This discussion was first published as part of the 2013 Red List update, but remains open for comment to enable reassessment in 2014.
Wahnes’s Parotia Parotia wahnesi is known from the mountains of the Huon Peninsula and the Adelbert Mountains in Papua New Guinea. It is currently listed as Vulnerable under criterion C2a(i) on the basis of an estimated small population (3,500-15,000 individuals) which was suspected to be declining as a result of habitat loss.
Its abundance varies from locally common in the Cromwell range (Coates 1990, W. Betz in litt. 1999) and regularly encountered in the YUS ecosystem of the Saruwaged range (B. Beehler in litt. 2012), to rare in the Adelberts (Pratt 1982, Eastwood and Gregory 1995). Records from Satop report three birds seen in three days in 1994 (compared to 16 A. rothschildi) (Eastwood and Gregory 1995). This species has a very narrow elevational distribution, most of which in the Huon Peninsula remains old growth forest. However, there is said to be little or no hunting and minimal forest loss in the habitation zone of this species (B. Beehler in litt. 2012). No data is available to calculate population trends for this species; it was previously suspected to be in moderate decline owing to habitat loss within its range. However, doubts on the existence of any substantial decline in the habitat and population of this species have recently arisen (B. Beehler in litt. 2012).
Should there be sufficient evidence to confirm that the population of this species is stable and not in continuing decline, it would warrant downlisting to a lower category of threat. If the population is estimated to number fewer than 10,000 mature individuals, with all subpopulations fewer than 1,000 mature individuals, but the population is not currently thought to be undergoing a continuing decline, it would warrant downlisting to Near Threatened under criterion C2a(i) of the IUCN Red List.
This is a very poorly known species and more data on its population, trends, subpopulation structure and fragmentation are needed. Comments on the proposed downlisting are welcome.
Coates, B. J. (1990) The birds of Papua New Guinea, 2: passerines. Dove: Alderley, Australia.
Eastwood, C. and Gregory, P. (1995) Interesting sightings during 1993 & 1994. Muruk 7(3): 128-142.
Pratt, T. K. (1982) Additions to the avifauna of the Adelbert range, Papua New Guinea. Emu 82: 117-125.
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