Archived 2019 topic: Species to be potentially uplisted after a reassessment of species against criterion A, following Tracewski et al. (2016)

This discussion was first published as part of the 2018 Red List update. At the time a decision regarding its status was pended, but to enable potential reassessment of this species as part of the 2019 Red List update this post remains open and the date of posting has been updated.

This topic is open for comments on the following species:

Grey-rumped Treeswift (Hemiprocne longipennis), Silver-rumped Spinetail (Rhaphidura leucopygialis), Barred Eagle-owl (Bubo sumatranus), Wallace’s Hawk-eagle (Nisaetus nanus), Keel-billed Toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus), Olive-backed Woodpecker (Dinopium rafflesii), Yellow-lored Amazon (Amazona xantholora).

Following the analyses of Tracewski et al. (2016), species assessments against criterion A have been carried out by extrapolating the rate of forest loss between 2000-2012 across a 3 generation period or 10 years (whichever is the longer), with the assumptions that population change is proportional to forest area change and that habitat loss has continued at the same rate to the present day. The generation lengths that have been used in this analysis are those held in the 2016 published Red List assessments, and so there may be some difference between the rates of decline presented here and those in Tracewski et al (2016).

In some cases the overall rate of change has been assessed as a different rate from that of forest loss, usually because there are additional threats such as hunting or invasive species that could be adding to overall declines in a species. Additionally, there may be some species which are inhabitants of forest edge/fragments and so forest loss may in fact be not having such a severe effect on them.

The rate of decline has then been compared to the threshold values for Vulnerable (30-49% decline), Endangered (50-79% decline) and Critically Endangered (≥80% decline) under criteria A2, A3 and A4. The Red List category Near Threatened does not have a threshold value, but to qualify for this category a species must approach the threshold for listing as Vulnerable. Therefore, species with a suspected rate of decline of >25% but <30% have been proposed to qualify as Near Threatened.

The pdf outlining species for potential uplisting under criterion A can be downloaded here: Deforestation Criterion A Uplists

Comments or further information regarding these proposed Red List statuses are very welcome.


Tracewski, Ł.; Butchart, S. H. M.; Di Marco, M.; Ficetola, G. F.; Rondinini, C.; Symes, A.; Wheatley, H.; Beresford, A. E.; Buchanan, G. M. 2016. Toward quantification of the impact of 21st-century deforestation on the extinction risk of terrestrial vertebrates. Conservation Biology 30: 1070-1079.

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13 Responses to Archived 2019 topic: Species to be potentially uplisted after a reassessment of species against criterion A, following Tracewski et al. (2016)

  1. Praveen J says:

    Rufous-bellied Eagle
    In southern Western Ghats, this species is widespread in the forests and one of the more abundant forest raptor. There are several areas in north-eastern Ghats and east-central India where it occurs. No declines have been noticed or reported though most forest birds would have declined since 1950. Loss of wet evergreen and moist deciduous forest cover in southern India in the last 20-30 years in southern India would be meagre (assumption – most such forests are in protected areas).
    Compare this with other forest raptors like Legge’s Hawk Eagle or Jerdon’s Baza – this is much more widespread and common.

  2. Alejandro Bodrati says:

    Chaco Owl (Strix chacoensis)
    Considering the massive destruction of Chaco habitat I think the species should be considered at least Near Threatened and should be studied. It tolerates some transformation of forest, but there are a lot of places now where the Chaco forest has been completely cleared and it looks like the Pampa, in those places the species cannot possibly persist. Playback surveys could help determine abundance, occupancy, territory size, and tolerance for deforestation. In my experience, using playback, in the humid Chaco I only found it in the winter, so maybe it moves between dry Chaco and wet Chaco. If the species makes seasonal movements, these could be impeded by the large scale deforestation that has occurred in the transition zone between dry Chaco and wet Chaco.

  3. Alejandro Bodrati & Kristina Cockle says:

    Red-breasted Toucan (Ramphastos dicolorus)
    Not sure about the situation in Brazil. In Argentina (Misiones) nestlings are captured as pets, but we haven’t heard comments of people hunting it for food. (Whereas we hear that Ramphastos toco was heavily persecuted for food). Requires “high quality” tree cavities for nesting but can acquire these by eating whatever else was in the cavity (like Vinaceous Parrot eggs!). It’s probably the most common toucan in Misiones, common throughout Reserva de Biosfera Yaboty. Nests in forest, farms; feeds in forest, farms, towns. Doesn’t seem to be declining in Misiones. May even have increased as Ramphastos toco declined? Brazil is different: for many many kilometers there is no habitat at all, so we need to hear from Brazilian ornithologists about this species.

  4. Ricardo Torres says:

    Chaco Owl (Strix chacoensis)
    This species is naturally scarce along their broad distributional range. It is a forest-dwelling species and therefore it can not survive in areas without forests. It should be noted, however, that this species is not a strict Chacoan endemism, as it also inhabits in areas of the High Monte Ecoregion adjacent to the western boundary of the Dry Chaco, although always in forested sites. In any case, considering the current deforestation rates in the Gran Chaco region (between the higher worldwide), I believe that an uplist to Near Threatened category is justifyied.

