This discussion was first published as part of the 2013 Red List update, but remains open for comment to enable reassessment in 2014.
Grey-winged Cotinga Tijuca condita was thought to be restricted to the Serra dos Órgãos and the Serra do Tinguá in the vicinity of Rio de Janeiro city, Brazil, where it occurs in naturally fragmented habitat, but recent surveys have doubled the known range and found the species in the Serra das Araras and at Nova Caledônia (Alves et al. 2008). It is currently listed as Vulnerable under criterion D1+2 on the basis that is has a small population, estimated at 600-1,700 mature individuals, and is restricted to fewer than six locations.
This species’s Extent of Occurrence (EOO) was previously estimated at c.3,400 km2. However, the extent of suitable habitat has recently been estimated as low as c.200 km2 (S. Pimm, M. A. Alvez and C. Jenkins in litt. 2012). If confirmed, the Area of Occupancy (AOO) would fall below the threshold for Endangered, even if every 2x2km square within the 200 km2 were occupied. In addition, the species is likely to be much rarer than previously thought (S. Pimm, M. A. Alvez and C. Jenkins in litt. 2012) and new population estimates should reflect the lower range estimates. Both disturbance and fires caused by hikers have been considered potential threats to the habitat of this species. The newly discovered population at Nova Caledônia is more accessible and susceptible to disturbance, and logging is a potential concern here. In September 1993, a major forest fire was noted in or adjacent to Serra dos Órgãos National Park, indicating that this threat could be particularly significant. Similarly, a major forest fire burned at least 25% of suitable habitat at Nova Caledônia in 2011 (J. King in litt. 2012).
If it is confirmed that this species’s AOO is less than 500 km2, the extent and quality of suitable habitat is declining, and the species occurs at no more than five locations and/or is severely fragmented, the Grey-winged Cotinga would qualify for uplisting to Endangered under criterion B2ab(i,ii,iii) of the IUCN Red List.
Further information is requested on this species’s range, distribution and level of threat, and comments on the proposed uplisting are welcome.
Alves, M. A. S., Pimm, S. L., Storni, A., Raposo, M. A., Brooke, M. de L., Harris, G., Foster, A. and Jenkins, C. M. (2008) Mapping and exploring the distribution of the vulnerable grey-winged cotinga Tijuca condita. Oryx 42(4): 562-566.