Archived 2016 topics: The newly described taxon Boa Nova Tapaculo (Scytalopus gonzagai) is to be recognised as a species by BirdLife: list as Endangered?

This is part of a consultation on the Red List implications of extensive changes to BirdLife’s taxonomy for passerines

Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International will soon publish the second volume of the HBW-BirdLife Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World, building off the Handbook of the Birds of the World series, and BirdLife’s annually updated taxonomic checklist.

The new Checklist will be based on the application of criteria for recognising species limits described by Tobias et al. (2010). Full details of the specific scores and the basis of these for each new taxonomic revision will be provided in the Checklist.

Following publication, an open and transparent mechanism will be established to allow people to comment on the taxonomic revisions or suggest new ones, and provide new information of relevance in order to inform regular updates. We are also actively seeking input via a discussion topic here regarding some potential taxonomic revisions that currently lack sufficient information.

The new Checklist will form the taxonomic basis of BirdLife’s assessments of the status of the world’s birds for the IUCN Red List. The taxonomic changes that will appear in volume 2 of the checklist (for passerines) will begin to be incorporated into the 2016 Red List update, with the remainder to be incorporated into subsequent Red List updates.

Preliminary Red List assessments have been carried out for the newly split or lumped taxa. We are now requesting comments and feedback on these preliminary assessments.

The newly described taxon Scytalopus gonzagai is to be recognised as a species by BirdLife following application of the Tobias et al. (2010) criteria, which support its distinctiveness from congeners.

First noted as an isolated population of the taxonomically challenging ‘Mouse-coloured Tapaculo’ group in the 1990s, S. gonzagai was formally described in 2014 (Maurício et al. 2014). Found in humid montane evergreen forest, specifically in areas with dark and densely vegetated ravines often with bamboo (Maurício et al. 2014).

For the Brazilian regional Red List (MMA 2014) S. gonzagai has been assessed as Endangered, under Criterion B2ab(iii), on the basis that the species has an Area of Occupancy (AOO) of less than 500 km2, this range is severely fragmented and there is a continuing decline in the area, extent and/or quality of the habitat within the range.

If no additional information contradicts this assessment, the species is proposed to be listed as globally Endangered under Criterion B2ab(iii).

This entry was posted in Archive, South America, Taxonomy and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Archived 2016 topics: The newly described taxon Boa Nova Tapaculo (Scytalopus gonzagai) is to be recognised as a species by BirdLife: list as Endangered?

  1. Really the criteria suggested for the species is appropriate. In Boa Nova we know of only about 16 individuals. In Iguaí (southeast of Boa Nova), it was found by researchers who described the species, however, after intense burning and deforestation certainly impacted part of the habitat of the species.

  2. James Westrip (BirdLife) says:

    Based on available information, our preliminary proposal for the 2016 Red List would be to adopt the proposed classifications outlined in the initial forum discussion.

    There is now a period for further comments until the final deadline of 28 October, 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 those in the initial proposal.

    The final 2016 Red List categories will be published on the BirdLife and IUCN websites in early December, following further checking of information relevant to the assessments by both BirdLife and IUCN.

Comments are closed.