Archived 2014 discussion: Moluccan Goshawk (Accipiter henicogrammus): uplist to Near Threatened?

This discussion was first published as part of the 2013 Red List update, but remains open for comment to enable reassessment in 2014.

Moluccan Goshawk Accipiter henicogrammus (BirdLife species factsheet) is found on the islands of Morotai, Halmahera and Bacan, at least (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001) (in the Northern Maluku Endemic Bird Area), Indonesia. It inhabits hill and mountain forest and forest edge from sea-level to 1,300 m, mostly above 200 m.

It is currently 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.

A recent study by Vetter (2009) used remote sensing techniques to track the rate and spatial pattern of forest loss in the North Maluku Endemic Bird Area between 1990 and 2003, and project rates of deforestation over the next three generations for restricted range bird species found in this region, with consequent recommendations for category changes on the IUCN Red List.

This study estimated the rate of forest loss within the geographic and elevation range of Moluccan Goshawk to be c.20% between 1990 and 2003, and projected the loss of c.36% of forest in its range over the next three generations (estimated by BirdLife to be c.22 years, based on an estimated generation length of c.7.2 years).

Vetter (2009) states that this species should be uplisted to Vulnerable, based on this forest loss analysis; however, it may be tolerant of some habitat modification, and it is found at higher elevations, where forest is expected to be comparatively more secure, perhaps buffering its population against the impacts of projected forest loss throughout its geographic range.

It is suggested that the species be uplisted to Near Threatened under criterion A3, on the basis that it is suspected that it will undergo a moderately rapid population decline (approaching 30%) over the next three generations (22 years) owing to projected habitat loss.

Comments on this potential category change and further information would be welcomed.


Ferguson-Lees, J. and Christie, D. A. (2001) Raptors of the world. London: Christopher Helm.

Vetter, J. (2009) Impacts of Deforestation on the Conservation Status of Endemic Birds in the North Maluku Endemic Bird Area from 1990-2003. MSc Project. Durham, NC: Duke University.

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3 Responses to Archived 2014 discussion: Moluccan Goshawk (Accipiter henicogrammus): uplist to Near Threatened?

  1. Joe Taylor says:

    The following comments were received from Burung Indonesia on 27 February 2014:

    During the avifauna survey conducted by Burung Indonesia in 2008-2012 in North Maluku, we made several encounter the Moluccan Goshawk , especially in Aketajawe Lolobata national park in Halmahera . Encounter occur more frequent in Lolobata block ( East Halmahera ) than Aketajawe block ( the middle Halmahera ) . All encounters occur in primary forests , 90-740 meters above sea level , but it is more common in the upper 600 meters above sea level ( quite common at that altitude ) . Burung Indonesia did an intensive survey of avifauna 2 times in Aketajwe Lolobata national park, namely 2008 and 2012. It also conducted brief surveys within the park and in the surrounding areas.

    Over the past 5 years (2008-2012) changes in forest cover are more prevalent outside of the national park, whether it turns into settlements, agricultural land / plantation, as well as due to the activity logging and mining company.

    Based on Burung Indonesia avifauna survey in 2012, the population density of this species was estimated at 1.75 individuals/km2 or total of 2,920 individual inside the primary forest habitat of Aketajawe Lolobata National Park (167.300 ha), Halmahera . Although the species was rare in terms of encounter rate, however, this species could be easily encountered in suitable habitats (primary forest above an altitude of 600 meters above sea level). Despite of the locally common occurrence of this species in the submontane and montane forest in Halmahera, other factor could threatened the population. This is considering the rapid development of North Maluku province at present.

    Uplisting of this species to Near Threatened is possible, considering this species is North Maluku endemic and quite dependent on the presence of the remaining submontane and montane primary forest and facing threats from the development of the surrounding area.

    Bashari, H. 2012. Avifaunal Survey of Aketajawe Lolobata National Park, Halmahera, Maluku Utara.. Technical Report. Partnership Programme for Conservation Area Management. Burung Indonesia. Bogor.

  2. 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 Moluccan Goshawk Accipiter henicogrammus as Near Threatened, approaching the threshold for Vulnerable under criterion A3.

    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.

  3. 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.

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