Black-capped Piprites (Piprites pileata): request for information

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 2020 Red List update this post remains open and the date of posting has been updated.

BirdLife species factsheet for Black-capped Piprites

Black-capped Piprites is found in south-east Brazil and north-eastern Argentina. In Brazil it has been found in Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul. In Argentina records come from Tobuna and Yabotí Biosphere Reserve, Misiones (Maders et al. 2007, Bodrati et al. 2009, 2010). The species is currently listed as Vulnerable under criterion C2a(i) on the basis of its small, declining population.

The global population is estimated at 2,500-9,999 mature individuals. The extent of forest loss within the species’s range indicates that its apparently small population is declining at a moderate rate. It largely inhabits the canopy of montane Atlantic forest in the Araucaria angustifolia and Podocarpus lamberti domain. Observations in Brazil suggest it may be an altitudinal migrant (A. Whittaker in litt. 1999). If true, it may require continuous tracts of forest within its altitudinal range of 900-2,000 m in Brazil. In Argentina, it has been found from 500 to 600 m, and it does not migrate (Bodrati et al. 2009). Araucaria forests have been much reduced in extent. However, it does not appear to be a true Araucaria specialist, and population declines in the north of its range may be mitigated by forests within its altitudinal range having suffered considerably less destruction than adjacent lowlands. The population in Argentina is very small and localized in a specific habitat (Ocotea pulchella forest), which is not subject to any specific protection and thus vulnerable to forest disturbance including selective logging, forest clearing for agriculture, and accidental forest fires (Bodrati et al. 2009).

In the Brazilian Red List assessment for birds (MMA 2014) this species is listed as Near Threatened. However the criteria under which it is Near Threatened are not provided.

Up-to-date information is requested on the species’s population size, trend and subpopulation structure. Is the population likely to be in continuing decline owing to loss of habitat? Is the global population <10,000 mature individuals? And are there <1,000 mature individuals in each subpopulation?

New information and comments on the proposed downlisting are welcome.
References:

Bodrati, A.; Maders, C.; Di Santo, G.; Cockle K.; Areta, J. I.; Segovia, J. M. 2009. Distribución, hábitat, y historia natural del Bailarín Castaño Piprites pileata, una especie Críticamente Amenazada en Argentina. Cotinga: 95-100.

Bodrati A.; Lammertink M.; Segovia J.M. 2010. El Bailarín Castaño (Piprites pileata) está en la Reserva Natural Cultural Papel Misionero, Provincia de Misiones, Argentina. Nuestras Aves 54: 76-78.

Maders, C.; Fariña, N.; Bodrati, A. 2007. Redescubrimiento del bailarín castaño (Piprites pileata) en Argentina. Ornitologia Neotropical 18: 127-131

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.

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8 Responses to Black-capped Piprites (Piprites pileata): request for information

  1. In Argentina it is critically endangered and restricted to a very tiny area. We’ve never seen any evidence suggesting that there is a global population even close to 9,999 mature individuals. Until someone actually studies population size and dynamics, we think it should remain Vulnerable.

  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. 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.

  4. 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.
    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.

  5. 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.

  6. Red List Team (BirdLife International) says:

    As stated above, this proposal was originally posted in 2016. Since then, further information has come to light and the species has been reassessed. The new assessment is presented below.

    Criterion A:
    The species’s generation length has recently been re-estimated at 2.45 years, according to the methods in Bird et al. (2020). Reductions should therefore be assessed over a period of ten years for assessment under Criterion A.

    The population is thought to be in decline, but the trend has not been estimated directly. Remote-sensed data indicates that approximately 6% of tree cover was lost within the species’s range over ten years from 2009-2019 (Global Forest Watch 2020). Although the species has specialised habitat requirements and occurs at higher elevations, it is dependent on forest and is therefore inferred to be declining.

    Based on the amount of tree cover loss, over ten years from 2002 to 2020, the species’s population size is tentatively suspected to have undergone a reduction by 1-6%. Assuming a similar rate of forest loss continues into the near future, the species is suspected to undergo a reduction of 1-9% over the next ten years.

    These rates of decline do not approach the thresholds for listing as threatened under Criterion A. The species is assessed as Least Concern under this Criterion.

