Archived: Birds (2017 AZE update consultation)

Please note that this 1st phase of the 2017 AZE consultation has now closed. Many thanks to everyone who contributed during July and August. The 2nd phase of the consultation, focusing on the spatial boundaries of the sites, is taking place on a different platform. Please follow this link to access it, and provide feedback using the links to Survey Monkey by the deadline of 12 November. Many thanks.


Please click on the link below to access an Excel spreadsheet listing all the proposed AZE sites triggered by bird species. Please post any comments or feedback on these proposed sites on this page (rather than on any of the AZE pages for other taxa) by 31 July 2017. Comments indicating that you have looked through the data, but do not have any suggested amendments or more specific feedback, are also welcome. Many thanks in advance – BirdLife, IUCN and ABC


For a spreadsheet summarising the proposed delistings for birds – i.e. 2010 AZE trigger species that have been provisionally determined to longer meet the criteria – please see:

Birds – 2017 proposed delistings

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24 Responses to Archived: Birds (2017 AZE update consultation)

  1. Ian Burfield (BirdLife) says:

    Comment by Chris Banks (Conservation Partnership Manager, Wildlife Conservation & Science, Zoos Victoria):

    Isabela Oriole – Oriolus isabellae
    The species is listed as Critically Endangered, and declining, on the IUCN Red List. It is endemic to northern Luzon Island in the Philippines. The Red List notes that the “total known population currently is about 50 individuals, with two sub-populations of 10-20 individuals each in the municipality of Baggao (Cagayan Province) and about 10 individuals in the municipality of San Mariano (Isabela Province)” (van Weerd, 2016). This species, nor the site localities appear on the AZE website. I’m aware that plans are underway for creation of a protected area for this species, for the Baggao population. Would seem to be appropriate for inclusion on the AZE.

  2. Ian Burfield (BirdLife) says:

    Many thanks for your message, Chris. This was a species we considered on the long list of possible AZE trigger species, but based on the information available (some of which you’ve cited above), it does not seem likely that any one site holds >95% of the remaining global population, and hence it would not meet all of the AZE criteria. The two areas with extant populations are too far apart to be considered as one large AZE site, and they fall within different Important Bird Areas/Key Biodiversity Areas too.

  3. Ian Burfield (BirdLife) says:

    Comment by Mike Crosby (Senior Conservation Officer, BirdLife Asia):

    A couple of Sangihe endemics appear to be missing, Sangihe Dwarf-kingfisher and Sangihe Pitta.

  4. Ian Burfield (BirdLife) says:

    Thanks Mike. Neither of these species was an AZE trigger in 2010, because they weren’t recognised as separate species back then. But we did consider them this time, informed by the latest available information (including recent personal field experience in Sangihe and Talaud by a member of our Red List team, Rob Martin).

    We do not consider the pitta to be an AZE trigger because it is known from two separate sites in Sangihe, Gunung Awu in the north and Sahendaruman in the south, neither of which seems likely to hold >95% of the population.

    The kingfisher has not been recorded since 1987, despite searches, and may be extinct on Sangihe, where its range is unknown. Combined with the uncertainty about its occurrence on Taluad, this means we do not consider it to be an AZE trigger.

  5. Ian Burfield (BirdLife) says:

    Comment by Mike Crosby (Senior Conservation Officer, BirdLife Asia):

    I think it is debatable whether Jerdon’s Courser should be an AZE species given historical records and potentially suitable habitat elsewhere.

    Also Asian Crested Ibis, which I understand now breeds over quite a wide area in Yang Xian county and is being reintroduced at several sites in China and Japan.

  6. Ian Burfield (BirdLife) says:

    Thanks Mike. Both Jerdon’s Courser and Asian Crested Ibis were AZE trigger species in 2010, but of course things change over time. There have been no confirmed sightings of the Courser for several years now, while the Ibis continues to recover. We would welcome further thoughts on these and other species from relevant experts.

  7. Christoph Zöckler says:

    Hi Ian,

    Sorry this comes rather late and it might not work for AZE anyway but I wanted to check at least. Just a thought. Tiaozini in Jiangsu China is a very very important site for Spoon-billed sandpiper (CR). In fact we now think that almost all adult birds at some stage in autumn will stop over here. Also vital but not sure if 95% of Nordmann’s Greenshank (EN) will use this site for autumn stop over. There is also a recent paper confirming this in BCI (Peng et al 2017). It might be little less but if you include neighbouring sites and combine them all it is definitely qualifying for AZE. Or do I have missed something in the criteria? It would certainly help us to get the site designated as an AZE. Thanks

  8. Ian Burfield (BirdLife) says:

    Many thanks Christoph – we will consider your suggestion and look into this one.

