarf Ibis (Bostrychia bocagei) – currently Critically Endangered under criterion C2a(ii). This may be retained, or could be changed to Critically Endangered under criteria B1ab(iii,v); C2a(ii).

Sao Tome Scops-owl (Otus hartlaubi) – retain as Vulnerable under criterion D1.

Sao Tome Kingfisher (Corythornis thomensis) – retain as Least Concern.

Principe Kingfisher (Corythornis nais) – retain as Least Concern.

Sao Tome Oriole (Oriolus crassirostris) – currently Vulnerable under criterion D1. Proposed change to Vulnerable under criterion C2a(ii).

Sao Tome Paradise-flycatcher (Terpsiphone atrochalybeia) – retain as Least Concern.

Newton’s Fiscal (Lanius newtoni) – retain as Critically Endangered under criterion C2a(ii).

Sao Tome Prinia (Prinia molleri) – retain as Least Concern.

Dohrn’s Warbler (Sylvia dohrni) – retain as Least Concern.

Black-capped Speirops (Zosterops lugubris) – retain as Least Concern.

Principe Starling (Lamprotornis ornatus) – retain as Least Concern.

Principe Thrush (Turdus xanthorhynchus) – currently Critically Endangered under criteria B1ab(ii,iii,v); C2a(ii). Retain this criteria string, or change to Critically Endangered under only criterion C2a(ii).

Principe Sunbird (Anabathmis hartlaubii) – retain as Least Concern.

Newton’s Sunbird (Anabathmis newtoni) – retain as Least Concern.

Principe Golden Weaver (Ploceus principes) – retain as Least Concern.

Sao Tome Weaver (Ploceus sanctithomae) – retain as Least Concern.

Sao Tome Short-tail (Amaurocichla bocagii) – retain as Vulnerable under criterion D1.

Principe Seedeater (Crithagra rufobrunnea) – retain as Least Concern.

Sao Tome Grosbeak (Crithagra concolor) – currently Critically Endangered under criteria B1ab(ii,iii,v); C2a(ii). Proposed change to Critically Endangered under only criterion C2a(ii).

 

Further information regarding IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria can be found here, and further details can be posted in the comments section upon request.

 

Comments are welcome on these species, in particular if there are any comments with information on the number of locations (as defined under the IUCN guidance [IUCN 2012]) for Dwarf Ibis and Principe Thrush. Please do, though, make sure that comments are relevant to the Red List status of the species as this space is not a general discussion regarding the ecology of the species.

 

References

BirdLife International, 2018a. Country profile: São Tomé e Príncipe. Available from http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/country/sao-tome. Checked: 2018-02-27

BirdLife International. 2018b. Endemic Bird Areas factsheet: Príncipe. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/02/2018.

BirdLife International. 2018c. Endemic Bird Areas factsheet: São Tomé. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/02/2018.

BirdLife International. 2018d. Species factsheet: Lanius newtoni. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/02/2018.

BirdLife International. 2018e Species factsheet: Crithagra concolor. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/02/2018.

IUCN. 2012. IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria: Version 3.1. Second edition. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

de Lima, R.; Dunn, J.; Cabinda, G.; Fonseca, R.; Oquiongo, G.; Oquiongo, J.; Samba, S.; Santana, A.; Soares, E.; Viegas, L.; Ward-Francis, A.; T. Costa, L.; Palmeirim, J.; Buchanan, G. 2017. Distribution and habitat associations of the critically endangered bird species of São Tomé Island (Gulf of Guinea). Bird Conservation International 27(4): 455-469.

This entry was posted in Africa and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

You have to agree to the comment policy.