  5. Stephen Garnett says:

    Rufous Treecreeper (Climacteris rufa) Part 1

    The advice from WA members of the BirdLife Threatened Species Committee is that the Tracewski et al. approach, applied in such a broad-brush way, really does not assist in assessing conservation status change in SWWA. According to Tracewski et al (2016), about 5200 km2 of tree cover was lost within the range of the Climacteris rufa during a 12 year period from 2000. Some of this distribution is within the south-west ‘forests’ (really woodlands) where there are still forestry operations (including regrowth) but no significant clearing for other purposes. Clearing in the agricultural areas just to the east mostly stopped before the commencement of the data set used in this study, although there is ongoing tree loss due to salinisation. Beyond that (i.e. further east) are the Great Western Woodlands and other arid zone communities, some with tree cover. There are intermittent large fires in parts of that area, but when the whole distribution is taken into account, it’s likely that this would be at the level of 23% ‘forest’ loss estimated by Tracewski et al.

    Habitat complexity in SWWA is far greater than could be guessed at by just accepting very broad scale mapping of forest or woodland. This is important because (a) some species may inhabit vegetation types other than just woodland/forest, so any calculations based on just woodland/forest may be quite misleading and (b) response to tree loss (or fire) may be quite different in different habitats. Fig 1 in Tracewski et al. (2016), although not particularly clear, shows extensive ‘deforestation’ in the Great Western Woodlands and some ‘deforestation in the extreme SW’. That cannot be the case as there has been negligible clearing in the south west during that period except near Perth and southwards very near the coast for urban development. I suspect, especially noting the map in their Figure 1, that the Hansen et al. (2013) global forest change map that Tracewski et al. used has misinterpreted fire scars on Google Earth images as clearing, as there have been major fires inland of the agricultural zone over that period. At and you can see the scars left by the fires that occurred in the Great Western Woodlands during the 2000s. The fire scars look pale right up to 2012. At the red shading (= tree cover loss) is clearly from fires in the Great Western Woodlands and elsewhere in southern WA. Parts of Fitzgerald River and Cape Arid National Parks are shaded red because of fires. Global forest watch shows a remarkable amount of tree cover gain in parts of the south west of WA; appears to be regeneration after fire, including prescribed burning. There are WA web sites that show fires, so it can be checked there. The Global forest watch website seems to provide much better quality data than does the Google Earth Engine as the red shading appears and then disappears in later years, unlike the scars on Google. There is a note under the key that says ‘tree cover loss is not always deforestation’. If you expand this it says: Tree cover loss is not always deforestation. Loss of tree cover may occur for many reasons, including deforestation, fire, and logging within the course of sustainable forestry operations. In sustainably managed forests, the “loss” will eventually show up as “gain”, as young trees get large enough to achieve canopy closure. There are few mines in the Great Western Woodlands, which is why conservation reservation has not been possible, but they occupy a very small fraction of the area.

  6. Stephen Garnett says:

    Rufous Treecreeper (Climacteris rufa) Part 2

    Overall Rufous Treecreepers, while having suffered from land clearing in the wheatbelt well prior to 2000, are largely ok in the Great Western Woodlands. In the chapter of Fox et al. (2016). Birds of the Great Western Woodlands (p 151 onwards) there was no significant trend detected for over a range of time scales. Certainly, if Rufous Treecreeper is like Brown Treecreeper, then tree hollows and hollows in fallen timber are important for nesting, refuges from predators and foraging. In a severe fire many would be lost, and could take a very long time to be replaced. So the impact of fire depends on fire severity. Recher and Davis (2013), in a study of impacts of a large wildfire in the GWW, only found Rufous Treecreepers in their unburnt plots (the study went for five years after the fire). Here and in wandoo woodlands in the wheatbelt (Gary Luck papers), Rufous Treecreepers rely also on logs on the ground. However, effects of fire are different in the Jarrah-Marri woodlands of the extreme SW where there is less reliance on logs on the ground (Craig 2007) and where, in some instances, treecreepers move in when understorey layers are opened up by fire. The impacts depend on the severity of the fire, but they also depend on other factors, including habitat. Or, to put it another way, simplistic measures of tree loss (= fire) is inadequate to predict population outcomes in this species unless site/habitat specific factors are also taken into account.

    Note the species also occurs in South Australia, especially on the Eyre Peninsula. The bushfire on Eyre Peninsula covered 820 sq km in 2005 – see – some of this was farmland, but mallee scrubland and perhaps a bit of true woodland are also likely to have been burnt and it is only a fraction of the habitat available with most of the range well north of the fire.

