Cipo Canastero (Asthenes luizae): revise global status?

BirdLife species factsheet for Cipo Canastero

This discussion was first published as part of the 2019 Red List update. At the time a decision regarding the status of this species was pended, but to enable potential reassessment of this species as part of the 2020 Red List update this post remains open and the date of posting has been updated.

Cipo Canastero (Asthenes luizae) occurs in few localities in Minas Gerais, Brazil (Espinhaço mountain range and Diamantina plateau, Campina do Bananal, and further north in Monte Azul; Chaves Cordeiro et al. 1998, Vasconcelos et al. 2002, Vasconcelos and D’Angelo Neto 2007). The species was only discovered in 1985. The population size is not known; estimates based on an assumed 10,000 km2 of habitat and a density of 10 individuals/km2 report a number of 100,000 individuals (M. F. de Vasconcelos in litt. 2007). However, as this number might be an overestimate (L. E. Lopes in litt. 2009), the population is tentatively placed in the band 50,000-99,999 individuals in total (BirdLife International 2018). Cipo Canastero is a mainly terrestrial species inhabiting campo rupestre, isolated rocky outcrops with dry, bushy vegetation. It ranges from 1,000 to 2,000 m and prefers steep, well vegetated slopes. 

Its small geographic range and the inherent insular nature of suitable habitat make the species vulnerable to threats like grazing and burning of its habitat (Remsen and de Juana 2018). However, due to the remoteness and overall low suitability for agriculture of campo rupestre, Cipo Canastero is assumed to be fairly safe. Brood parasitism by the recently introduced Shiny Cowbird (Molothrus bonariensis) might constitute a potential risk to the species, but reports so far are scarce (L. E. Lopes in litt. 2009). Overall, the population is suspected to be stable, with at most local declines.  

Currently, Cipo Canastero is listed as Near Threatened under Criterion B1ab(iii) (BirdLife International 2018). However, this is no longer tenable because this was based on an Extent of Occurrence (EOO) value calculated as the ‘area of mapped range’. This is no longer appropriate, and the EOO should be calculated using a Minimum Convex Polygon (see IUCN 2001, 2012, Joppa et al. 2016), as EOO is a measure of the spatial spread of areas occupied by a species, not the actual area it occupies. After re-calculating the EOO for Cipo Canastero, the species appears to warrant a change in Red List status. Therefore, we present here our reassessment against all criteria for the species.

Criterion A – Although Cipo Canastero may be undergoing some local declines caused by habitat degradation and potentially low levels of brood parasitism, the species is suspected to be overall stable. Therefore, Cipo Canastero may be listed as Least Concern under Criterion A.

Criterion B – The newly calculated Extent of Occurrence (EOO) for this species is 41,200 km2. This does not meet the threshold for Vulnerable (EOO < 20,000 km2). Therefore, Cipo Canstero may be listed as Least Concern under Criterion B1. The Area of Occupancy (AOO) has not been calculated and thus the species cannot be assessed against Criterion B2.

Criterion C – The population size has tentatively been placed in the band 50,000-99,999 individuals in total (BirdLife International 2018), which roughly equates to 30,000-70,000 mature individuals. This is too large to approach the threshold for Vulnerable (10,000 mature individuals). Therefore, Cipo Canastero may be listed as Least Concern under Criterion C.

Criterion D – The population size is too large to approach the threshold for Vulnerable (1,000 mature individuals). Therefore, Cipo Canastero may be listed as Least Concern under Criterion D.

Criterion E – To the best of our knowledge no quantitative analysis of extinction risk has been conducted for this species. Therefore, it cannot be assessed against this criterion.

Therefore, it is proposed that Cipo Canastero (Asthenes luizae) be listed as Least Concern. We welcome any comments on this proposed listing.

Please note that this topic is not designed to be a general discussion about the ecology of the species, rather a discussion of its Red List status. Therefore, please make sure your comments are relevant to the discussion outlined in the topic.

An information booklet on the Red List Categories and Criteria can be downloaded here and the Red List Criteria Summary Sheet can be downloaded here. Detailed guidance on IUCN Red List terms and definitions and the application of the Red List Categories and Criteria can be downloaded here.

