Archived 2010-2011 topics: Belding’s Yellowthroat (Geothlypis beldingi): downlist to Endangered?

Link to BirdLife species factsheet for Belding’s Yellowthroat

Belding’s Yellowthroat Geothlypis beldingi is currently listed as Critically Endangered under criterion B1a+b(i,ii,iii,iv,v) on the basis that it was considered to have an Extent of Occurrence (EOO) estimated at less than 100 km2, in which its habitat is severely fragmented and the population is suspected to be declining due to habitat loss and degradation caused by fires, reed-cutting for construction, and drainage for conversion to cultivation and pasture (Rodríguez-Estrella et al. 1999).

Erickson et al. (2008) published new localities for the species and indicated that its dispersal capabilities may be better than previously thought. The species’s range map has been updated using the records collated by Erickson et al. (2008) and the species’s EOO is now estimated at 3,800 km2. This suggests that the species no longer qualifies as Critically Endangered under the B1 criterion, and is eligible for downlisting to Endangered under the same criteria.

Updated BirdLife range map for Belding’s Yellowthroat

It is therefore proposed that this species be listed as Endangered under criterion B1a+b(i,ii,iii,iv,v) on the basis that it has an EOO estimated at less than 5,000 km2, in which its habitat is severely fragmented and its population is suspected to be in decline owing to continued habitat loss and degradation. Comments are invited on this proposed category change.

Erickson, R. A., Hamilton, R. A. and Mlodinow, S. G. (2008) Status review of Belding’s Yellowthroat Geothlypis beldingi, and implications for its conservation. Bird Conserv. Int. 18: 219- 228.

Rodríguez-Estrella, R., Delgado, L. R., de Bonilla, E. P. D. and Blanco, G. (1999) Belding’s yellowthroat: current status, habitat preferences and threats in oases of Baja California, Mexico. Anim. Conserv. 2: 77-84.

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One Response to Archived 2010-2011 topics: Belding’s Yellowthroat (Geothlypis beldingi): downlist to Endangered?

  1. Joe Taylor says:

    The following comments were received from Richard A. Erickson on 4 February 2011:

    . . . I don’t believe that I really have anything substantive to add to what was published in our paper in Bird Conservation International in 2008. We have continued to add more locations for the species, and to upgrade status at others (i.e., from visitor to confirmed breeder), but the overall picture that we presented remains the same. The recent paper published in Conservation Genetics Resources offers hope for more detailed study to come, but nothing useful has been published on that front yet.

    My hope is that we presented enough information in our paper that those who are in the business of gauging avian conservation issues across the globe can make a proper decision.

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