BirdLife species factsheet for Perija Starfrontlet
Perija Starfrontlet (Coeligena consita) occurs in the Sierra de Perijá along the border of Colombia and Venezuela. Most records come from one locality in Colombia (López-O. et al. 2014, P. Salaman in litt. 2020); the last record from Venezuela dates back to 1942 (del Hoyo et al. 2020).
Information about the Perija Starfrontlet’s ecology is scarce. The species inhabits cloud and elfin forest as well as open shrubland with scattered vegetation (del Hoyo et al. 2020). Known records span an altitude from 2,550 to 3,025 m (del Hoyo et al. 2020). The population size has preliminarily been placed in the band 2,500-9,999 mature individuals, but the need for further information on the population size, structure and trend has been identified. The most severe threat to the species is the fragmentation and conversion of its habitat caused by uncontrolled colonisation, which is accompanied by cultivation and cattle-ranching, and by mineral exploitation and road construction. These threats mainly affect the lower slopes of the Sierra de Perijá; yet, forest loss seems to have increased since 2016, particularly on the eastern slope (Global Forest Watch 2014).
Perija Starfrontlet is currently listed as Vulnerable under Criterion C2a(i) (BirdLife International 2020). New information on the population size and trend suggest that the species may warrant a change in Red List status. Therefore, it will be re-assessed against all criteria.
Criterion A – The only threat known to the species is the conversion and loss of its habitat; however, the population trend has not been estimated directly. A remote-sensing study found that forest loss within the Perija Starfrontlet’s range over ten years was potentially <2% (Tracewski et al. 2016; see also Global Forest Watch 2020; one generation length being 2.0 years; Bird et al. 2020). Considering that the species occupies a wide variety of habitat, including different types of forests and open shrubland, the species might not qualify as threatened based on forest loss. Given our current information, the population appears to be stable and hence does not approach the threshold for Vulnerable under this criterion. Perija Starfrontlet may be listed as Least Concern under Criterion A.
Criterion B – This species has a small range. Its Extent of Occurrence (EOO) has been estimated at 4,500 km2; the Area of Occupancy (AOO) has not been quantified. As such, the EOO meets the threshold for listing as Endangered under Criterion B1 (EOO < 5,000 km2). However, in order to be listed under this criterion, further conditions have to be met.
Given the relative stability of forested habitat within the range and the Perija Starfrontlet’s tolerance of low levels of habitat conversion, there is no reason to suggest an ongoing decline in the species’s EOO, AOO, quality/extent of habitat or population size, so that condition b is not met. Moreover, the species is not known to undergo extreme fluctuations and so does not meet condition c. As such, the species does not meet enough conditions to be listed as threatened under Criterion B. However, it may meet condition a and therefore qualify for Near Threatened under this criterion: Perija Starfrontlet is currently known from only one locality (eBird 2020, P. Salaman in litt. 2020). However, given that the higher zones of the Sierra de Perijá are still covered by large areas of forest (eBird 2020), it is plausible that the species occurs in further sites as well. There is no indication that the species can be considered severely fragmented per IUCN definition (see IUCN Standards and Petitions Committee 2019). It hence depends on the number of locations** of occurrence whether the species meets the threshold for condition a. If the species were to occur at ≤ 10 locations**, it may be listed as Near Threatened, approaching the threshold for listing as threatened under Criterion B1a; otherwise, it would qualify for Least Concern under this criterion. We therefore ask for recent information on the distribution range of the species and the known or projected areas of occurrence.
Criterion C – The population size of Perija Starfrontlet has been placed in the band 2,500-9,999 mature individuals, while the lack of exact data and the need for a precise estimate have been acknowledged (BirdLife International 2020). Recent information suggests that the species is rarer than assumed (P. Salaman in litt. 2020). We have no data on the subpopulation structure, but the relatively low level of forest fragmentation in the higher zones of the Sierra de Perijá suggests that the species may form just one subpopulation. However, given that our current information suggest that the population is stable, the species does not qualify for listing as threatened under Criterion C. It may nevertheless be considered Near Threatened, approaching the threshold for listing as threatened under Criterion C2a(ii).
Criterion D – The population size of Perija Starfrontlet has not been estimated directly, but is thought to be smaller than the previous estimate of 2,500-9,999 mature individuals (P. Salaman in litt. 2020). In case that the population is found to number < 1,000 mature individuals, the species may be listed as Vulnerable under Criterion D1. In case that the population is even smaller, numbering < 250 mature individuals, it may be listed as Endangered under Criterion D. We therefore ask for recent information on the population size of the species.
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.
Hence, it appears that the only criterion where the species may meet the threshold for listing as threatened is Criterion D. Therefore, up-to-date information is urgently sought regarding the population size and trend of Perija Starfrontlet, the distribution range, as well as the intensity of habitat loss and potential other threats the species may be facing.
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. By submitting a comment, you confirm that you agree to the Comment Policy.
*Bird generation lengths are estimated using the methodology of Bird et al. (2020), as applied to parameter values updated for use in each IUCN Red List for birds reassessment cycle. Values used for the current assessment are available on request. We encourage people to contact us with additional or improved values for the following parameters; adult survival (true survival accounting for dispersal derived from an apparently stable population); mean age at first breeding; and maximum longevity (i.e. the biological maximum, hence values from captive individuals are acceptable).
**The term ‘location’ refers to a distinct area in which a single threatening event can rapidly affect all individuals of the taxon present, with the size of the location depending on the area covered by the threatening event. Where a taxon is affected by more than one threatening event, location should be defined by considering the most serious plausible threat (IUCN 2001, 2012).
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.
Bird, J. P.; Martin, R.; Akçakaya, H. R.; Gilroy, J.; Burfield, I. J.; Garnett, S.; Symes, A.; Taylor, J.; Šekercioğlu, Ç.; Butchart, S. H. M. (2020). Generation lengths of the world’s birds and their implications for extinction risk. Conservation Biology online first view.
BirdLife International. 2020. Species factsheet: Coeligena consita. http://www.birdlife.org (Accessed 5 February 2020).
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N.; Kirwan, G. M.; Sharpe, C. J. 2020. Perija Starfrontlet (Coeligena consita). 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/467212 (Accessed 5 February 2020).
eBird. 2020. eBird: An online database of bird distribution and abundance [web application]. eBird, Ithaca, New York. http://www.ebird.org (Accessed 5 February 2020).
Global Forest Watch. 2020. Interactive Forest Change Mapping Tool. http://www.globalforestwatch.org (Accessed 5 February 2020).
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.
IUCN Standards and Petitions Committee. 2019. Guidelines for using the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria. Version 14. http://www.iucnredlist.org/documents/RedListGuidelines.pdf.
López-O., J. P.; Avendaño, J. E.; Gutiérrez-Pinto, N.; Cuervo, A. M. 2014. The birds of the Serranía de Perijá: The northernmost avifauna of the Andes. Ornitología Colombiana 14: 62-93.
Tracewski, Ł.; Butchart, S. H. M.; Di Marco, M.; Ficetola, G. F.; Rondinini, C.; Symes, A.; Wheatley, H.; Beresford, A. E.; Buchanan, G. M. 2016. Toward quantification of the impact of 21st-century deforestation on the extinction risk of terrestrial vertebrates. Conservation Biology 30: 1070-1079.