Peruvian Martin (Progne murphyi): revise global status?

BirdLife species factsheet for Peruvian Martin

Peruvian Martin (Progne murphyi) occurs in coastal Peru and northern Chile. The species is very poorly known. It is found in open and semi-open areas along the coast, but also in pastures, agricultural lands and secondary scrub (Luo 2020).  

Peruvian Martin is considered rare and local. The population size has tentatively been placed in the band 2,500-9,999 mature individuals; however, this may be an underestimate. In recent years, the species is more regularly observed in Chile, which may be attributable to an increase in survey effort, rather than to an increase in population size (F. Schmitt in litt. 2020).

Threats to the species are unknown. Given the ecology of Peruvian Martin, it has been hypothesised that the species may be impacted by competition for nest sites with seabirds and nest predation, but potentially also intensification of agriculture and subsequent pesticide use (F. Schmitt in litt. 2020). It however remains to be confirmed whether these threats have any impacts on the species.

Peruvian Martin is currently listed as Vulnerable under Criterion C2a(i) (BirdLife International 2020). However, new information regarding the distribution range suggests that the species may warrant a change in Red List status. Therefore, it will be re-assessed against all criteria:

Criterion A – The population trend has not been estimated directly. Potential threats to the species are unknown, but may include competition for nest sites and nest predation, as well as agricultural intensification and pesticide use (F. Schmitt in litt. 2020). Even though the impact of these threats on the population size is virtually unknown, we can precautionarily suspect that the species is undergoing a slow decline, not exceeding 10% over ten years (one generation length being 2.8 years; Bird et al. 2020*). Peruvian Martin therefore qualifies as Least Concern under Criterion A.

Criterion B – The newly calculated Extent of Occurrence (EOO) for this species is 490,000 km2. This value does not meet the threshold for Vulnerable (EOO < 20,000 km2), and Peruvian Martin may be listed as Least Concern under Criterion B1. The Area of Occupancy (AOO) has not been quantified according to the guidelines (IUCN Standards and Petitions Committee 2019); thus the species cannot be assessed against Criterion B2.

Criterion C – The population size of Peruvian Martin is preliminarily placed in the band 2,500-9,999 mature individuals. This meets the threshold for listing as threatened under Criterion C. However, to do so a species must meet further conditions.

It is precautionarily suspected that the species is undergoing a slow population decline due to habitat loss. A suspected decline, however, precludes a listing as threatened under Criterion C. Even though we have no direct information on the subpopulation structure, we can tentatively assume that the species forms one single subpopulation. Overall, the species only meets only one out of two further conditions and can therefore not be listed as threatened under Criterion C. Nevertheless, it may be listed as Near Threatened, approaching the threshold for listing as threatened under Criterion C2a(ii).

Criterion D – The population and range are too large to warrant listing as threatened under Criterion D, and thus Peruvian Martin is assessed as Least Concern under this criterion.

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 suggested that Peruvian Martin (Progne murphyi) be listed as Near Threatened, approaching the threshold for listing as threatened under Criterion C2a(ii). We welcome any comments on the proposed listing, and specifically request up-to-date information regarding the population size and trend, as well as threats to the species.

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).

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

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: Progne murphyi. http://www.birdlife.org (Accessed 03 April 2020).

IUCN Standards and Petitions Committee. 2019. Guidelines for using the IUCN Red List Categoreis and Criteria. Version 14. http://www.iucnredlist.org/documents/RedListGuidelines.pdf.

Luo, M. K. 2020. Peruvian Martin (Progne murphyi), version 1.0. In: Schulenberg, T. S. (ed.). Birds of the World. Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.permar1.01 (Accessed 03 April 2020).

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4 Responses to Peruvian Martin (Progne murphyi): revise global status?

  1. Dan Lane says:

    “It is precautionarily suspected that the species is undergoing a slow population decline due to habitat loss.” What habitat loss? Breeding areas (offshore islands)? Foraging areas on the mainland? Please explain, otherwise, this seems without basis.

    • Red List Team (BirdLife International) says:

      Thank you very much for your comment. Potential threats to the species are unknown, but may include competition for nest sites and nest predation, as well as agricultural intensification and pesticide use (F. Schmitt in litt. 2020). Even though the impact of these threats on the population size is virtually unknown, we precautionarily suspect that the species is undergoing a slow decline. Habitat loss therefore refers to the loss of nesting sites (via competition) and degradation through nest predation, agricultural intensification and pesticide use.

  2. 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

  3. Red List Team (BirdLife International) says:

    Preliminary proposal

    Based on available information, our preliminary proposal for the 2020 Red List would be to adopt the proposed classification 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 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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