  9. Ian Burfield (BirdLife) says:

    The comments below are summarised from feedback provided by email by Aliança Brasileira para a Extinção Zero (the Brazilian Alliance for Zero Extinction, BAZE):

    Site: Bandeira / Macarani. Species: Merulaxis stresemanni. Comment: OK
    Site: Chapada do Araripe. Species: Antilophia bokermanni. Comment: OK
    Site: Curaçá. Species: Cyanopsitta spixii. Comment: OK
    Site: Engenho Coimbra (Usina Serra Grande). Species: Mitu mitu. Comment: OK (Pauxi mitu), but the site should be the reintroduction site, Mata do Cedro.
    Site: Guadalupe. Species: Glaucidium mooreorum. Comment: Considered Extinct on the Brazilian Red List (
    Site: Gurupi. Species: Crax pinima. Comment: OK. Crax fasciolata pinima – site name should be Reserva Biológica de Gurupi.
    Site: Parque Nacional da Chapada Diamantina. Species: Scytalopus diamantinensis. Comment: Although the largest population is within the Protected Area borders, there are still populations outside. Their site are not contiguous to the Park, so we can’t consider it a single site.
    Site: Raso da Catarina. Species: Anodorhynchus leari. Comment: OK
    Site: Rio Tacutu. Species: Synallaxis kollari. Comment: Although the distribution is restrict and the populations are severely fragmented, there is not indication that most individuals concentrate in a single site, nor that the fragmented patches for the subpopulations could configure a single site.
    Site: Serra da Bocaina / Paraty / Angra dos Reis. Species: Formicivora erythronotos. Comment: OK – we chose to name the site “Baía da Ilha Grande”
    Site: Serra do Urubu. Species: Philydor novaesi. Comment: Considered Extinct on the Brazilian Red List (
    Site: Serra dos Órgãos. Species: Calyptura cristata. Comment: PEX. Probably (almost certainly) extinct. At a glance, it should not be a trigger. The last record was over 20 years ago, and the site has been both well preserved and well surveyed, suggesting that this is a lost cause. It can’t even be considered a reintroduction site, as the species has not been bred in captivity.

  10. Hi Ian,

    Please keep in mind that Townsend´s Shearwater currently breeds on Socorro and Clarion Islands and this possibly could represent two different sites. Colonies on both islands are threatened by invasive species and human activities. On Socorro especially by poorly designed erradication/monitoring activities.

    Juan Martínez

  11. The Socorro Parakeet should not be delisted. In spite of the American Ornithologist´s Union not recognizing it as a full species, our recent work confirms discrete morphological differnces with continental form and a phylogeny showing clear genetic differentiation between related forms.

    It is an endangered form that survives in a limited area of Socorro Island where Sideroxylon trees abound in the highlands and other forested areas in the northern pristine areas never reached by introduced sheep.


  12. Regarding Pipilo maculatus socorroensis or Pipilo socorroensis one must keep in mind that the species is quite common on the island at different sites and different elevations. Depending on hábitat type. If included then other endemic species or forms should also be included.

    It would be important to keep in mind that the idea of the AZE excercise is to pin point species facing a real theat of imminent extinction. Which is not the case for this species.

    Juan Martínez

  13. Also, one must think about the Guadalupe Storm Petrel and the Cozumel Thrasher where no recent sightings exist but one should not give up. There is a need to evaluate for how long one should keep looking for and protocols to pursuit such searches.

    Kind regards
    Juan Martínez

  14. The Grenada Dove is Critically Endangered C2a(i), with a decreasing population trend. Major threats to the species continue to be habitat loss and degradation, primarily for residential and commercial development. I am requesting that this species be re-listed as an AZE species. The Grenada Dove was removed from the AZE list based on not meeting the criteria that >95% of the population is found in 1 location. I would strongly argue that Grenada Dove habitat can be considered one site that is now separated into 2 by development. Removing this critically endangered species from the list due to the threat that is likely the greatest threat to its persistence, I would ask, be reconsidered. Likely historically connected, these two populations are now separated by 9 km of extensive development, including the island’s largest city, St. George’s. The 2 sites (west coast and southwest habitats) are listed as separate IBAs and KBAs given the current extent of this development between the sites. Total distribution of the Grenada Dove, as outlined in the IBAs for which the GRDO is the sole globally threatened/A1 species, covers only approximately 416 ha.

