Duida Grass-finch (Emberizoides duidae): Revise global status?

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1 Response to Duida Grass-finch (Emberizoides duidae): Revise global status?

  1. Chris Sharpe says:

    I am not sure that LC is appropriate for this species given the geographical constraints on a range that is at best very small and currently undetermined, and the rapidly increasing potential threats. The taxon is only known from a handful of specimens taken between La Esmeralda and the south-eastern portion of Duida by the Tate Expedition in 1928/9 and several more collected by Ventura Barnés, who ascended Duida from the north-east (i.e. the opposite side to La Esmeralda), in 1950. Its actual distribution is unknown, and since the summit of Duida is an elevational gradient from north to south, with a variety of vegetation types from different types of tepui meadowland, to shrubland to tepui summit forest, the species’ potential habitat and AOO could be smaller than the area encompassed by the tepui summit. As for potential threats, the whole of southern Venezuela—once part of the world’s largest tropical wilderness area—is now vulnerable to illicit economic operations promoted by the Venezuelan government. These activities, which include illegal mining (since 1989, all mining is prohibited in Amazonas state under Presidential Decree No. 269), timber extraction, narcotics, etc, typically carried out by irregular groups such as FARC and ELN, have gravely affected some protected areas such as Yapacana National Park, but likely remain a only potential threat for the Duida-Marahuaka-Huachamakari area. However, given the tiny and undetermined range, this species is clearly vulnerable to stochastic events (e.g. a major conflagration, an event documented from other tepuis, such as Roraima) which could easily be triggered by incipient, uncontrolled human activity. We evaluate the species as Data Deficient in the latest (publ. 2015) national Red List, and I think I would stand by that assessment, or, given the potential threats outlined above, leave as NT.

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