This discussion was first published as part of the 2013 Red List update, but remains open for comment to enable reassessment in 2014.
Plumbeous Hawk Leucopternis plumbeus is considered rare to uncommon in east Panama, west Colombia and Ecuador, and extreme north-west Peru (Hilty and Brown 1986, Ridgely and Gwynne 1989, del Hoyo et al. 1994, Clements and Shany 2001). It is currently listed as Near Threatened under criterion C1+2a(i) on the basis that it has a small population, approaching 10,000 mature individuals, but there was no direct evidence of a decline.
The global population size has not been quantified, but this species has been described as ‘uncommon’ (Stotz et al. 1996). It is subject to mounting deforestation threats within its range (primarily for agriculture) and there have been very few recent records of this species (T. Donegan in litt. 2012). It has recently been assigned to a monotypic genus, reflecting its unique ecological requirements (T. Donegan in litt. 2012). As a result, it is likely that this species has a low global population (T. Donegan in litt. 2012) and may require uplisting to a higher category of threat. Nevertheless, this species is inconspicuous, partly owing to its ‘sit-and-wait’ predatory behaviour (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999), and so could be under-recorded in remaining habitat.
If there is further information to suggest that global population of this species is fewer than 10,000 mature individuals, and its largest subpopulation is ≤1,000 mature individuals, this species would qualify as Vulnerable under criterion C2a(i), on the basis that a continuing population decline could be inferred owing to habitat loss. If there is sufficient evidence to infer a population reduction of ≥30% over three generations (23 years in this species), this species could also qualify as Vulnerable under criterion A2c+3c+4c of the IUCN Red List.
Further information is required on this species’s global population size, population trends and size of the largest subpopulation. It has previously been recorded in degraded forest (del Hoyo et al. 1994, P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999) and so any evidence on its ability to persist in degraded and fragmented habitats would be welcome.
Clements, J. F. and Shany, N. (2001) A field guide to the birds of Peru. Lynx Edicions: Barcelona, Spain.
del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Sargatal, J. (1994) Handbook of the birds of the world, pp. 52-205. Lynx Edicions: Barcelona, Spain.
Hilty, S. L. and Brown, W. L. (1986) A guide to the birds of Colombia. Princeton University Press: Princeton.
Ridgely, R. S. and Gwynne, J. A. (1989) A guide to the birds of Panama with Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Honduras. Princeton University Press: Princeton.
Stotz, D. F., Fitzpatrick, J. W., Parker III, T. A. and Moskovits. D. K. (1996) Neotropical birds: ecology and conservation. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.