Archived 2014 discussion: Crimson-bellied Woodpecker (Campephilus haematogaster) is being split: list C. splendens as Near Threatened and C. haematogaster as Least Concern?

The initial deadline for comments on this topic is 28 April 2014, and therefore later than for most other topics currently under discussion.

This is part of a consultation on the Red List implications of extensive changes to BirdLife’s taxonomy for non-passerines

Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International will soon publish the HBW-BirdLife Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World, building off the Handbook of the Birds of the World series, and BirdLife’s annually updated taxonomic checklist.

The new Checklist will be based on the application of criteria for recognising species limits described by Tobias et al. (2010). Full details of the specific scores and the basis of these for each new taxonomic revision will be provided in the Checklist.

Following publication, an open and transparent mechanism will be established to allow people to comment on the taxonomic revisions or suggest new ones, and provide new information of relevance in order to inform regular updates. We are also actively seeking input via a discussion topic here regarding some potential taxonomic revisions that currently lack sufficient information.

The new Checklist will form the taxonomic basis of BirdLife’s assessments of the status of the world’s birds for the IUCN Red List. The taxonomic changes that will appear in volume 1 of the checklist (for non-passerines) will begin to be incorporated into the 2014 Red List update, with the remainder, and those for passerines (which will appear in volume 2 of the checklist), to be incorporated into subsequent Red List updates.

Preliminary Red List assessments have been carried out for the newly split or lumped taxa. We are now requesting comments and feedback on these preliminary assessments.

Crimson-bellied Woodpecker Campephilus haematogaster is being split into C. haematogaster and C. splendens, following the application of criteria set out by Tobias et al. (2010).

Prior to this taxonomic change, C. haematogaster (BirdLife species factsheet) was listed as being of Least Concern, on the basis that it was not thought to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under any of the IUCN Red List criteria.

C. splendens occurs in forest and forest edge, from the lowlands to 1,600-1,700 m, in eastern Panama, western Colombia and western Ecuador (Winkler et al. 1995, del Hoyo et al. 2002, Angehr and Dean 2010). It is described as rare in Panama (Angehr and Dean 2010), with the pre-split species described as locally quite numerous in Colombia, and rare to locally uncommon in Ecuador (del Hoyo et al. 2002).

It is suggested that this species may qualify as Near Threatened under criteria A2c+3c+4c, on the basis that it could be undergoing a moderately rapid population decline, approaching 30% over 20 years (estimate of three generations), owing to on-going habitat loss and degradation. The rate of population decline may not be more rapid than this because the species appears to tolerate forest edge habitats and occurs at mid-elevations where forest is generally regarded as more secure than in lowland areas.

C. haematogaster (as defined following the taxonomic change) inhabits forest and forest edge in the foothills and mountains of the East Andes of Colombia, and on the eastern slope of the Andes through Ecuador to southern Peru (Winkler et al. 1995, del Hoyo et al. 2002). The pre-split species is described as locally quite numerous in Colombia, rare to locally uncommon in Ecuador, and rare in Peru (del Hoyo et al. 2002).

An assessment of Least Concern is suggested for this species in a separate topic that covers the use of a model of forest loss in the Amazon basin (Soares-Filho et al. 2006) to predict population trends in species occurring within the coverage of the model (following Bird et al. 2011). Comments on that topic are invited regarding the species data used in the analysis and whether any of the species considered could qualify for a higher threat category based on their likely population size or other information.

Comments are invited on these proposed categories and further information would be welcomed.


Angehr, G. R. and Dean, R. (2010) The birds of Panama: a field guide. Ithaca, NY and London, UK: Cornell University Press.

Bird, J. P., Buchanan, G. M., Lees, A. C., Clay, R. P., Develey. P. F., Yépez, I. and 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 DOI: 10.1111/j.1472 4642.2011.00843.x.

del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Sargatal, J. (2002) Handbook of the birds of the world, Vol 7: Jacamars to Woodpeckers. Barcelona, Spain: Lynx Edicions.

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. and Schlesinger, P. (2006) Modelling conservation in the Amazon basin. Nature 440: 520–523.

Tobias, J. A., Seddon, N., Spottiswoode, C. N., Pilgrim, J. D., Fishpool, L. D. C. and Collar, N. J. (2010) Quantitative criteria for species delimitation. Ibis 152: 724–746.

Winkler, H., Christie, D. A. and Nurney, D. (1995) Woodpeckers: a guide to the woodpeckers, piculets and wrynecks of the world. Robertsbridge, U.K.: Pica Press.

This entry was posted in Americas, Archive, Central America, South America and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Archived 2014 discussion: Crimson-bellied Woodpecker (Campephilus haematogaster) is being split: list C. splendens as Near Threatened and C. haematogaster as Least Concern?

  1. Andy Symes says:

    Preliminary proposals

    Based on available information, our preliminary proposals for the 2014 Red List would be to treat:

    C. haematogaster as Least Concern

    C. splendens as Near Threatened, approaching the thresholds for classification as Vulnerable under criterion A2c+3c+4c

    There is now a period for further comments until the final deadline of 14 May, after which recommended categorisations will be put forward to IUCN.

    The final Red List categories will be published on the BirdLife and IUCN websites in mid-2014, following further checking of information relevant to the assessments by both BirdLife and IUCN.

  2. Andy Symes says:

    Recommended categorisations to be put forward to IUCN

    Following further review, there have been no changes to our preliminary proposals for the 2014 Red List status of these species.

    The final categorisations will be published in mid-2014, following further checking of information relevant to the assessments by BirdLife and IUCN.

Comments are closed.