Archived 2016 topics: The newly described taxon Zimmerius chicomendesi is to be recognised as a species by BirdLife: list as Near Threatened?

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

Z. chicomendesi, Chico’s Tyrannulet, occurs in campina shrub and woodland habitat in the Madeira-Apripuaña interfluvium in Amazonian Brazil (Whitney et al. 2013). It is common where it is found (Whitney et al. 2013), but its range is currently only known from an Extent of Occurrence of c.20,500 km2, and patches of campina habitat are often small and scattered (Whitney et al. 2013) and so it is likely that the population of this species is fragmented. Much of its habitat is currently remote and difficult to access and so the survival outlook for this species appears good (Whitney et al. 2013). However, there are some threats that are likely to occur, such as the development of the BR-230 road which goes through much of the campina habitat in this species’s range (Whitney et al. 2013). Development of this road may also involve quarrying for sand within the campina habitat (Whitney et al. 2013), and once complete it will may the area more accessible for logging and agriculture. While this species is not expected to meet the threshold for Vulnerable under any criterion, given its restricted and likely fragmented range which may be under threat from development, it is thought to approach the threshold for Vulnerable under criterion B1ab(i,ii,iii,v), and so it is proposed that it be listed as Near Threatened under this criterion.

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.

White, B. M., Schunck, F., Rêgo, M. A. and Silveira, L. F. 2013. A new species of Zimmerius flycatcher from the upper Madeira-Tapajós interfluvium in central Amazonian Baril: Birds don’t always occur where they “should”. Pp. 286-291 in: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J. and Christie, D. 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 Zimmerius chicomendesi is to be recognised as a species by BirdLife: list as Near Threatened?

  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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