    Criterion B:
    Based on the area of a minimum convex polygon around the species’s entire mapped range, the Extent of Occurrence is inferred to be 356,000km2. This is much larger than the thresholds for threatened status under Criterion B1. The species is assessed as Least Concern under this criterion.

    The species’s Area of Occupancy has not been estimated, but based on the distribution of records of the species, is unlikely to approach the threshold (2,000km2) for listing as threatened under Criterion B2. The species is assessed as Least Concern under this criterion.

    Criterion C:
    There is no direct data on population densities, but the species appears to be rare and very sparsely distributed. In Argentina, searches in forest remnants across central and northern Misiones over five years only detected the species at six sites (Bodrati et al. 2009). However, the vast majority of the species’s range is in Brazil.

    Based on the lower density estimates for the closely-related species P. chloris (0.5-1.6 individuals/km2; Thiollay 1986, 1992), the approximate area of tree cover with at least 50% canopy cover within the species’s range in 2010 (84,000 km2; Global Forest Watch 2020), and assuming 10-25% of the tree cover within the range is occupied, the population size is tentatively estimated to fall between 4,200 and 33,600 individuals, roughly equating to 2,800 – 22,400 mature individuals. This range could qualify the species as Vulnerable, Near Threatened or Least Concern under this Criterion.

    Based on remote-sensed data on tree cover loss within the range (Global Forest Watch 2020), the population is inferred to be undergoing a continuing decline.

    The subpopulation structure is poorly known, but assuming the population size falls towards the lower end of the range, and that there are at least several subpopulations, the largest subpopulation is unlikely to have more than 1,000 mature individuals.

    Depending on where the true population size is mostly to fall, the species could qualify as Vulnerable under Criterion C2a(i), Near Threatened or Least Concern.

    Criterion D:
    According to the population size estimates described above, the species’s population size is much larger than the thresholds for threatened status under this Criterion. The species is assessed as Least Concern under Criterion D.

    Overall assessment:
    Based on the above information, the overall assessment is dependent on the species’s population size and subpopulation structure. If it is likely to have a population smaller than 10,000 mature individuals, with subpopulations of no more than 1,000 mature individuals, it should be retained as Vulnerable. If, rather, the population is likely to be larger than 10,000 mature individuals, and/or the largest subpopulation is larger than 1,000 mature inviduals, the species may be reclassified as Near Threatened or Least Concern.

    We therefore reiterate our request for information pertaining to the species’s population size and subpopulation structure.

    References:

    Bird, J. P., Martin, R., Akçakaya, H. R., Gilroy, J., Burfield, I. J., Garnett, S. G., Symes, A., Taylor, J., Şekercioğlu, Ç. H. and Butchart, S. H. M. 2020. Generation lengths of the world’s birds and their implications for extinction risk. Conservation Biology in prep.

    Bodrati, A.; Maders, C.; Di Santo, G.; Cockle K.; Areta, J. I.; Segovia, J. M. 2009. Distribución, hábitat, e historia natural del Bailarín Castaño Piprites pileata, una especie Críticamente Amenazada en Argentina. Cotinga: 95-100.

    Global Forest Watch. 2020. Interactive Forest Change Mapping Tool. Available at: http://www.globalforestwatch.org/.

    Thiollay, J. M. 1986. Structure comparee du peuplement avien dans trois sites de foret primaire en Guyane. Revue d’Ecologie (La Terre et la Vie) 41: 59-105.

    Thiollay, J.-M. 1992. Influence of selective logging on bird species diversity in a Guianan rain forest. Conservation Biology 6: 47-63.

  7. Red List Team (BirdLife International) says:

    Many thanks to everyone who has contributed to this discussion. We greatly appreciate the time and effort invested by so many people in commenting. The window for consultation is now closed. We will analyse and interpret the new information and post a preliminary decision on this species’s Red List status on this page in early July.

    Thank you once again,
    BirdLife Red List Team

  8. Red List Team (BirdLife International) says:

    Preliminary proposal

    Based on available information, our preliminary proposal for the 2020 Red List would be to list Black-capped Piprites as Near Threatened, approaching the threshold for listing as threatened under Criterion A2cd+3cd+4cd.

    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 2020 Red List categories will be published on the BirdLife and IUCN websites in December 2020/January 2021, following further checking of information relevant to the assessments by both BirdLife and IUCN.

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