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 soon publish the HBW-BirdLife Illustrated 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 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.
Red-eared Fruit-dove Ptilinopus fischeri is being split into P. fischeri and P. meridionalis, following the application of criteria set out by Tobias et al. (2010).
Prior to this taxonomic change, P. fischeri (BirdLife species factsheet) was listed as Least Concern on the basis that it was not thought to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under any of the IUCN criteria. Although the species was estimated to have a restricted range, it was not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence of less than 20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appeared to be stable, and hence the species did not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it was not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (fewer than 10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be at least 10% over ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure).
P. meridionalis is endemic to the Lompobattang Massif of south-western Sulawesi (del Hoyo et al. 1997, Gibbs et al. 2001). It is suggested that it qualifies as Vulnerable under criterion C2a(ii), on the basis that it is thought to have a small population (estimated at fewer than 10,000 mature individuals), probably forming a single subpopulation, which is inferred to be in continuing decline owing to on-going forest loss and fragmentation.
P. fischeri (as defined following the taxonomic change, and incorporating centralis) is found in montane areas throughout much of Sulawesi, where it inhabits forest, including recently logged areas (del Hoyo et al. 1997, Gibbs et al. 2001). It is thought likely to warrant listing as Least Concern, on the basis that it is not thought to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under any of the IUCN criteria.
Comments are invited on these suggested 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.
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: Maroon-chinned Fruit-dove (Ptilinopus subgularis) is being split: list both P. subgularis and P. mangoliensis as Vulnerable and P. epia as Near Threatened?
- Archived 2012-2013 topics: Yellow-eared Parrot (Ognorhynchus icterotis): downlist to Vulnerable?
- Archived 2011-2012 topics: White-eared Night-heron (Gorsachius magnificus): request for information
- Archived 2014 discussion: Crested Serpent-eagle (Spilornis cheela) is being split: list S. minimus as Near Threatened? (Discussion now being closed)
- Archived 2011-2012 topics: Taxonomic changes in the genus Melanitta, part I: suggestion to list M. nigra as Vulnerable and request for information on M. americana