This discussion was first published as part of the 2013 Red List update, but remains open for comment to enable reassessment in 2014.
Cinderella Waxbill Estrilda thomensis was originally described in error as being from the island of São Tomé but is in fact restricted to south-western Angola (Namibe Province, north and east to south-west Huila Province and north to Fazenda do Cuito in Huambo) (Dean 2000) and extreme north-western Namibia (up to 50 km from the lower Cunene or Kunene River) (Harrison et al. 1997, C. Hines in litt. 2005). It is currently listed as Near Threatened under criterion B1ab(i,ii,iii) of the IUCN Red List because it was thought to have a moderately small range, suspected to be in decline owing to the clearance and degradation of its habitat, while a dam project threatens the habitat of the species in its Namibian range.
However, the range of this species has recently been mapped and found to be larger than once thought, with an Extent of Occurrence (EOO) of c.95,400 km2. As a result, this species no longer approaches the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion. Clarification of this species’s population size and trend are needed to confirm if it should be maintained as Near Threatened. The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as locally common (Clement et al. 1999). If there is evidence to suggest that the population approaches as few as 10,000 mature individuals, it is continuing to decline and all subpopulations approach 1,000 mature individuals, this species would qualify as Near Threatened under criterion C2a(i). However, if the population is substantially more than 10,000 mature individuals, all subpopulations are much greater than 1,000 mature individuals and/or the population is not in continuing decline, this species would not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under any of the IUCN Red List criteria, and would warrant downlisting to Least Concern.
Further information is requested on this species’s population size and trends, and on the severity of habitat loss within its range.
Clement, P., Harris, A. and Davis, J. (1999) Finches and Sparrows. Christopher Helm: London.
Dean, W. R. J. (2000) The birds of Angola. British Ornithologists’ Union, Tring: UK.
Harrison, J. A., Allan, D. G., Underhill, L. G., Herremans, M., Tree, A. J., Parker, V. and Brown, C. J. (1997) The atlas of southern African birds. BirdLife South Africa: Johannesburg.