Archived 2012-2013 topics: Kofiau Paradise-kingfisher (Tanysiptera ellioti): downlist to Vulnerable or Near Threatened?

BirdLife species factsheet for Kofiau Paradise-kingfisher Kofiau Paradise-kingfisher Tanysiptera ellioti is restricted to the island of Kofiau (144 km2) in the West Papuan islands of Indonesia. It is currently classified as Endangered under criterion C2a(ii), as it was thought to have a very small population, with more than 95% of mature individuals in one subpopulation, undergoing a continuing decline owing to slash-and-burn agriculture and selective logging. The population was previously estimated to number 250-999 mature individuals, based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. However, recent evidence suggests that the species may be more widespread and habitat tolerant than previously thought (B. Beehler in litt. 2012), abundant in primary and secondary forest and can also be found in traditional gardens (Diamond et al. 2009). A visit to the island in December 2011 noted an abundance of standing forest and no evidence of large scale development, increased clearance or conversion of habitat (B. Beehler in litt. 2012). If there is still an abundance of forest habitat to support this species, its threat category may need to be revised.  If the population of this species is not in decline, it would not qualify as Endangered under the population or range size criteria. If the population size is greater than previous estimates suggest, but still numbers <1,000 mature individuals, the Kofiau Paradise-kingfisher would qualify as Vulnerable under criterion D1+2 of the IUCN Red List. Should the population be estimated at >1,000 mature individuals, this species would qualify as Near Threatened under D1+2. Further information is required on the population size and trends of this species, and on the severity of habitat loss within its range. Reference: Diamond, J., Mauro, I., Bishop, K.D. and Wijaya, L. (2009) The avifauna of Kofiau Island, Indonesia. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club 129(3): 165-181.

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One Response to Archived 2012-2013 topics: Kofiau Paradise-kingfisher (Tanysiptera ellioti): downlist to Vulnerable or Near Threatened?

  1. Lynda Donaldson says:

    The following comments were received from David Bishop on 19 June 2013:

    On 25 July 2012 I visited the north-west coast of Kofiau and walked south and inland for a couple of km transecting a village; village gardens; scrub; lightly wooded village gardens; secondary forest; selectively forest and tall primary forest. Kofiau Paradise-kingfisher was common, very vocal and invariably in pairs within lightly wooded village gardens; secondary forest; selectively forest and tall primary forest. Based on this observation together with observations I made together with Jared Diamond during 1986 (see Diamond et al 2009) I concur with Bruce Beehler’s comments (in litt 2012) and recommend that this species has its threat category revised from Endangered to Vulnerable.

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