Archived 2010-2011 topics: Black Tinamou (Tinamus osgoodi): at least Vulnerable, or downlist to Near Threatened?

Link to BirdLife species factsheet for Black Tinamou

Black Tinamou Tinamus osgoodi is listed as Vulnerable under criterion B1a+b(i,ii,iii,v), on the basis that its Extent of Occurrence (EOO) was estimated at less than 20,000 km2, in which its population was considered to occupy fewer than 10 locations and is still suspected to be declining due to habitat loss and hunting.

The species has recently been recorded at new locations in Peru (Gastañaga et al. 2007) and Ecuador (T. S. Schulenberg in litt. 2001, Pitman et al. 2002), extending its known range. The species’s range map has been updated and improved, and the EOO is now estimated at 26,900 km2. Based on this information the species now qualifies as Near Threatened under criterion B1a+b.

Updated BirdLife range maps for Black Tinamou

However, recent fieldwork has uncovered evidence that the species is particularly favoured by hunters, at least in the Sira Mountains of Peru, where some hunters enter the area exclusively to hunt this species (Gastañaga et al. 2007). Hunting pressure on the species may be higher than previously thought, and if the species is targeted throughout a substantial portion of its range, that and ongoing habitat loss and fragmentation could be driving a rapid population decline. Most intermontane foothill forest in Colombia has been cleared for agriculture and human settlement, and the rate of habitat loss has been increasing with improvements to the road network in Huila (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999). In addition, opium plantations have been spreading, even within Cueva de los Guácharos National Park, Huila (Wege and Long 1995, P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999). In its Peruvian range, human settlement and conversion of forest to agriculture occurs largely below c.900 m; however, oil exploration has been taking place in the foothills of south-east Peru, and roads built to facilitate this have been settled (H. Lloyd in litt. 1999).

The species could potentially qualify as Vulnerable under criteria A2, A3 and/or A4 if a decline in the population of at least 30% over 20 years (three generations) is estimated, inferred or suspected in the past, future, or both. The threshold for Endangered under the same criteria is a reduction of at least 50% over 20 years. In light of recent findings, comments are invited on the level of hunting pressure, as well as the rate of habitat loss and degradation faced by the species.

Gastañaga, M., Hennessey, A. B. and MacLeod, R. (2007) Rediscovery of Southern Horned Curassow Pauxi unicornis koepckeae in Cerros del Sira, Peru. Cotinga 28: 63-66.

Pitman, N., Moskovits, D. K., Alverson, W. S. and Borman A., R. (eds.) (2002) Ecuador: Serranías Cofán–Bermejo, Sinangoe. Rapid Biological Inventories Report 3. Chicago, Illinois: The Field Museum.

Wege, D. C. and Long, A. J. (1995) Key Areas for threatened birds in the Neotropics. Cambridge, U.K.: BirdLife International (BirdLife Conservation Series 05).

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5 Responses to Archived 2010-2011 topics: Black Tinamou (Tinamus osgoodi): at least Vulnerable, or downlist to Near Threatened?

  1. I recorded this species at Yanachaga National Park at 419 m elevation (lowland rainforest), below its minimal altitudinal range in 2007

  2. Although there is no quantitative trend data, the population date not information. Area of Occupancy at Colombia not increased

  3. There have been a number of recent (documented) records in NE-Ecuador. Details will be published in: Cotinga, First photographs of Black Tinamou Tinamus osgoodi in Ecuador with notes on subspecific identity and occurrence (in press.).

    Documented/published records of Black Tinamou in Ecuador that we know of are: (1) a tape recording of song taken at the Loreto Road, Napo, in June 1998, (2) a bird seen and heard on the Shishicho Ridge, Sumbacoyos in March 2002, (3) and several recent sightings from inside the Narupa Reserve in 2009 along the Loreto Road, Napo. The records of the latter concern digital images taken by movement-sensor camera traps which were fixed along trails inside the recently established reserve (G. Vasquez Varela, pers.comm.). (4) Also digital images by camera traps at WildSumaco reserve at the base of Vulcan Sumaco (J. Nilsson, pers.comm.).

    Elevational range in Ecuador: 1000 to 1500m mainly reported form undisturbed habitats.

    Still very rare bird in Ecuador. Habitat destruction in foothills of NE-Ecuador (where all the sightings are made) increases rapidly, especially in areas with infrastructure. Logging, cattle and naranjilla cultivation etc.

  4. Andy Symes says:

    Fundacion ProAves have provided the following information from the species’s Colombian range:

    The reports of this species by Cuervo et al (2008a,b) and in Antioquia have not been verified or documented. Intensive surveys of the reported location of this species for past four years failed to locate any evidence of the presence of this species. Furthermore, Highland Tinamou is particularly abundant at the reported location and is the only Tinamou heard. As this record has not been documented, we recommend that the location (northern Antioquia) be excluded from the EOO and range modelling for now.

    Also the EOO map http://bit.ly/fHj0uB is incorrect – the Farallones National Park is highlighted in blue – but the species has not been recorded from here as far as we are aware. We think it is safe to assume T. osgoodi is restricted to subpopulations on the eastern slope of the Andes from Colombia to Peru. We are unsure if the species should be VU or NT as subtropical habitat on the eastern slope of the Andes is largely intact, although without doubt being increasingly cleared and colonized.

    Cuervo, A. M., Pulgarín, P. C., Calderón-F, D., Ochoa-Quintero, J. M., Delgado-V. C. A., Palacio, A., Botero, J. M. & W. A. Múnera. 2008b. Avifauna of the northern Cordillera Central of the Andes, Colombia. Ornitología Neotropical 19: 495-515

    Cuervo, A.M., Pulgarín, P. & Calderón, D. 2008a. New distribution bird data from the Cordillera Central of the Colombian Andes, with implications for the biogeography of northwestern South America. Condor 110(3): 526-53

    Fundacion ProAves (in press) The status of various threatened or potentially threatened birds in Colombia. Conservación Colombiana 14

  5. From experience in the Cerros del Sira in central Peru it appeared that Black Tinamou was fairly common where there wasn’t regular hunting but much less so or absent in more hunted areas. Local hunters report having to go higher and higher into the mountains to find this species suggesting significant population level declines may have happened over the last decade or two. Both these observations suggest that hunting is likely to be a serious threat to the species. Where present the species was easy to detect vocally and not too hard to see suggesting that the scarcity of records elsewhere might more be an indicator of reduced populations due to hunting or other disturbance rather than the species being difficult to detect. Although much of the area of occupancy may be otherwise fairly undisturbed a significant part of the range does appear to be within reach of local hunters making it reasonable to suspect >30% declines in the past 20 years and to suspect similar or greater declines in the future.

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