Archived 2010-2011 topics: Ticking Doradito (Pseudocolopteryx citreola) and Warbling Doradito (P. flaviventris) are separate species: list both as Least Concern?

Link to BirdLife species factsheet for Warbling Doradito (prior to taxonomic change)

Ticking Doradito Pseudocolopteryx citreola has been split from Warbling Doradito P. flaviventris following a decision by the AOU South American Classification Committee ( based on recommendations put forward by Abalos and Areta (2009), who showed that these taxa are behaviourally and vocally distinct.

It is proposed that both species be listed as Least Concern on the basis that they do not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under any of the IUCN criteria. Mapping by BirdLife suggests that the breeding range of P. citreola is c.279,000 km2 and that the year-round range of P. flaviventris is c.1.25 million km2. These species have large ranges, and hence do not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence less than 20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend of P. flaviventris appears to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats, whilst the population of P. citreola may be in decline (B. Whitney in litt. 2010); however, there is no evidence to suggest that the rate of decline approaches the threshold for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (at least a 30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population sizes have not been quantified for either species, but they are not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (fewer than 10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be at least 10% over ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure).

Although the population trend has not yet been estimated, it has been stated that P. citreola could be the most threatened species in the Tyrannidae (B. Whitney in litt. 2010). B. Whitney (in litt. 2010) has provided the following comments, which suggest that the species is in decline:

“Its breeding areas are all or almost all unprotected, scattered fragments of brushy marshes in restricted but highly populated (by humans) areas of central Chile and Argentina. Such areas are on level, easily drained terrain and have been almost entirely converted to agriculture over the past 40 years or so. There is good reason to expect that habitat loss will continue, perhaps even increase.”

This species could qualify as Near Threatened under the A criterion if the rate of population decline was estimated as approaching 30% over 11 years (three generations). A rate of decline of 30% or more over 11 years would probably make the species eligible for at least Vulnerable.

Comments are invited on the proposal to list both species as Least Concern and further information is requested on their likely population sizes, current population trends over 11 years and the severity of potential threats.

Abalos, R. and Areta, J. I. (2009) Historia natural y vocalizaciones del doradito limón (Pseudocolopteryx cf. citreola) en Argentina. Orntol. Neotrop. 20: 215-230.

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5 Responses to Archived 2010-2011 topics: Ticking Doradito (Pseudocolopteryx citreola) and Warbling Doradito (P. flaviventris) are separate species: list both as Least Concern?

  1. Luis Pagano says:

    I agree that they are both ”least concern”. I consider that citreola is more plastic in habitat use than flaviventris.

  2. Nacho Areta says:

    I would like to see the mapping of the breeding area of citreola by BirdLife. In my view, citreola is more widespread and more common than thought. Perhaps the situation is different in Chile and in Argentina: while being scarce and local in Chile it results widespread and common in Argentina. citreola inhabits the agricultural matrix in Argentina, without any obvious negative impact on population numbers (at least with current land use in the Monte desert and neighbouring areas, which always involve watering systems where suitable vegetation for citreola grows). Least Concern seems fine for both species.

  3. Rob Clay says:

    Just a note that the species has recently been discovered in Paraguay – Paul Smith found a bird in Presidente Hayes department in Sep 2010. This is the only record to date, but it is likely an austral migrant which has been overlooked up until now.

  4. -López-Lanús, B. Unterkofler, D.E., Ornstein, U., Güller, R., Lejarraga, R., Doiny Cabre, C., Scoffield, R.L. & Kopuchian, C. En prensa. La presencia de Pseudocolopteryx citreola en el este de argentina y comparación de su voz con la de otros doraditos. Boletín Chileno de Ornitología 16(1): 51-58.

    Recientemente he publicado con varios coautores nuevos datos sobre la distribución del Ticking Doradito. En esta nota (ver cita arriba) en términos de conservación se deja ver que Argentina (principalmente) es “responsable” de la conservación de la población residente en Chile, durante su migración invernal (ave considerada amenazada a nivel nacional en Chile). Es mi intención, y he iniciado los trámites en la secretaria del medio ambiente de Argentina/CMS, que la especie sea colocada en la categoría CMS. En paralelo, voy a recomendar en la próxima recategorización de las aves de la Argentina que el Ticking Doradito sea catalogado con algún grado de amenaza, en parte por la responsabilidad como país (Argentina) de “contener” la población en peligro de extinción de Chile durante el invierno. Seria bueno que opine Raul Abalos sobre que visión tiene respecto al grado de amenaza del Ticking Doradito a nivel global. Pero sobre todo, en lo que a mi respecta, siendo la especie poco conocida en su patrón de migración, teniendo un área de reproducción relativamente reducida (solo áreas con arbustales/chilcales con suelo húmedo) en un área ocupación escasa en humedales, y debido a que esto humedales están continuamente sujetos a amenazas antrópicas, considero al Ticking Doradito como especie “Near Threatened” a escala global.

  5. At least in Chile, the species should be considered threatened.

    With Rodrigo Barros and a few other chilean birders, we have looked for the species in different habitats from La Serena to Temuco during the last 3 breeding seasons, and so far we found it at very few localities.

    Habitat: we only found it in wetlands, where the dominant vegetation is tall Scirpus sp. or Typha sp. These stands of Scirpus/Typha occur on lake and river shores, or marshes. The Ticking Doradito only occurs where a second and shorter vegetation (usually Scirpus sp.) grow below the dominant vegetation (tall Scirpus or Typha) and where Tessaria absinthioides is growing nearby (so far, all nest found were in Tessaria absinthioides). This very particular habitat only occurs where the water level is very low (less then 50 cm), or where the water presence is only seasonal. The Ticking Doradito is not present in reedbeds of tall Scirpus or Typha growing in deeper water, where there is no undergrowth vegetation or Tessaria absinthioides nearby. So far we have not found the Ticking Doradito breeding in other habitat like in the NW of Argentina (Abalos y Areta 2009).

    The habitat where is breeding the Ticking Doradito in Chile is extremely threatened. Most of these marshlands with a low water level or temporary water presence, are very easy to drain for agriculture. Most of the historical locations for that species around Santiago have already been drained and the species disapeared.

    With Rodrigo Barros, we hope to be able soon to estimate the size of the population breeding in Chile, but we still need more data.

    To date, the species is known from very few localities; less then 15 localities for a total of maybe 150 breeding pairs.
    Only one of these places is protected (laguna El Peral), but there is only 1-3 pairs breeding there.

    A more extensive search would undoubtely find the species in several other wetlands, but its range in Chile is very fragmented.

    I am happily surprised to learn that the species is common in Argentina and not threatened there.
    We have the same situation for other wetlands species, rare in Chile but common and widespread in Argentina.

    Fabrice Schmitt

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