Archived 2014 discussion: Double-eyed Fig-parrot (Cyclopsitta diophthalma) is being split: list C. coxeni as Endangered?

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 2014 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.

Double-eyed Fig-parrot Cyclopsitta diophthalma is being split into C. diophthalma and C. coxeni, following the application of criteria set out by Tobias et al. (2010).

Prior to this taxonomic change, C. diophthalma (BirdLife species factsheet) was listed as Least Concern on the basis that it was not thought to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under any of the IUCN criteria. This species was estimated to have a very large range, and hence did not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence of less than 20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appeared to be stable, and hence the species did not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (at least a 30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it was not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (fewer than 10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be at least 10% over ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure).

C. coxeni has a restricted range in south-eastern Queensland and extreme north-eastern New South Wales (Garnett et al. 2011). It is suggested that it qualifies as Endangered under criterion D, on the basis that there are probably fewer than 250 mature individuals remaining, but there is not thought to be a decline in the population (Garnett et al. 2011).

C. diophthalma (as defined following the taxonomic change, and incorporating all other forms) is widely distributed across New Guinea and some of its adjacent islands, as well as parts of north-eastern Australia (del Hoyo et al. 1997). It is thought likely to warrant classification as Least Concern, on the basis that it is not thought to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under any of the IUCN criteria.

Comments on these suggested categories are invited and further information would be welcomed.

References:

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.

Garnett, S. T., Szabo, J. K. and Dutson, G. (2011) The action plan for Australian birds 2010. Collingwood, Australia: Csiro Publishing.

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.

Related posts:

  1. Archived 2014 discussion: Tahiti Kingfisher (Todiramphus veneratus) is being split: list T. youngi as Endangered?
  2. Archived 2014 discussion: Piping Hornbill (Bycanistes fistulator) is being split: list B. fistulator as Near Threatened?
  3. Archived 2011-2012 topics: Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus) has been split into Grey Parrot (P. erithacus) and Timneh Grey Parrot (P. timneh): are both eligible for uplisting?
  4. Archived 2010-2011 topics: Maroon-fronted Parrot (Rhynchopsitta terrisi): uplist to Endangered?
  5. Archived 2014 discussion: Blue-rumped Parrot (Psittinus cyanurus) is being split: list P. abbotti as Vulnerable and P. cyanurus as Near Threatened?
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5 Responses to Archived 2014 discussion: Double-eyed Fig-parrot (Cyclopsitta diophthalma) is being split: list C. coxeni as Endangered?

  1. Phil Gregory says:

    Good to see this being done, I have long regarded it as distinct, but it now opens the door to the status of the various other taxa in the complex, some of which are also morphologically pretty distinct. I guess my question is has there been any genetic work to see how this group breaks up?

  2. Joe Taylor says:

    Preliminary proposals

    Based on available information, our preliminary proposals for the 2014 Red List would be to treat:

    C. diophthalma as Least Concern

    C. coxeni as Endangered under criterion D

    There is now a period for further comments until the final deadline of 31 March, after which recommended categorisations will be put forward to IUCN.

    The final Red List categories will be published on the BirdLife and IUCN websites in mid-2014, following further checking of information relevant to the assessments by both BirdLife and IUCN.

  3. Joseph M Forshaw says:

    I strongly recommend that C. coxeni be upgraded to critically endangered. Much of its lowland subtropical rainforest habitat has been cleared, and there are very few, if any reliable sightings, suggesting that it is possibly extinct in most, if not all of its range.

  4. Given the paucity of sightings and habitat loss and damage in the core range, I can only second Joseph Forshaw’s proposal for listing this taxon as CR

  5. Andy Symes says:

    Recommended categorisations to be put forward to IUCN

    Based on available information and comments posted above, our recommended categorisations to be put forward to IUCN for the 2014 Red List are:

    C. diophthalma as Least Concern

    C. coxeni as Critically Endangered under criterion C2a(i) – change to the preliminary proposal

    The final Red List categories will be published on the BirdLife and IUCN websites in mid-2014, following further checking of information relevant to the assessments by both BirdLife and IUCN.

Comments are closed.