The Black-and-gold Cotinga (Lipaugus ater) occurs in Rio de Janeiro, extreme east São Paulo and adjacent south Minas Gerais, south-east Brazil (Ridgely and Tudor 1994, Parker et al. 1996). Although the species has a restricted range, loss of its montane Atlantic forest habitat has been much less extensive than in adjacent lowland areas (Stattersfield et al. 1998). The species is currently listed as Near Threatened under Criterion B1.
Following revision of the species’s range map and the re-calculation of the species’s extent of occurrence (EOO) based on a minimum convex polygon enclosing all known parts of its distribution, the species’s EOO is now estimated at 38,400 km2. This far exceeds the 20,000 km2 threshold for listing a species as threatened under Criterion B1, so it is not appropriate to continue to list the species as Near Threatened under this criterion. Hence, we are undertaking a review of the species’s Red List Category.
Our current information on the species’s conservation status will now be compared to all Red List Criteria.
Criterion A – We have no data on population trends. This species is forest-dependent; an analysis of forest loss within its range from 2000-2012 found that forest was lost at a rate equivalent to 3% across three generations (13.8 years; Tracewski et al. 2016). Assuming the population has declined at the same rate as the forest cover, the species would be suspected to have undergone a reduction of 3% over three generation lengths. This does not approach the thresholds for listing the species as threatened under Criterion A. The species is therefore assessed as Least Concern under this criterion.
Criterion B – The species’s EOO, based on its revised mapped range and calculated using a minimum convex polygon, is estimated at 38,400 km2. This far exceeds the threshold for listing a species as threatened under Criterion B2, so the species is assessed as Least Concern under Criterion B1. The area of the species’s mapped range is 12,500 km2 and the area of forest with at least 50% canopy cover in the species’s mapped range in 2010 was 7,782 km2 (Global Forest Watch 2018). It is therefore unlikely that the species’s Area of Occupancy (AOO) falls beneath the threshold of 2,000 km2 and the species is assessed as Least Concern under Criterion B2.
Criterion C – The species’s population size has not previously been estimated and no survey data are available, but is has been described as ‘numerous in upper parts of Itatiaia and Serra dos Orgãos National Parks, and reasonably common elsewhere in suitable habitat’ (Snow and Sharpe 2018). Based on the area of forest with at least 50% canopy cover in the species’s mapped range in 2010 (7,782km2), the species would need to have a mean population density lower than 1.3 mature individuals/km2 (roughly equivalent to 2 individuals/km2) to meet the threshold for listing as threatened under Criterion C. We do not have data on the species’s population density, but based on the description of the species being common within its habitat, it is considered unlikely that the species’s population size is smaller than 10,000 mature individuals.
An analysis of forest loss within its range from 2000-2012 found that forest was lost at a rate equivalent to 3% across three generations (13.8 years; Tracewski et al. 2016). From this information, and assuming that forest loss is continuing, we can infer that the species’s population is undergoing a continuing decline. We do not have population data from which to estimate the rate of decline, so the species cannot be assessed under Criterion C1.
Based on the total area of forest with at least 50% canopy cover in the species’s mapped range in 2010 (7,782 km2) and the species’s distribution, it is unlikely that the population is composed of separate subpopulations of up to 1,000 mature individuals, so the species would not meet condition 2a(i) under Criterion C. It is possible that the species’s population has only a single subpopulation, so the species could meet condition 2a(ii) under Criterion C. There is no evidence that the species’s population size is undergoing extreme fluctuations.
Based on the information stated above, the species would be assessed as Least Concern under Criterion C. If further evidence was received that indicated that the population size was smaller than, or approaching, 10,000 mature individuals, the species may be listed as Vulnerable or Near Threatened under Criterion C2a(ii).
Criterion D – Given that the area of forest with at least 50% canopy cover in the species’s mapped range in 2010 was 7,782 km2 (Global Forest Watch 2018), the species’s population size is likely to be significantly larger than 1,000 mature individuals. The species is threatened by deforestation, but does not have a restricted area of occupancy of number of locations such that deforestation could drive the species to Critically Endangered or Extinct within a very short time. The species is therefore assessed as Least Concern under Criterion D.
Criterion E – To the best of our knowledge no quantitative assessment of the probability of extinction has been conducted for Black-and-gold Cotinga, and so it cannot be assessed against this criterion.
Based on the above assessment, it is proposed to list the Black-and-gold Cotinga (Lipaugus ater) as Least Concern. However, should evidence arise that indicates that the population may be below (or close to) 10,000 mature individuals, the species may be retained as Near Threatened or uplisted to Vulnerable under Criterion C2a(ii). To get a clearer assessment of the species’s status, information is requested on the Black-and-gold Cotinga’s population size and density, and 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 the species’s Red List status. Therefore, please make sure your comments are about the proposed listing.
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.
Global Forest Watch (2018) World Resources Institute. Retrieved from www.globalforestwatch.org on 24 September 2018.
Parker, T.A., Stotz, D.F. & Fitzpatrick, J.W. (1996) Ecological and distributional databases. In: Stotz, D.F., Fitzpatrick, J.W., Parker, T.A. & Moskovits, D.K. (ed.), Neotropical bird ecology and conservation, pp. 113-436. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
Ridgely, R.S. & Tudor, G. (1994) The birds of South America. University of Texas Press, Austin, Texas.
Snow, D. & Sharpe, C.J. (2018). Black-and-gold Cotinga (Lipaugus ater). 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. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/57029 on 24 September 2018).
Stattersfield, A.J., Crosby, M.J., Long, A.J., Wege, D.C. (1998) Endemic bird areas of the world: priorities for bird conservation. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.
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.