This discussion was first published as part of the 2013 Red List update, but remains open for comment to enable reassessment in 2014.
Chapin’s Mountain-babbler Kupeornis chapini is restricted to the Albertine Rift mountains of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where it is known from the Lendu Plateau, mountains west of Lake Edward, mountains west of Lake Kivu, and the Itombwe Mts. It is currently listed as Near Threatened under criterion B1ab(i,ii,iii,v) owing to its moderately small range, in which it is threatened by deforestation for shifting agriculture.
However, mapping of this species’s range has shown that it is larger than previously thought, with an Extent of Occurrence (EOO) of 43,900km2. Thus, it no longer approaches the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion and its status requires reassessment.
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as evidently rather rare (del Hoyo et al. 2007), and the population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat clearance for shifting agriculture (del Hoyo et al. 2007). Any evidence that the global population of this species is less than 10,000 mature individuals, all subpopulations are ≤1,000 mature individuals and in continuing decline, would make this species eligible for uplisting to at least Vulnerable under the C criterion. If the species approaches but does not exceed these thresholds for classification as Vulnerable, it should remain classified as Near Threatened (but listed under the C criterion).
Information is required on this species’s likely global population size, trends and size of the largest subpopulation.
del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Christie, D. (2007) Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 12: Picathartes to Tits and Chickadees. Lynx Edicions: Barcelona, Spain.
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