Archived 2012-2013 topics: Scaled Ground-cuckoo (Neomorphus squamiger): downlist to Least Concern?

This discussion was first published on Dec 1 2010 as part of the 2010-2011 Red List update, but remains open for comment to enable reassessment in 2012. Link to BirdLife species factsheet for Scaled Ground-cuckoo Scaled Ground-cuckoo Neomorphus squamiger is listed at Near Threatened under criterion B1a+b(iii) on the basis that it was thought to occupy a moderately small range within which its habitat is declining in quality. The species’s Extent of Occurrence has been updated using recently acquired knowledge on its distribution, and it is now estimated at 466,500 km2, which no longer approaches the threshold for Vulnerable under the B1 criterion. This suggests that the species is eligible for downlisting to Least Concern. Comments are invited on this proposed category change, and up-to-date information is requested on the species’s likely population size and current trend over 13 years (estimate of three generations), for which there are apparently few data so far. This poorly known species is said to be rare (Stotz et al. 1996) and probably exists at low densities. It is also reported to be highly sensitive to human disturbance (Parker et al. 1996, Payne 1997), thus the species is suspected to be declining due to widespread deforestation in its range. This has been taking place through conversion to pasture and cultivation, and for mining and hydroelectric development, along with the direct and indirect effects of road-building (Cleary 1991). Up-to-date information on the severity of these threats is also requested to help assess this species’s status. Cleary, D. (1991) The Brazilian rainforest: politics, finance, mining and the environment. London: Economist Intelligence Unit (Special Report No. 2100). Parker, T. A., Stotz, D. F. and Fitzpatrick, J. W. (1996) Ecological and distributional databases. Pp. 113-436 in Stotz, D. F., Fitzpatrick, J. W., Parker, T. A. and Moskovits, D. K., eds. Neotropical bird ecology and conservation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Payne, R. B. (1997) Cuculidae (Cuckoos). Pp. 508-607 in del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Sargatal, J., eds. Handbook of the birds of the world. Barcelona, Spain: Lynx Edicions. Stotz, D. F., Fitzpatrick, J. W., Parker, T. A. and Moskovits, D. K. (1996) Neotropical birds: ecology and conservation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

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2 Responses to Archived 2012-2013 topics: Scaled Ground-cuckoo (Neomorphus squamiger): downlist to Least Concern?

  1. Where has the ‘recently acquired knowledge on its distribution’ come from? The infonatura shape file at: is wildly incorrect, this species (if it is a species and not a subspecies of geoffroyi) is known from only a handful of skins and a few sight-records and is only known from the top half of the Tapajos-Xingu interfluvium. If it is a species it is better off as endangered given that Neomorphus are naturally rare, probably suspectible to hunting and are reliant on following ants (area sensitive), peccaries (hunting and area-sensitive) and primates (hunting and area-sensitive). Given the lack of basically any knowledge on the species it would perhaps be best placed as data deficient.

  2. eltemp says:

    As mentioned by Mr. Lees, the infonatura map for this species is way off and should be disregarded entirely. It appears they somehow mixed up N. squamiger and N. geoffroyi (perhaps understandable given the questionable status of squamiger as a separate species), placing all Amazonian records in N. squamiger, but this is in no way supported by specimens or sightings.

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