Long-billed Crow (Corvus validus): uplist to Near Threatened?

This discussion was first published as part of the 2013 Red List update, but remains open for comment to enable reassessment in 2014.

Long-billed Crow Corvus validus (BirdLife species factsheet) is found on the islands of Morotai, Halmahera, Kayoa, Kasiruta, Bacan and Obi (in the Northern Maluku Endemic Bird Area), Indonesia, where it mainly inhabits primary forest and is locally found in secondary and partially logged forest, and is frequently recorded in agricultural areas, including plantations, and grassland with trees (del Hoyo et al. 2009).

It is currently listed as being of Least Concern, on the basis that it was not thought to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under any of the IUCN Red List criteria.

A recent study by Vetter (2009) used remote sensing techniques to track the rate and spatial pattern of forest loss in the North Maluku Endemic Bird Area between 1990 and 2003, and project rates of deforestation over the next three generations for restricted range bird species found in this region, with consequent recommendations for category changes on the IUCN Red List.

This study estimated the rate of forest loss within the geographic and elevation range of Long-billed Crow to be c.20.3% between 1990 and 2003, and projected the loss of c.37% of forest in its range over the next three generations (estimated by BirdLife to be c.22 years, based on an estimated generation length of c.7.3 years). Vetter (2009) states that this species could be a candidate for uplisting to Vulnerable, based on this forest loss analysis; however, the species shows apparent tolerance of modified habitats, which would be expected to buffer its population against the loss of primary habitat to some extent.

It is suggested that this species be uplisted to Near Threatened under criterion A3, on the basis that it is suspected that it will undergo a moderately rapid population decline (approaching 30%) over the next three generations (22 years) owing to projected habitat loss.

Comments on this potential category change and further information would be welcomed.


del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Christie, D. (2009) Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 14: Bush-shrikes to Old World Sparrows. Barcelona, Spain: Lynx Edicions.

Vetter, J. (2009) Impacts of Deforestation on the Conservation Status of Endemic Birds in the North Maluku Endemic Bird Area from 1990-2003. MSc Project. Durham, NC: Duke University.

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2 Responses to Long-billed Crow (Corvus validus): uplist to Near Threatened?

  1. Andy Symes says:

    Preliminary proposals

    Based on available information, our preliminary proposal for the 2014 Red List would be to treat Long-billed Crow Corvus validus as Near Threatened, approaching the threshold for Vulnerable under criterion A3c.

    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.

  2. Andy Symes says:

    Recommended categorisation to be put forward to IUCN

    Following further review, there has been no change to our preliminary proposal for the 2014 Red List status of this species.

    The final categorisation will be published later in 2014, following further checking of information relevant to the assessment by BirdLife and IUCN.

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