Selva Cacique (Cacicus koepckeae): revise global status?

BirdLife species factsheet for Selva Cacique

Selva Cacique (Cacicus koepckeae) occurs in the Amazon lowlands of Peru and adjacent western Brazil. It inhabits humid forests at elevations of 300-700 m, preferring riparian forests with bamboo stands (Grilli et al. 2012, P. Grilli in litt. 2020). The species is not well known and probably naturally scarce (P. Grilli in litt. 2020). The population size has preliminarily been placed in the band 2,500-9,999 mature individuals, but this number requires confirmation.

The only threat known to Selva Cacique is habitat loss. A study of deforestation in the Amazon projected rapid forest loss within the range and consequently rapid population declines of 70% over three generations (Soares-Filho et al. 2006, Bird et al. 2011). However, new information regarding the rate of forest loss suggests that this was a large overestimation, as the species occurs in a remote area, in which forests remain largely unaffected by logging, fragmentation and human encroachment (Tracewski et al. 2016, Global Forest Watch 2020, P. Grilli in litt. 2020). It has been hypothesised that deforestation is not severely affecting the species, so that the actual rate of population decline is only around 2% over three generations (P. Grilli in litt. 2020). 

Selva Cacique is currently listed as Endangered under Criterion A3c, based on projections of rapid habitat loss in the future. However, new information regarding trends in population size and habitat availability 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. Forest loss within the range has been negligible over the last three generations (11.4 years*; Tracewski et al. 2016, Global Forest Watch 2020). It is suspected that the population is declining at a rate of around 2% over three generations (P. Grilli in litt. 2020). This value is too low to meet the threshold for listing as threatened under Criterion A, and as such Selva Cacique may be considered Least Concern under this criterion.

Criterion B – The Extent of Occurrence (EOO) for this species is 76,500 km2. This is too large to warrant listing as threatened under Criterion B1, and Selva Cacique qualifies for Least Concern under this criterion. The Area of Occupancy (AOO) has not been quantified according to IUCN guidelines (IUCN Standards and Petitions Committee 2019), and so the species cannot be assessed against Criterion B2.

Criterion C – The population of Selva Cacique is thought to number 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.

Based on new information, it is suspected that the species is undergoing a slow population decline of around 2% over three generations (P. Grilli in litt. 2020). A suspected decline, however, precludes a listing as threatened under Criterion C. We have no information on the rate of decline, and thus the species cannot be assessed against Criterion C1. Given the homogeneity of forested habitat within the range, it is conceivable that all individuals belong to the same subpopulation. Therefore, Selva Cacique may be listed as Near Threatened, approaching the threshold for listing as threatened under Criterion C2a(ii).

Criterion D – The population size and range are too large to approach the threshold for Vulnerable. Therefore, Selva Cacique 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 suggested that Selva Cacique (Cacicus koepckeae) be listed as Near Threatened, approaching the threshold for listing as threatened under Criterion C2a(ii). We welcome any comments on the 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. 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.; Buchanan, J. M.; Lees, A. C.; Clay, R. P.; Develey, P. F.; Yépez, I.; Butchart, S. H. M. 2011. Integrating spatially explicit habitat projections into extinction risk assessments: a reassessment of Amazonian avifauna incorporating projected deforestation. Diversity and Distributions 18(3): 273-281.

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.

Global Forest Watch. 2020. Interactive Forest Change Mapping Tool. http://www.globalforestwatch.org (Accessed 11 February 2020).

Grilli, P.; Soave, G.; Fraga, R. M. 2012. Natural history and distribution of Selva Caciques (Cacicus koepckeae) in the Peruvian Amazon. Ornitología Neotropical 23(3): 375-383.

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.

Soares-Filho, B. S.; Nepstad, D. C.; Curran, L. M.; Cerqueira, G. C.; Garcia, R. A.; Ramos, C. A.; Voll, E.; McDonald, A.; Lefebvre, P.; Schlesinger, P. 2006. Modelling conservation in the Amazon basin. Nature 440(7083): 520-523.

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.

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5 Responses to Selva Cacique (Cacicus koepckeae): revise global status?

  1. Red List Team (BirdLife International) says:

    Global Forest Change data on tree cover loss up to 2019 have now been released and made available via Global Forest Watch. Based on these data, over three generations (11.4 years) approximately 0.8% of tree cover with >30% canopy cover was lost from within the species’s range (Global Forest Watch 2020). This does not affect the above assessment under Criterion A.

  2. Dan Lane says:

    “Based on new information, it is suspected that the species is undergoing a slow population decline of around 2% over three generations (P. Grilli in litt. 2020).” Can the specifics of this suspicion be explained here? Otherwise, this seems rather without basis.

    • Red List Team (BirdLife International) says:

      Thank you very much for your comment. Information on the population trend have been submitted during the factsheet reviewing process.
      The only known threat to the species is habitat loss; very low rates of habitat loss and the fact that Selva Cacique is occurring in remote and/or protected areas indicate that the species is currently unlikely to be at imminent risk. Population declines are (at most) very small over three generations.

  3. 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

  4. 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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