Archived 2014 discussion: Hoary Puffleg (Haplophaedia lugens): request for information

This discussion was first published on Dec 1 2010 as part of the 2011 Red List update, but remains open for comment to enable reassessment in 2014.

Link to BirdLife species factsheet for Hoary Puffleg

Hoary Puffleg Haplophaedia lugens occurs on the Pacific slope of the Andes in south-west Colombia (Nariño) and north-west Ecuador (south to Pichincha): it is listed as Near Threatened under criteria A2c; A3c; A4c; B1a+b(i,ii,iii,v) because, although the species’s Extent of Occurrence is estimated at less than 5,000 km2, and the population is suspected to be declining at a rate of 20-29% over 10 years owing to habitat loss, the population is not considered to be severely fragmented or restricted to a few locations. In addition, a more accurate assessment of this species’s status is hindered by an apparent lack of overall population estimates.

Up-to-date information is requested on this species’s total population size, the severity of threats and the likely population trend, which should be estimated for a period of 12 years (estimate of three generations). Particular detail is requested on the level of habitat fragmentation within its range and the estimated rate of habitat loss, which appears to be rapid. Such information will help in judging the likely rate of population decline. The level of habitat fragmentation would be considered severe if over 50% of suitable habitat was in patches too small to support viable populations.

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8 Responses to Archived 2014 discussion: Hoary Puffleg (Haplophaedia lugens): request for information

  1. Species is rare within its range compared to many other Choco endemic hummers. We see the species regularly at Reserva Las Gralarias (see for observations.

    One, possibly two, individuals come daily to the feeders. The lower part of the reserve is ca. 250 hec. of Cloud Forest, elevation 2000-1700m. We found one nest on 2 July 2010 at 2000m in pristine forest.

  2. Andy Symes says:

    Fundacion ProAves have provided the following information:

    We agree the population is suspected to be declining at a rate of 20-29% over 12 years owing to habitat loss, increasing fragmented and restricted to a few locations. The core population of this species – La Planada Nature reserve is at grave risk, with extensive deforestation now encroaching on the reserve (originally was contiguous forest) by colonos and indigenous Awa populations. There are also reports of colonization and deforestation within the boundaries of La Planada that need verification. The species is also seasonally present in the upper subtropical zone of El Pangan Bird Reserve, however the population is considered small.

    Unfortunately, the highly restricted range of this species, corresponding to the wettest upper subtropical forest zone in southwestern Nariño and adjacent Ecuador is under grave threat and suspected to have seen a decline in habitat and associated population of 25-30% in the past 12 years (at least in Colombia). Estimates of forest losses in this region by ProAves are between 2-3% per annum and increasing. The possibly importance of seasonal movements (if they could be verified by data from sites in Ecuador) would present even graver risks as fragmentation may affect the species. Given increasing threats to Haplophaedia lugens and a predicted acceleration of deforestation in the future, this species warrants uplisting to Vulnerable meeting criteria: VU A2c; A3c

    Fundacion ProAves (in press) The status of various threatened or potentially threatened birds in Colombia. Conservación Colombiana 14

  3. I saw this species along a rocky stream at Mindo Loma (a private reserve & lodge) in Ecuador in 2005.

  4. may be on a future deforestation in the Andes (Ecuador and Colombia), Perhaps that the population of this species will decline rapidly and it has therefore been uplisted to Vulnerable.

  5. During mist-netting studies at Bellavista, Ecuador – 1998-2000 we caught 6 Hoary Puffleg: 2 from interior forest sites and 4 in fragments and edges, so no apparent affiliation to mature interior forest. In my more recent studies that include mist-netting at Las Tangaras Reserve, Mindo, Ecuador, we netted this species once in 2008 (second growth) and once in 2012 (forest-pasture edge). At least in Ecuador around the Mindo region, they seem quite capable of using disturbed habitats, and even seem more likely along edges than in declining interior forest habitat types.

  6. Andy Symes says:

    Preliminary proposals

    Based on available information and comments posted above, our preliminary proposal for the 2014 Red List would be to treat Hoary Puffleg Haplophaedia lugens as Near Threatened, approaching the thresholds for classification as Vulnerable under criteria A2c+3c+4c; B1a+b(i,ii,iii,v).

    There is now a period for further comments until the final deadline of 31 March, 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.

  7. Andy Symes says:

    Recommended categorisation to be put forward to IUCN

    Following further review, there has been no change to our preliminary proposal for the 2014 Red List status of this species.

    The final categorisation will be published later in 2014, following further checking of information relevant to the assessment by BirdLife and IUCN.

  8. Dusti Becker says:

    The assumption that fragmentation of habitat is always “bad” may not apply so vehemently to many hummingbird species. We get higher species richness of hummers along edges and in second growth (where flowers are abundant due to sun exposure) than in interior forest in the Mindo, Ecuador area. Still, I agree with your listing for Hoary Puffleg as NT, etc. Thanks for your good work for bird conservation.

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