References

BirdLife International. 2018. Species factsheet: Asthenes luizae. http://www.birdlife.org (Accessed 21 December 2018).

Chaves Cordeiro, P. H.; de Melo, T. A., Jr.; Vasconcelos, M. F. de. 1998. A range extension for Cipó Canastero Asthenes luizae in Brazil. Cotinga 10: 64-65.

IUCN. 2001. IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria: Version 3.1. IUCN Species Survival Commission. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, U.K.

IUCN. 2012. IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria: Version 3.1. Second edition. IUCN Species Survival Commission. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, U.K. www.iucnredlist.org/technical-documents/categories-and-criteria.

Joppa, L. N.; Butchart, S. H. M.; Hoffmann, M.; Bachman, S. P.; Akçakaya, H. R.; Moat, J. F.; Böhm, M.; Holland, R. A.; Newton, A.; Polidoro, B.; Hughes, A. 2016. Impact of alternative metrics on estimates of extent of occurrence for extinction risk assessment. Conservation Biology 30: 362-370.

Remsen, J.V., Jr; de Juana, E. 2018. Cipo Canastero (Asthenes luizae). 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, Spain. https://www.hbw.com/node/56508 (Accessed 21 December 2018).

Vasconcelos, M. F. de; D’Angelo Neto, S. 2007. Padrões de distribuição e conservação da avifauna na região central da Cadeia do Espinhaço e áreas adjacentes, Minas Gerais, Brasil. Cotinga 28: 27-44.

Vasconcelos, M. F. de; D’Angelo Neto, S.; Rodrigues, M. 2002. A range extension for the Cipó Canastero Asthenes luizae and the consequences for its conservation status. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club 122: 7-10.

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4 Responses to Cipo Canastero (Asthenes luizae): revise global status?

  1. Red List Team (BirdLife International) says:

    Preliminary proposal
    Based on available information, our preliminary proposal for the 2019 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 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 those in the initial proposal.
    The final 2019 Red List categories will be published on the BirdLife and IUCN websites in December, following further checking of information relevant to the assessments by both BirdLife and IUCN.

  2. Red List Team (BirdLife International) says:

    Recommended categorisations to be put forward to IUCN
    Based on available information, our proposal for the 2019 Red List is to pend the decision on this species and keep the discussion open until 2020, while leaving the current Red List category unchanged in the 2019 update.
    Final 2019 Red List categories will be published on the BirdLife and IUCN websites in December, following further checking of information relevant to the assessments by both BirdLife and IUCN.

  3. Lílian M. Costa & Guilherme H. S. Freitas says:

    We have been studying Cipo Canasteros since 2009, including long-term monitoring of banded individuals at two study sites in Serra do Cipó and surveying populations along the mountaintops of eastern Brazil.
    Many of our findings can be found in MSc Thesis and Ph.D. Dissertations (Costa 2011, 2015, Freitas 2011, 2015, Chaves 2014), conference proceedings (e.g., Costa et al. 2011a, b, 2018), and will be soon available in manuscripts (Freitas et al. under review a, b, and others in preparation).
    Our data pointed to another view of the Cipo Canastero threatened status.

    Criterion A – Although we have no data on global population dynamics, locally we observed a declining population, with a severe shortage of females and low productivity rates, mostly due to frequent brood parasitism by Shiny Cowbird (Costa et al. 2011a, b; Costa 2011, 2015).

    Criterion B – We reviewed the species distribution, adding new locations. Based on that, we estimated an EOO of < 25,000 km², and we made two estimates of AOO: one lying < 500 km² (Endangered) based only on the recorded locations, and the second was < 2,000 km² (Vulnerable) based in species distribution modeling (Freitas et al. under review a). Furthermore, with much fewer data available, Pena et al. (2014) estimated for Cipo Canastero an EOO of < 18,000 km² (Vulnerable).

    Criterion C – The global population size, based on our estimates of the AOO and local density (Freitas et al. under review b, Freitas 2011, Costa 2015), indicated a lower bound that meets the Endangered threshold (<2,500 mature individual), and an overestimated upper bound was above, although close to, Vulnerable threshold (<10,000).

