Archived 2016 topics: The newly described taxon Hypocnemis rondoni is to be recognised as a species by BirdLife: request for information.

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.

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

Manicore Antwarbler, Hypocnemis rondoni, is found in Amazonian Brazil in Amazonas and Rondonia states, where it is currently known from sites on the right bank of the Rio Madeira, the left bank of the Rio Aripuanã to its confluence with the Rio Roosevelt, and then from the left bank of the Rio Roosevelt (Whitney et al. 2013). It inhabits the understorey of terra firme forest favouring gaps in the forest where sunlight come through and dense vegetation grows (Whitney et al. 2013). It is thought to have a smaller population than most species from similar habitat (Whitney et al. 2013), but the total population size has not been quantified. It is not currently threatened by human activity, but the possible building of hydroelectric dams in the future may affect some watersheds in the area of the Aripuanã, Machado and Roosevelt rivers (Whitney et al. 2013). The degree to which this may affect this species is not entirely known, and we request further information as to the extent of impact this may have on this species in the future. With no further information, however, it is unlikely that this species would approach the threshold for listing as Vulnerable, and so the species would warrant listing as Least Concern.

Comments are invited and further information would be welcomed.


Tobias, J. A., Seddon, N., Spottiswoode, C. N., Pilgrim, J. D., Fishpool, L. D. C. and Collar, N. J. 2010. Quantitative criteria for species delimitation. Ibis 152: 724–746.

Whitney, B. M., Isler, M. L., Bravo, G. A., Aristizábak, N., Schunck, F., Silveira, L. F., Piacentini, V. de Q., Cohn-Haft, M. and Rêgo, M. A. 2013. A new species of antbird in the Hypocnemis cantator complex from the Aripuanã-Machedo interfluvium in central Amazonian Brazil. Pp. 282-285 in: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J. and Christie, D. A. eds. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Special Volume: New Species and Global Index. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.

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1 Response to Archived 2016 topics: The newly described taxon Hypocnemis rondoni is to be recognised as a species by BirdLife: request for information.

  1. 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.

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