This woodpecker qualifies as Vulnerable because its range and population are both regarded as very small and undergoing rapid declines as a result of habitat loss.
Dendrocopos maculatus (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993) has been split into D. maculatus and D. ramsayi following Collar et al. (1999), who initially placed it in the genus Picoides. Subsequently, the genus Dendrocopos has been used, following Winkler and Christie (2002). Because this split was made in a BirdLife publication, the justification is repeated here in full (but the references are not supplied). Both Hachisuka (1931-1935) and Voous (1947) treated ramsayi as a separate species, and indeed it is so distinctive as to be arguably closer to Sulawesi Woodpecker P. temminckii than it is to P. maculatus (this view is also expressed, with the comment that ramsayi is "the ancestor common to both", by White and Bruce 1986), and given the evident morphological proximity of Brown-capped P. moluccensis, Grey-capped P. canicapillus and Pygmy Woodpeckers P. kizuki to both maculatus (non-Sulu forms) and ramsayi, there is no compelling reason to combine the latter two as a single species. Sulu birds differ from other Philippine forms in: replacing all black or dark brown with a mid-brown; lacking virtually all white spotting on wings and coverts; lacking black or dark brown spotting or streaking on the undersides; showing an ill-defined yellow or yellowish-orange breast-band, plus (in the male) a far more strongly developed red area on the nape. The specific separation of ramsayi is all the more arguable for the geographically closest representative of maculatus - fulvifasciatus of Mindanao and Basilan showing the strongest pied effect. The notion that these two forms are "bridged" by maculatus, with a throw-away description of ramsayi as "aberrant" (Salomonsen 1953), not only fails to deal with the suggestion of Voous (1947) that ramsayi represents an early invasion of the Philippines, but also misses the point that maculatus is not geographically interposed between the two forms it is supposed to bridge. It is worth noting that in the paper in which both ramsayi and fulvifasciatus were first established, the formal description of ramsayi compared it to temminckii rather than to maculatus (Hargitt 1881).
Picoides ramsayi BirdLife International (2000), Picoides ramsayi ramsayi BirdLife International (2000)
13-14 cm. Small, relatively plain woodpecker. White throat, sub-moustachial stripe and supercilium, which extends to nape. Rest of head brown. Male shows red patch on sides of crown, extending to nape. Brown upperparts (though these can appear quite golden in males), unbarred though shows broad, irregular white streaking on back and largely white rump. Off-white underparts with brown breast-band, often bordered yellow. Lightly streaked flanks. Voice Similar to Philippine Pygmy Woodpecker P. maculatus though louder and lower in pitch, a staccato kikikikikikikiki rising at the start. Hints Prefers higher branches, especially dead trees. Joins mixed feeding flocks.
Allen, D. 1998. Tawitawi: August 1998..
Collar, N. J.; Mallari, N. A. D.; Tabaranza, B. R. J. 1999. Threatened birds of the Philippines: the Haribon Foundation/BirdLife International Red Data Book. Bookmark, Makati City.
Further web sources of information
Detailed species accounts from the Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 2001).
Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Bird, J., Davidson, P., Peet, N., Taylor, J., Allinson, T
Allen, D., Hutchinson, R.
IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Dendrocopos ramsayi. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 09/03/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 09/03/2014.
This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.
To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife
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|Current IUCN Red List category||Vulnerable|
|Species name author||(Hargitt, 1881)|
|Population size||2500-9999 mature individuals|
|Distribution size (breeding/resident)||1,800 km2|
|Links to further information|
|- Additional Information on this species|