Siamese Fireback Lophura diardi is listed as Near Threatened under criteria A2c,d; A3c,d; A4c,d on the basis that it is undergoing a continued decline estimated at 20-29% over 10 years based on current rates of lowland forest loss in its range (J. Pilgrim in litt. 2006), as well as the effects of ongoing hunting pressure (Thewlis et al. 1998, Duckworth et al. 1999). Recent evidence, however, suggests that the species may be able to tolerate a higher level of hunting pressure than was previously thought (P. Round in litt. 2006).
Thewlis et al. (1998) noted that there was no suggestion of a decline in the species’s density in remaining habitat in Laos; however, they also noted that habitat loss had been considerable and that logging might make it more susceptible to hunting. In addition, recent surveys in seriously degraded and fragmented habitats, edge habitats and those otherwise altered by human activities have found the species to be widespread and common, with only the outright conversion of forest resulting in the loss of the species from a given area (W. Duckworth in litt. 2010). This tolerance of habitat alteration suggests that the species may not be in moderately rapid decline, although there has been no critical assessment of the effect of deforestation on this species’s population. Recently, rates of forest loss in its favoured altitudinal band have accelerated in Laos (W. Duckworth in litt. 2010), necessitating further study.
The species population trend requires re-assessment and the rate should be corrected for a period of 15 years (estimate of three generations). Further information is requested on the level of habitat loss and degradation in this species’s altitudinal band, its tolerance to habitat alteration and hunting, and the estimated population trend in Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. This species’s global population is currently estimated at 5,000-10,000 mature individuals; the assessment of the species’s Red List status would also be assisted by up-to-date estimates of its population size at national or global levels.
Duckworth, J. W., Salter, R. E. and Khounboline, K. (compilers) (1999) Wildlife in Lao PDR: 1999 status report. Vientiane: IUCN–The World Conservation Union/Wildlife Conservation Society/Centre for Protected Areas and Watershed Management.
Thewlis, R. M., Duckworth, J. W., Evans, T. D. and Timmins, R. J. (1998) The conservation status of birds in Laos: a review of key species. Bird Conserv. Int. 8 (Supplement): 1–159.
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