Archived 2016 topics: The newly described taxon Scytalopus gettyae 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.

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

S. gettyae, Junin Tapaculo, has been recorded from temperate humid forest in the Junín Department of Peru, between 2,400 and 3,200 m (Hosner et al. 2013). At the type locality the vegetation appeared intact, apart from the presence of a dirt road passing through the forest (Hosner et al. 2013), and all individuals encountered during the study that described the species were found by the road (Hosner et al. 2013). However, the forest is highly inaccessible and so the presence or absence of this species throughout the forest cannot has not been confirmed (Hosner et al. 2013). Based on the current known records the species has an Extent of Occurrence of c.130 km2, however, this may turn out to be an underestimate because of the difficulty of surveying the area, and the species is likely to occur in other localities in Junín and possibly in other areas of central Peru (Hosner et al. 2013).

There have been no population size or trend estimates for this species but based on population density estimates for a related species (e.g. Klemann Jr. and Vieira 2013) and the fact only a proportion of the extent of occurrence will be occupied, the population may be at least in the region of 7,500-12,000 individuals, and probably more if it is confirmed from other areas. It should be noted that the density estimate in Klemann Jr. and Vieira (2013) is for a species that inhabits a very different habitat from S. gettyae and so we request further information regarding the potential population size and trend estimates for this species.

In the absence of any further information, there is no evidence to suggest that this species would meet the threshold for listing as Vulnerable, but it may approach the threshold under criterion C. Therefore, in the absence of any additional information it would be proposed that this species be listed as Near Threatened under criterion C2a(ii).


Hosner, P.A., Robbins, M.B., Valqui, T. and Peterson, A.T. 2013. A new species of Scytalopus Tupaculo (Aves: Passeriformes: Rhinocryptidae) from the Andes of Central Peru. Wilson J. Ornithol. 125: 233-242.

Klemann Jr., L. and Vieira, J. S. 2013. Assessing the extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, territory size, and population size of marsh tapaculo (Scytalopus iraiensis). Anim. Biodiv. and Conserv. 36.1: 47-57.

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.

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

1 Response to Archived 2016 topics: The newly described taxon Scytalopus gettyae 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 list this species as Near Threatened under criterion C2a(ii).

    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 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.