  15. Ian Burfield (BirdLife) says:

    Re. Townsend’s Shearwater:

    Thanks Juan. The Red List factsheet states that the species is extinct on Clarion. If you have information that this is not the case, and that it has either recolonized or been found to persist there, please share that information with us. Please also indicate whether it is likely to hold more than 5% of the global population. Many thanks. Ian

  16. Ian Burfield (BirdLife) says:

    Re. Socorro Parakeet:

    This is now treated as a subspecies of Green Parakeet (LC) in the HBW/BirdLife Checklist, and as such it cannot be an AZE trigger in the current global update. It is possible that its taxonomic status may be reviewed in future, in the light of relevant new information. If that led to a revision (and elevation to species level), and its status remains poor, then it could potentially be an AZE trigger species in the future.

  17. Ian Burfield (BirdLife) says:

    Re. Socorro Towhee:

    As the Red List account states, this species has a small population and a very small range (on one island), which has been greatly affected by invasive sheep destroying its habitat, and is therefore listed as Endangered (i.e. facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild).

    Owing to the nature of the threat facing this and other CR/EN species (N.B. not subspecies) restricted to Socorro, the whole of the island is treated as one location and management unit, which therefore comfortably meets all of the AZE criteria.

  18. Ian Burfield (BirdLife) says:

    Re. Guadalupe Storm-petrel, Cozumel Thrasher and other ‘lost’ species:

    You are absolutely right that it is important to keep looking and not give up on such species. In both these cases (and various others proposed as AZE triggers through this exercise), they remain listed as CR or CR (PE) on the Red List, because there is still hope that they persist. Often this is because sufficiently thorough surveys have not been conducted throughout their known or possible range, at the right time of the day/season/year, using appropriate methods. This is especially true for cryptic or nocturnal species, such as storm-petrels.

    When appropriate efforts are made, there are plenty of examples of ‘lost’ species being re-found – including the recent rediscovery of Táchira Antpitta (another AZE trigger species) in Venezuela just last week:

  19. Ian Burfield (BirdLife) says:

    Re. Grenada Dove:

    This species occurs in five different IBAs (, which are treated as separate sites (rather than one multi-part IBA) because they form different management units, as well as because there is no suitable contiguous habitat between many of them. As such, this species does not fulfil all of the AZE criteria.

    The same applies to many other CR/EN species globally, which do not meet the AZE criteria for various reasons. They do however remain extremely high priorities for conservation action.

  20. Ian Burfield (BirdLife) says:

    Re. Worthen’s Sparrow (Spizella wortheni) and Pradera de Tokio (Mexico):

    A newly published paper by Scott-Morales et al. ( contains data showing that this species is more widespread than previously thought. As such, the site previously thought to hold >95% of the global population (Pradera de Tokio) no longer meets the AZE criteria, and will be dropped as an AZE site in this update.

  21. Ian Burfield (BirdLife) says:

    Re. Tablas Drongo (Dicrurus menagei):

    Although formerly more widespread on the island of Tablas (Philippines), the latest available information and recent sightings suggest that this species may now be confined to one forest block in the north, owing to extensive forest clearance for agriculture across the rest of the island.

    Balogo Watershed, the site in question has already been identified as an IBA/KBA (, and now seems likely to meet the AZE criteria too, holding >95% of the known population of this globally Endangered species.

  22. Ian Burfield (BirdLife) says:

    ABC have confirmed that >95% of the known global population of Bolivian Spinetail (Cranioleuca henricae, EN) occurs at Cuenca Cotacajes in Bolivia. This existing AZE site had been proposed for delisting, based on the trigger species occurring at other sites between La Paz and Cochabamba, but it will now be retained on the AZE site list.

  23. Ian Burfield (BirdLife) says:

    Comment by John Fanshawe (BirdLife International): I would like to propose the globally Endangered Clarke’s Weaver (Ploceus golandi) as an AZE trigger species at Arabuko-Sokoke Forest IBA in Kenya. I have spent more than five years working in that area, and have also corresponded with my colleagues, Colin Jackson, Andrew Kinzer and Fleur Ng’weno (Colin is based on the coast, and has extensive experience of the forest, and the woodlands north of the Sabaki river; Andrew was, and Fleur has been, closely involved in many surveys in the forest and woodlands at Dakatcha). Although the weavers are also sometimes seen north of the Sabaki, and have recently been found breeding at ephemeral wetlands in Dakatcha Woodland IBA, there are times of the year when 95% of the global population depends on Arabuko-Sokoke.

  24. Ian Burfield (BirdLife) says:

    Thanks John – we will add this site to the list (triggered also by Golden-rumped Sengi)

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