This discussion was first published as part of the 2013 Red List update, but remains open for comment to enable reassessment in 2014.
Blue-capped Kingfisher Actenoides hombroni is restricted to the island of Mindanao in the Philippines (Collar et al. 1999). It is currently listed as Vulnerable under criteria A2c+3c+4c; C2a(i) because it has a small, fragmented population (estimated to fall into the band 2,500-9,999 mature individuals), which is undergoing a rapid decline of ≥30% over three generations (20 years in this species), primarily as a result of the clearance of lowland forest.
Formerly widespread, this species has been recorded from just seven localities since 1980. However, three of these represent minor range extensions, suggesting further populations may yet be discovered. Contradictory assessments from the early 20th century considered it quite common and very rare. It is difficult to observe but knowledge of its call recently revealed it to be fairly common at Lake Sebu and this may be the case elsewhere. It was also recorded in montane forests on Mt Hilong-hilong in Agusan del Norte during surveys in 2005-2007 (J. Ibanez in litt. 2007). Forest clearance within this species’s range was previously thought to be rapid and continuing, even within a number of protected areas. However, recent information suggests that the Blue-capped Kingfisher has a preference for montane forest (steep banks or gullies) which is said to be disappearing at a slower rate than lowland forest (R. Hutchinson in litt. 2012). Thus, this species’s population could be declining at a more moderate rate than first thought. If this information is confirmed, and this species is suspected to be declining at a rate of c.25-30% over three generations (20 years), it would warrant downlisting to Near Threatened, approaching criteria A2c+3c+4c for Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.
Information is requested on this species’s global population trends, size and distribution. Any additional comments on the proposed downlisting are also welcome.
Collar, N. J., Mallari, N. A. D. and Tabaranza, B. R. J. (1999) Threatened birds of the Philippines: the Haribon Foundation/BirdLife International Red Data Book. Bookmark: Makati City.
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