Goldie’s Bird-of-paradise Paradisaea decora is currently classified as Near Threatened under criterion C1 because it was suspected to have a moderately small population that was believed to be declining. Research into the species’s distribution and ecology has found the entire global population to be confined to undisturbed forest habitats on Ferguson (1,340 km2) and Normanby (1,040 km2) Islands in the D’Entrecasteaux archipelago of east Papua New Guinea. David Mitchell (in litt. 2007) has provided the following information about the species:
“Ferguson Island (FI) 500 individuals maximum, found in 6 major sub populations. (Maybole Mountain, Oya Tabu Mountain, Edagwaba Mountain, Sebutuia Bay lowlands, Lavu Lowlands, Lamonai); Normanby Island (NI) 150 individuals maximum in 5 major subpopulations (Lomitawa, Mount Solomonai, inland Sewa, Lonana, and Mount Hobia) Within these subpopulations distribution of the species is fragmented often in groups of 10 individuals. Population reduction of 2 subpopulations one on FI and 1 on NI known to be 20% in the last 10 years from survey figures, owing to habitat conversion to gardens in a subsistence agriculture/fallow mosaic. Pressures from increasing human population which doubles every 32 years.”
This evidence suggests that the species should be uplisted to Endangered meeting criterion C2ai with a global population of fewer than 2,500 individuals and no one sub-population supporting more than 250 individuals, and experiencing an ongoing decline. The species would also qualify as Endangered under criterion B1 as its global Extent of Occurrence is less than 5,000 km2, if its forest habitat is considered severely fragmented. Comments on this proposal, including assessment of the degree of fragmentation of remaining habitats are welcomed.
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