This discussion was first published as part of the 2016 Red List update. At the time a decision regarding its status was pended, but to enable potential reassessment of this species as part of the 2017 Red List update this post remained open and the date of posting was updated.
White-collared Kite is endemic to north-east Brazil, where it has been recorded in Paraíba, Pernambuco, Alagoas and Sergipe. It inhabits Atlantic coastal rainforest (Bierregaard et al., 2016).
The species is listed as Critically Endangered under C2a(i). It has an extremely small known population and is found in areas where habitat loss is continuing rapidly. Recent survey work in Alagoas and Pernambuco recorded 21 pairs and roughly estimated a total population of c.50 pairs or 100 mature individuals (F.V. Dénes in litt. 2007). The overall population is placed in the band 50-249 mature individuals. Forest cover has been reduced to less than 1% of its former distribution within this species’s range. The largest remaining forest fragments in Pernambuco and Alagoas are 45 km2 and 30 km2 respectively, suggesting the species is in a precarious position. Despite the threat of habitat loss, recent records (Dénes 2009) suggest that the species’s range has previously been underestimated.
In the Brazilian Red List assessment for birds (MMA 2014) this species is listed as Endangered under C2a(ii). The population is estimated at no more than 2,500 mature individuals with 95-100% of the individuals in one subpopulation. The population is estimated to be in continuing decline owing to habitat loss. The species’s assessment on the Brazilian Red List can be accessed here.
Up-to-date information is requested on the species’s population size and subpopulation structure. Is the population now best estimated to number >250 mature individuals but <2,500 mature individuals? Confirmation that 95-100% of mature individuals are found in one subpopulation and information on numbers in each subpopulation is also sought. Should this larger population estimate be confirmed it would likely qualify the species for Endangered globally either under criterion C2a(i) if the number of mature individuals in each subpopulation is <250 or C2a(ii) if 95-100% of mature individuals are found in each subpopulation. Comments on the proposed downlisting are welcome.
Bierregaard, R.O., Jr, Christie, D.A., Kirwan, G.M. & Sharpe, C.J. (2016). White-collared Kite (Leptodon forbesi). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
Dénes, F. V., Silveira, L. F. Seipke, S. Thorstrom, R. Clark, W. S, and Thiollay J.-M. 2011. The White-collared Kite (Leptodon forbesi Swann, 1922) and a Review of the Taxonomy of the Grey-headed Kite (Leptodon cayanensis Latham, 1790). Wilson Journal of Ornithology 123(2): 323-331.
MMA (2014) Lista Nacional Oficial de Espécies da Fauna Ameaçadas de Extinção. Portaria No 444, de 17 de dezembro de 2014. Diário Oficial da União – Seção 1. Nº 245, quinta-feira, 18 de dezembro de 2014.