    Criterion E – A preliminary assessment of the species' extinction risk under the IUCN criterion E (Population Viability Analysis) pointed to at least the Vulnerable category (Costa et al. 2018).

    The species is highly restricted to rocky outcrops at the steepest slopes, with probably limited dispersion (Freitas et al. 2011), which is hampered by the many threats of campos rupestres habitat, including specially global warming that will directly impact highland species (Fernandes et al. 2014, Bitencourt et al. 2016).

    Therefore, we recommend that the species do not be downlisted from Near Threatened to Least Concern. In fact, our data lead us to conclude that it should be uplisting from Near Threatened to Vulnerable.

  4. Lílian M. Costa & Guilherme H. S. Freitas says:

    References cited in our comment:
    -Bitencourt et al. 2016. The worrying future of the endemic flora of a tropical mountain range under climate change. Flora 218: 1–10.
    -Chaves, A.V. 2014. Biogeografia histórica e sistemática das aves endêmicas dos topos de montanha do leste do Brasil. PhD dissertation, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
    -Costa, L.M. 2011. História de vida de Asthenes luizae: biologia reprodutiva, sucesso reprodutivo e o impacto de Molothrus bonariensis em uma ave ameaçada e endêmica dos campos rupestres da Cadeia do Espinhaço. MSc thesis, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil.
    -Costa, L.M. 2015. História natural, demografia, viabilidade populacional e conservação de Asthenes luizae (Furnariidae), ave endêmica dos campos rupestres da Cadeia do Espinhaço, Minas Gerais. PhD dissertation, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte.
    -Costa, L.M., G.H.S. Freitas, and M. Rodrigues. 2011a. Sucesso reprodutivo de Asthenes luizae e o impacto do nidoparasitismo por Molothrus bonariensis. XVIII Congresso Brasileiro de Ornitologia. Cuiabá.
    -Costa, L.M., G.H.S. Freitas, and M. Rodrigues. 2011b. Life history traits of the Cipó Canastero, Asthenes luizae. In A. More, D. G. Olaechea, & Á. G. Olaechea (Eds.), IX Congreso de Ornitología Neotropical y VIII Congreso Peruano de Ornitología (pp. 446–447). Cusco, Peru.
    -Costa, L. M., G. H. S. Freitas, and M. Rodrigues. 2018. Da história natural à modelagem populacional: o emprego do critério E da IUCN. In F. F. Carmo, L. N. Perillo, & M. C. Ferreira (Eds.), IV Simpósio Brasileiro de Biologia da Conservação (p. 170). Belo Horizonte: Bocaina Biologia da Conservação.
    -Fernandes et al. 2014. Challenges for the conservation of vanishing megadiverse rupestrian grasslands. Natureza & Conserv. 12: 162–165.
    -Freitas, G.H.S. 2011. História natural de dois furnarídeos (Aves: Furnariidae) endêmicos dos campos rupestres da porção sul da Cadeia do Espinhaço, Minas Gerais. MSc thesis, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
    -Freitas, G.H.S. 2015. Variação geográfica morfológica e vocal de aves endêmicas dos topos de montanha do leste do Brasil. PhD dissertation, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
    -Freitas, G.H.S., L.M. Costa, and M. Rodrigues. 2011. Dispersão de jovens de Asthenes luizae (Furnariidae) rastreados por radiotelemetria. XVIII Congresso Brasileiro de Ornitologia. Cuiabá, Brazil.
    -Freitas, G.H.S., L.M. Costa, A.V. Chaves, M.F.Vasconcelos, L.C. Ribeiro, J.C. Silva, R.A. Souza, F.R. Santos, and M. Rodrigues. Geographic range and conservation of the sky island Brazilian endemic furnariid Cipo Canastero (Asthenes luizae). Submitted, under review a.
    -Freitas, G.H.S., L.M. Costa, and M. Rodrigues. Home ranges, population densities, vocal behavior, and post-fledging movements of Cipo Canasteros (Asthenes luizae, Furnariidae), a rock-specialist endemic of the highlands of eastern Brazil. Submitted, under review b.
    -Pena et al. 2014. Assessing the conservation status of species with limited available data and disjunct distribution. Biol. Conser. 170: 130–136.

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