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.
The newly described taxon Oceanites pincoyae (Harrison et al. 2013) is to be recognised as a species following application of the Tobias et al. (2010) criteria, which support its distinctiveness from congeners.
This species is only known from the near-shore waters of the Chiloe region of Chile, suggesting that it is restricted to this area (Harrison et al. 2013). Its breeding grounds are not known, but are expected to be located within the Seno Reloncavi-Chiloe area, although inland sites among mountains cannot be discounted. Based on at-sea sightings, the species’s population has been estimated at around 3,000 individuals (Harrison et al. 2013).
There are potential threats to the species, in the form of oil spills from marine vessels and contamination of the sea with granular polystyrene from the break-up of buoys (Harrison et al. 2013). The human population in the area is increasing, and boat traffic is expected to increase as a result.
Based on available information, the species could qualify as threatened or Near Threatened under criterion C2a(ii), on the basis that it probably has a population of fewer than 10,000 mature individuals, and potentially fewer than 2,500 mature individuals, likely to form a single subpopulation, which may be in decline owing to potential threats, although it may not be appropriate to infer a continuing decline based on current knowledge. It may be more appropriate to list this species as Data Deficient, if it is judged that there is insufficient information available for a robust Red List assessment to be carried out.
Comments are invited and further information would be welcomed.
Harrison, P., Sallaberry, M., Gaskin, C. P., Baird, K. A., Jaramillo, A., Metz, S. M., Pearman, M., O’Keeffe, M., Dowdall, J., Enright, S., Fahy, K., Gilligan, J. and Lillie, G. (2013) A new storm-petrel species from Chile. Auk 130: 180–191.
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.