  7. Stephen Garnett says:

    Blue-breasted Fairy-wren (Malurus pulcherrimus)

    See discussion of Climacteris rufa for comments on interpretation of imagery by Tracewski et al (2016). Malurus pulcherrimus is a shrubland species, although it does also use areas of shrubby understorey within eucalypt woodlands. The EOO is about 320,000 km2 covering both south-western Australia and the Eyre Peninsula. Even if there was a loss of just over 5,700 km2 of tree cover (the figure given by Tracewski et al (2016)), this still only represents <2% of the species range over 12 years (although loss of area of occupancy would be proportionately greater). It's hard to see how 'tree loss' could be used as a measure of population trend in this species and, in any case, because so much of its habitat is in shrublands, any estimate based on tree loss alone is likely to be questionable. In the wheatbelt, Michael and Lesley Brooker found that this species prefers to nest in heath containing emergent mallees, but also occupies wandoo woodland where it intergrades with heath or mallee. They never found wrens breeding in York gum, salmon gum or gimlet vegetation types, so any measure of tree loss that included these species (which are common in the wheatbelt and GWW) would give a potentially inaccurate measure of occurrence, let alone population trend.

    Fire is likely to have a temporary effect on occupation in what is a fire-prone habitat, with impacts likely to be greatest in small fragments (Great Western Woodland is not fragmented). There appear to be no studies specifically on the impact of fire on Blue-breasted Fairy-wrens, but after an experimental burn in one wheatbelt site, the Brookers found that this species returned 11 years after the fire. The long-term study by Ian Rowley and Michael Brooker on the congeneric Splendid Fairy-wren suggested a complex relationship with fire, apparently influenced by fire frequency, intensity and extent, with climatic conditions also having an impact. There may be habitat specific differences, and other studies (Mike Bamford and others) suggest that fire regime (esp. intensity) seems to be an important factor in determining how many individuals survive a fire and the population trajectory following fire.

  8. Desmond Allen says:

    Rufous-bellied Eagle is still recorded from areas of the Philippines that still have significant forest left. Unlike Jerdon’s Baza which appears to be all but wiped out

  9. Anwaruddin Choudhury says:

    Rufous-bellied Eagle
    In north-east India, this species is widespread in the forested areas but not common. There is apparent decline owing to loss of forest cover and occasional hunting in comparison to 1990s.

  10. Long-tailed Parakeet

    The cage bird trade is seen in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, but this is the most commonly hunted species (pot and pest) in the Andaman Islands. My personal communication with hunters and different tribes understood that > 3000 adult individuals were trapped in an agricultural field in last 7-8 years. Further research is required to assess the population trend and ecology. I think uplisting is expected.

  11. Claudia Hermes (BirdLife International) says:

    Based on available information, our preliminary proposal for the 2018 Red List would be to list:
    Grey-rumped Treeswift as Near Threatened under criterion A4cd
    Silver-rumped Spinetail as Least Concern
    Barred Eagle-owl as Near Threatened under criterion A4c
    Wallace’s Hawk-eagle as Endangered under criterion A4c
    Rufous-bellied Eagle as Near Threatened under criterion A4c
    Western Piping Hornbill as Near Threatened under criterion A4cd
    Keel-billed Toucan as Near Threatened under criterion A4cd
    Red-breasted Toucan as Least Concern
    Black-eared Barbet as Least Concern
    Olive-backed Woodpecker as Near Threatened under criterion A2c+3c+4c
    Yellow-lored Amazon as Near Threatened under criterion A4cd
    Vasa Parrot as Least Concern
    Long-tailed Parakeet as Vulnerable under criterion A2cd+3cd+4cd
    Rufous Treecreeper as Least Concern
    Blue-breasted Fairy-wren as Least Concern.
    There is now a period for further comments until the final deadline in mid-July, after which the recommended categorisations will be put forward to IUCN.
    Please note that we will then only post final recommended categorisations on forum discussions where these differ from the initial proposal.
    The final 2018 Red List categories will be published on the BirdLife and IUCN websites in November, following further checking of information relevant to the assessments by both BirdLife and IUCN.

  12. Claudia Hermes (BirdLife International) says:

    Recommended categorisations to be put forward to IUCN

    Following further review, the recommended categorisations for the following species have been changed.

    Grey-rumped Treeswift, Silver-rumped Spinetail, Barred Eagle-owl, Wallace’s Hawk-eagle, Keel-billed Toucan, Olive-backed Woodpecker, Yellow-lored Amazon:
    A final decision for all of these species will now be pended until 2019 and so retain the current listing as part of the 2018 Red List update.

    Western Piping Hornbill is now recommended to be listed as LC.

    Decisions for all other species remain as outlined in the preliminary proposal.

    Final 2018 Red List categories will be published on the BirdLife and IUCN websites in November, following further checking of information relevant to the assessments by both BirdLife and IUCN.

  13. Tan Choo Eng says:

    Barred Eagle-owl and Rufous Bellied Eagle still fairly common throughout West Malaysia in their respective suitable habitat. Although there is no known proven nesting records of the later, but found year round.
    Wallace’s Hawk-eagle and Olive-backed Woodpecker are never common in West Malaysia.
    Grey-rumped Treeswift is very common throughout West Malaysia

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