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 are planning to publish a taxonomic 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 Lynx-BirdLife list will be based on the application of criteria for recognising species limits described by Tobias et al. (2010). The new list 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 welcome comments on these initial assessments. Please note that there will be opportunities to comment and provide input on the potential/proposed taxonomic decisions themselves elsewhere on the BirdLife forums.
Grey-headed Quail-dove Geotrygon caniceps is being split into G. caniceps and G. leucometopius, following the application of criteria set out by Tobias et al. (2010).
Prior to this taxonomic change, G. caniceps (BirdLife species factsheet) was listed as Vulnerable under criteria A2bcde+3bcde+4bcde, on the basis that its population was suspected to be in rapid decline (30-49% over 14 years [estimate of three generations]), owing to habitat loss and hunting pressure.
G. leucometopius is endemic to Hispaniola and inhabits dense montane forest and coffee plantations, but occurs down to sea-level locally (Raffaele et al. 1998, Gibbs et al. 2001). It is only known from the Dominican Republic (perhaps formerly occurring in the Massif de la Selle and Massif du Nord, Haiti), and is described as rare and very local in the Cordillera Central, Sierra de Baoruco and Sierra de Neiba (Raffaele et al. 1998, Keith et al. 2003).
It is suggested that this species be listed as Endangered under criterion C2a(ii), on the basis that it has a very small population (probably fewer than 2,500 mature individuals, all in a single subpopulation), which is inferred to be in continuing decline owing to on-going habitat loss, hunting pressure and introduced predators. It may also qualify as Endangered under criterion B1, as it occupies a very small range (with an Extent of Occurrence estimated at c.4,800 km2), in which suitable habitat is declining in area and quality, and may already be severely fragmented (i.e. over 50% in patches too small to support viable populations).
G. caniceps is endemic to Cuba where it inhabits wet forests bordering swamps at low elevations or dense, moist woods at middle elevations, and is described as uncommon and very local, being found mainly in the western and central portions of the island (Raffaele et al. 1998). It is suggested that this species be listed as Vulnerable under criteria A2bcde+3bcde+4bcde, on the basis that it is undergoing a rapid and continuing population decline (30-49% over 14 years), owing to habitat loss, hunting and introduced predators, such as mongooses, mice, dogs and cats (González Alonso et al. 2012). This taxon has also been assessed as Vulnerable at the national level under criteria A2bcde+3bcde; C1 (González Alonso et al. 2012), implying that its population may number fewer than 10,000 mature individuals.
Comments on these suggested categories and further information would be welcomed.
Gibbs, D., Barnes, E. and Cox, J. (2001) Pigeons and doves: a guide to the pigeons and doves of the world. Robertsbridge, UK: Pica Press.
González Alonso, H., Rodríguez Schettino, L., Rodríguez, A., Mancina, C. A. and Ramos García, I. (2012) Libro Rojo de los Vertebrados de Cuba. Havana, Cuba: Editorial Academia.
Keith, A. R., Wiley, J. W., Latta, S. C. and Ottenwalder, J. A. (2003) The birds of Hispaniola: Haiti and the Dominican Republic. BOU checklist no. 21. Tring, UK: British Ornithologists’ Union.
Raffaele, H., Wiley, J., Garrido, O., Keith, A. and Raffaele, J. (1998) Birds of the West Indies. London, UK: Christopher Helm.
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.
- Archived 2014 discussion: Rufous Hornbill (Buceros hydrocorax) is being split: list both B. hydrocorax and B. mindanensis as Vulnerable?
- Archived 2014 discussion: Philippine Scops-owl (Otus megalotis) is being split: list O. nigrorum as Vulnerable and O. megalotis and O. everetti as Near Threatened?
- Archived 2012-2013 topics: Blossom-headed Parakeet (Psittacula roseata), Alexandrine Parakeet (Psittacula eupatria) and Grey-headed parakeet (Psittacula finschii): request for information.
- Archived 2012-2013 topics: Grey-headed Greenbul (Phyllastrephus poliocephalus): downlist to Least Concern?
- Archived 2012-2013 topics: Grey-headed Albatross (Thalassarche chrysostoma): uplist to Endangered?