This discussion was first published as part of the 2013 Red List update, but remains open for comment to enable reassessment in 2014.
Mauritius Fody Foudia rubra, endemic to Mauritius, suffered rapid population declines since 1975 and became restricted to a tiny area in the southwest of the country, descending from 247-260 pairs to c.108-122 pairs in late 2001 owing to historical clearance of upland forest and heavy predation by invasive mammals. The mainland population has since remained stable following intensive conservation management, and was estimated to have remained at around 108 pairs in 2012 (V. Tatayah in litt. 2012).
In 2005, 45 hand reared chicks were released onto Ile aux Aigrettes (where the species apparently occurred historically, V. Tatayah in litt. 2010). In 2006, c.40 young fledged on Ile aux Aigrettes and the total population on the island stood at 140 individuals in 2008 (L. Garrett in litt. 2007, Cristinacce et al. 2009a) and 217 in September 2011 (V. Tatayah in litt. 2011), but declined to 165-170 birds (around 110 adults) in early 2012 (V. Tatayah in litt. 2012). A further translocation to Round Island has as yet been unsuccessful.
Populations of 216 adults on the mainland and at least 110 adults on Ile aux Aigrettes suggests that the population is now well over 300 mature individuals, with the overall trend stable, undergoing moderate fluctuations or increasing.
If the population has remained above 250 mature individuals for at least five years, and is not thought to be undergoing a continuing decline, it seems appropriate to downlist the species to Vulnerable under criterion D1 (having a population of fewer than 1,000 mature individuals). Comments on this proposal are welcome.