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 publish the HBW-BirdLife Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World in 2014, 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.
Madagascar Green-pigeon Treron australis is being split into T. australis and T. griveaudi, following the application of criteria set out by Tobias et al. (2010).
Prior to this taxonomic change, T. australis (BirdLife species factsheet) was 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 criteria.
T. griveaudi is currently known only from Mwali (Mohéli) in the Comoros, where it appears to be restricted to humid evergreen forest at higher elevations (del Hoyo et al. 1997, Gibbs et al. 2001, Louette et al. 2008). Formerly it may have also occurred on Ngazidja (Grand Comoro) and Ndzuani (Anjouan) (del Hoyo et al. 1997, Gibbs et al. 2001). It is suggested that the species qualifies as Endangered under criterion C2a(ii), on the basis that it is thought to have a very small population, likely to include fewer than 2,500 mature individuals, which probably form a single subpopulation that is inferred to be in continuing decline owing to poaching, despite it being protected by law (Louette and Stevens 1992, Louette et al. 2008).
T. australis is a widespread and locally common resident of Madagascar, where it inhabits a variety of forested habitats, including modified areas such as forest fragments and plantations (del Hoyo et al. 1997, Gibbs et al. 2001). It is likely to be listed as being of Least Concern, on the basis that it is not thought to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under any of the IUCN criteria. It is noted, however, that the population is likely to be in slow to moderate decline overall (<25% over 13 years [estimate of three generations]), owing to hunting pressure (del Hoyo et al. 1997, Gibbs et al. 2001).
Comments are invited on these potential categories and further information would be welcomed.
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.
Gibbs, D., Barnes, E. and Cox, J. (2001) Pigeons and doves: a guide to the pigeons and doves of the world. Robertsbridge, U.K.: Pica Press.
Louette, M., Abdérémane, H., Yahaya, I. and Meitre, D. (2008) Atlas des oiseaux nicheurs de la Grande Comore, de Mohéli et d’Anjouan. Studies in Afrotropical Zoology 294. Tervuren, Belgium: Musée Royal de l’Afrique Centrale.
Louette, M. and Stevens, J. (1992) Conserving the endemic birds on the Comoro Islands, I: general considerations on survival prospects. Bird Conservation International 2: 61-80.
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.