Hooded Visorbearer (Augastes lumachella): uplist from Near Threatened to Endangered?

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 2019 Red List update this post remains open and the date of posting has been updated.

BirdLife species factsheet for Hooded Visorbearer

The Hooded Visorbearer is restricted to Bahia, north-east Brazil, where it is found at elevations of 950-1,600 m between Morro do Chapéu, Andarái and Barra da Estiva (Sick 1993, Parker et al. 1996). The species occurs in areas of arid and semi-arid montane scrub (campo rupestre) that are rich in cacti, bromeliads, Velloziaceae and orchids. The species is listed as Near Threatened under B1ab(i,ii,iii,v) because it occurs at few known locations within a moderately small range which was previously considered to be possibly decreasing in size owing to habitat loss. The global population size has not been quantified, but this species was described in 1996 as ‘fairly common’ (Stotz et al. 1996) and was thought to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines. The Extent of Occurrence (EOO) is estimated at 20,700 km2.

In the Brazilian Red List assessment for birds (MMA 2014) this species is listed as Endangered under Criterion B2ab(iii) on the basis of a newly-calculated area of occupancy of 120 km2. Additionally, the species is considered to be restricted to only two locations, one in Chapada Diamantina where it is restricted to semi-arid montane scrub above 950 m altitude, and another in Boqueirão do Onça at above 750m altitude. Habitat quality at both locations is declining due to fires, conversion of native forest for charcoal, increases in tourism and cattle grazing. The species’s assessment on the Brazilian Red List can be accessed here.

Up-to-date information is requested on the species’s range size and trend. Confirmation that the species’s area of occupancy is smaller than 500km2 and is undergoing a continuing decline in extent or quality of habitat would likely qualify the species for Endangered under Criterion B2. Comments on the proposed uplisting are welcome.

 

References:

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.

Parker, T. A., Stotz, D.F., Fitzpatrick, J.W. 1996. Ecological and distributional databases. In: Stotz, D.F., Fitzpatrick, J.W., Parker, T.A., & Moskovits, D.K. (ed.), Neotropical bird ecology and conservation, pp. 113-436. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Sick, H. 1993. Birds in Brazil: a natural history. Princeton University Press, Princeton.

Stotz, D. F.; Fitzpatrick, J. W.; Parker, T. A.; Moskovits, D. K. 1996. Neotropical birds: ecology and conservation. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

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6 Responses to Hooded Visorbearer (Augastes lumachella): uplist from Near Threatened to Endangered?

  1. “… Additionally, the species is Considered to be restricted to only two locations, one in Chapada Diamantina where it is restricted to semi-arid montane scrub above 950 m altitude, and another in Boqueirão Onça …” However, I must say that the Chapada Diamantina is very extensive, with this hummingbird occurring in virtually all municipalities of the plateau, at least nine locations. Thus, it is a geographic scale mistake to say that this species occurs only in two locations.The bird also uses areas suffering burned shortly after seeming to be well adapted to this common situation. The boqueirão da onça mouth is extensive as well. Despite the recognized endemism of the species I do not believe that it can be considered EN. I agree with the current classification of NT BirdLife.

  2. James Westrip (BirdLife) says:

    Based on available information, our proposal for the 2016 Red List would be to pend the decision on this species and keep this discussion open until 2017, while leaving the current Red List category unchanged in the 2016 update.

    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.

  3. Bret Whitney says:

    I agree completely with Edson’s comment (above). The habitat for this species has probably not changed dramatically in the past several decades, and may now even be increasing, or more secure, than it was 20 years ago. Yes, it is a range-restricted species, but this is a natural condition, and I seriously doubt that it will become increasingly rare, or increasingly threatened, in the foreseeable future. Thus, I think NT is appropriate for it.

  4. 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.

  5. Claudia Hermes (BirdLife International) says:

    Based on available information, our preliminary proposal for the 2018 Red List would be to list:
    Hooded Visorbearer as Near Threatened under criterion B1ab(i,ii,iii,v).
    There is now a period for further comments until the final deadline in mid-July, 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 the initial proposal.
    The final 2018 Red List categories will be published on the BirdLife and IUCN websites in November, following further checking of information relevant to the assessments by both BirdLife and IUCN.

  6. Claudia Hermes (BirdLife International) says:

    Based on available information, our proposal for the 2018 Red List would be to pend the decision on this species and keep this discussion open until 2019, while leaving the current Red List category unchanged in the 2018 update.

    The final 2018 Red List categories will be published on the BirdLife and IUCN websites in November, following further checking of information relevant to the assessments by both BirdLife and IUCN.

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