This is part of a consultation on the Red List implications of extensive changes to BirdLife’s taxonomy for non-passerines
Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International will soon publish the HBW-BirdLife Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World, building off the Handbook of the Birds of the World series, and BirdLife’s annually updated taxonomic checklist.
The new Checklist will be based on the application of criteria for recognising species limits described by Tobias et al. (2010). Full details of the specific scores and the basis of these for each new taxonomic revision will be provided in the Checklist.
Following publication, an open and transparent mechanism will be established to allow people to comment on the taxonomic revisions or suggest new ones, and provide new information of relevance in order to inform regular updates. We are also actively seeking input via a discussion topic here regarding some potential taxonomic revisions that currently lack sufficient information.
The new Checklist will form the taxonomic basis of BirdLife’s assessments of the status of the world’s birds for the IUCN Red List. The taxonomic changes that will appear in volume 1 of the checklist (for non-passerines) will begin to be incorporated into the 2013 Red List update, with the remainder, and those for passerines (which will appear in volume 2 of the checklist), to be incorporated into subsequent Red List updates.
Preliminary Red List assessments have been carried out for the newly split or lumped taxa. We are now requesting comments and feedback on these preliminary assessments.
New Zealand Pigeon Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae is being split into H. novaeseelandiae and H. chathamensis, following the application of criteria set out by Tobias et al. (2010).
Prior to this taxonomic change, H. novaeseelandiae (BirdLife species factsheet) was listed as Near Threatened under criteria A2cde+3cde+4cde, on the basis that it was suspected to be in moderately rapid population decline (approaching 30% over three generations (c.20 years), owing to the impacts of introduced predators, hunting and habitat degradation.
H. chathamensis is endemic to the Chatham Islands (e.g. del Hoyo et al. 1997, Gibbs et al. 2001, Dilks et al. 2010). It is suggested that it qualifies as Vulnerable under criterion D1, on the basis that the population is estimated to number fewer than 1,000 mature individuals (Dilks et al. 2010; a total population of more than 600 individuals was estimated in 2009) and to be increasing thanks to conservation actions.
H. novaeseelandiae (as defined following the taxonomic change) occurs across much of New Zealand (including North Island, South Island, and many of their satellite islands), where it inhabits native forest and many modified habitats (del Hoyo et al. 1997, Gibbs et al. 2001). It may qualify as Near Threatened under criteria A2cde+3cde+4cde, on the basis that it could be in moderately rapid population decline (approaching 30% over three generations [c.20 years]), owing to the impacts of introduced predators, hunting and habitat degradation.
Comments are invited on these suggested categories and further information would be welcomed.
del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Sargatal, J. (1997) Handbook of the birds of the world, Vol 4: Sandgrouse to Cuckoos. Barcelona, Spain: Lynx Edicions.
Dilks, P. J., Powlesland, R. G., Adams, L. K. and Flux, I. A. (2010) Changes in abundance of parea (Chatham Islands pigeon, Hemiphaga chathamensis), 1994-2009. Notornis 57: 156-161.
Gibbs, D., Barnes, E. and Cox, J. (2001) Pigeons and doves: a guide to the pigeons and doves of the world. Robertsbridge, U.K.: Pica Press.
Tobias, J. A., Seddon, N., Spottiswoode, C. N., Pilgrim, J. D., Fishpool, L. D. C. and Collar, N. J. (2010) Quantitative criteria for species delimitation. Ibis 152: 724–746.