Archived 2012-2013 topics: Great-billed Seed-finch (Oryzoborus maximiliani): request for information

This discussion was first published on Dec 2 2010 as part of the 2010-2011 Red List update, but remains open for comment to enable reassessment in 2013. Link to BirdLife species factsheet for Great-billed Seed-finch Great-billed Seed-finch Oryzoborus maximiliani is listed as Near Threatened under criteria A2c,d; A3c,d; A4c,d on the basis that it is suspected to be undergoing a slow to moderately rapid population decline, estimated at 1-19% over 10 years, as suggested by localised declines in abundance and its disappearance from parts of its range, probably owing to trapping for the cagebird trade (Ridgely and Tudor 1989), as well as habitat loss and degradation driven by logging and the expansion of agriculture. This species was described by Restall et al. (2006) as very local and rare throughout its range. Although its population size has apparently not been estimated, given its scarcity the species must have a very small population. It continues to be very scarce in Brazil, with perhaps the only reliable locality being Emas National Park (A. C. De Luca in litt. 2010). These observations have prompted a review of the species’s status. Up-to-date information is requested, in particular the likely total population size, the current population trend over 11 years (estimate of three generations) and the severity of threats. Any evidence pointing towards an overall decline of at least 30% over 11 years would make the species eligible for at least Vulnerable status under the A criterion. Restall, R., Rodner, C. and Lentino, M. (2006) Birds of Northern South America: An Identification Guide. London, UK: Christopher Helm. Ridgely, R. S. and Tudor, G. (1989) The birds of South America. Austin, Texas: University of Texas Press.

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2 Responses to Archived 2012-2013 topics: Great-billed Seed-finch (Oryzoborus maximiliani): request for information

  1. Joe Taylor says:

    The following comments were received from Andre De Luca on 7 October 2010 during the preparation of this topic:

    Often we said/heard that the breeding wild (Brazilian) songbird farms . . . as the solution to reduce/stop trafficking of birds. Well, this species is one of the most “breeded” here by hobbist – and it is an expensive bird – since 30 years ago and O. maximiliani disappeared from its habitats. Now, this is really rare in our country (some old people said this species as common in Brazil…) and a true trophy for birdwatchers.

  2. On a recent trip to the savannahs around Trinidad in Beni Department (Bolivia), I found this species to be fairly common, with several sightings in different areas ranging from degraded roadside savannah to urban abandoned house lots.

    This species was completely unexpected on my trip as its distribution map in various books suggests that it shouldn’t reach into Bolivia. However, confirmatory photos of male individuals with their all-white (rather than black) beak were taken, so there is no doubt.

    Given its continent-wide distribution and at least local abundance, I would say this bird is of Least Concern.

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