This discussion was first published as part of the 2013 Red List update, but remains open for comment to enable reassessment in 2014.
Wetar Figbird Sphecotheres hypoleucus is restricted to Wetar, Indonesia. It is currently listed as Near Threatened under criterion C1+2a(i) because it was thought likely to have a moderately small global population (approaching as few as 10,000 mature individuals), and was suspected to have declined as a result of habitat loss through deforestation and on-going pressure from agriculture and road building.
This is a poorly known species and until recently, no population estimates were available. However, new information suggests that the population is larger than previously thought. Although “never abundant”, it was recorded at most forest sites during a recent survey of the island, with an estimated total population size of 30,000-50,000 pairs (Trainor et al. 2009). If confirmed, the Wetar Figbird would warrant dowlisting to Least Concern on the basis that it would no longer be considered to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under any of the IUCN criteria.
Information is requested on population size, size of the largest subpopulation and likely population trends of this species.
Trainor, C. R., Imanuddin, Aldy, F., Verbelen, P. and Walker, J. S. (2009) The birds of Wetar, Banda Sea: one of Indonesia’s forgotten islands. BirdingASIA 12: 78-93.