Archived 2010-2011 topics: Hawaii Elepaio (Chasiempis sandwichensis): retain as Vulnerable?

Link to BirdLife species factsheet for Elepaio (pre taxonomic split)

Elepaio Chasiempis sandwichensis has been split into Hawaii Elepaio C. sandwichensis, Kauai Elepaio C. sclateri and Oahu Elepaio C. ibidis, following the American Ornithologists Union. Prior to this taxonomic change, C. sandwichensis was listed as Vulnerable under criterion B1a+b(i,ii,iii,iv,v) on the basis that the species had an Extent of Occurrence (EOO) estimated at 6,500 km2, in which its habitat is severely fragmented, its population was estimated to be declining at a rate of 25% over 10 years, and declines were observed, inferred or suspected in the EOO, Area of Occupancy, area, extent and/or quality of habitat and number of locations or sub-populations. Overall, these declines are driven by habitat loss for urban development and agriculture, unfavourable habitat management, the effects of introduced species, including pathogens, and catastrophic weather events.

This taxonomic change has prompted a review of the threat status of the relevant taxa. It is proposed that C. sandwichensis be retained as Vulnerable under the B1 criterion on the basis that it has an EOO now estimated at 5,900 km2 on Hawai`i, in which its habitat is severely fragmented and the species is provisionally suspected to be declining based on past evidence and ongoing threats.

Comments are invited on this proposed listing and detailed information is requested to confirm the level of fragmentation of the species’s habitat on Hawai`i and to help estimate the population trend of this newly recognised species. It should be noted that any evidence that points to a decline of at least 30% over 18 years (estimate of three generations) in the past, future or both, might also make the species eligible for threatened status under the A criterion.

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1 Response to Archived 2010-2011 topics: Hawaii Elepaio (Chasiempis sandwichensis): retain as Vulnerable?

  1. USGS will have more details, but this species has remained stable in some areas but has declined in others. The species has disappeared almost entirely from Pohakuloa Training Area, and has declined in high elevation mamane-naio forests that are also home to the Palila. This species has a much larger population size and range than the Kauai or Oahu Elepaio. Vulnerable seems appropriate.

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