Archived 2014 discussion: Festive Coquette (Lophornis chalybeus) is being split: list L. chalybeus as Near Threatened and L. verreauxii 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.

Festive Coquette Lophornis chalybeus is being split into L. chalybeus and L. verreauxii, following the application of criteria set out by Tobias et al. (2010).

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

L. chalybeus (as defined following the taxonomic change) occurs in Espirito Santo, Minas Gerais and Santa Catarina in south-eastern Brazil. It occurs in humid forest, secondary growth and locally in cerrado, in the lowlands and foothills (del Hoyo et al. 1999, van Perlo 2009). Owing to its limited range and dependence on forest habitats, it is judged to be susceptible to forest loss and degradation (del Hoyo et al. 1999).

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 13 years (estimate of three generations), owing to on-going habitat loss and degradation..

L. verreauxii occurs in south-eastern Venezuela, eastern Colombia, eastern Ecuador and eastern Peru to north-western Brazil and central Bolivia. It occurs in humid forest and secondary growth in the lowlands and foothills (del Hoyo et al. 1999, van Perlo 2009). It is described as uncommon in Colombia and Venezuela, very rare in Ecuador, rare in the eastern lowlands of Peru, and widely distributed but scarce or absent from north-western Amazonia (del Hoyo et al. 1999, Ridgely and Greenfield 2001, Hilty 2003, Restall et al. 2006, Schulenberg et al. 2007, van Perlo 2009).

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 is requested.


Bird, J. P., Buchanan, J. 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. (1999) Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 5: Barn-owls to Hummingbirds. Barcelona, Spain: Lynx Edicions.

Hilty, S. L. (2003) Birds of Venezuela. London, UK: A & C Black.

Restall, R., Rodner, C. and Lentino, M. (2006) Birds of northern South America: an identification guide. Volume 1: species accounts. London, UK: Christopher Helm.

Ridgely, R. S. and Greenfield, P. J. (2001) The birds of Ecuador: status, distribution and taxonomy. Ithaca, NY and London, UK: Cornell University Press and Christopher Helm.

Schulenberg, T. S., Stotz, D. F., Lane, D. F., O’Neill, J. P. and Parker III, T. A. (2007) Birds of Peru. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

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(7083): 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.

van Perlo, B. (2009) A Field Guide to the Birds of Brazil. Oxford, UK : Oxford University Press.

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3 Responses to Archived 2014 discussion: Festive Coquette (Lophornis chalybeus) is being split: list L. chalybeus as Near Threatened and L. verreauxii as Least Concern?

  1. Glauco Kohler says:

    I think L. chalybeus should be placed as “vulnerable”. Although this species is commonly recorded in open areas and forest edges, is mostly seen in places near large forest patches, rarely being seen frequenting areas of large urbanized centers. Attends artificial troughs rural areas in southern Brazil and Uruguay, where it is rare locally and apparently very sensitive to landscape changes. In these regions, seems to be seasonal, being more seen in colder months. The lack of knowledge in both basic reproductive biology and ecology, difficult to assess the current populations status.

  2. Andy Symes says:

    Preliminary proposals

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

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

    L. verreauxii as Least Concern.

    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.

  3. 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.

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