Wetar Figbird (Sphecotheres hypoleucus): downlist to Least Concern?

This discussion was first published as part of the 2013 Red List update, but remains open for comment to enable reassessment in 2014.

BirdLife species factsheet for Wetar Figbird

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.

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2 Responses to Wetar Figbird (Sphecotheres hypoleucus): downlist to Least Concern?

  1. Andy Symes says:

    Preliminary proposals

    Based on available information, our preliminary proposal for the 2014 Red List is to pend the decision on Wetar Figbird Sphecotheres hypoleucus and keep this discussion open until early 2015, while leaving the current Red List category unchanged in the 2014 update.

    There is now a period for further comments until the final deadline of 31 March, after which recommended categorisations will be put forward to IUCN.

    The final Red List categories will be published on the BirdLife and IUCN websites in mid-2014, following further checking of information relevant to the assessments by both BirdLife and IUCN.

  2. Andy Symes says:

    Recommended categorisation to be put forward to IUCN

    Following further review, there has been no change to our preliminary proposal for the 2014 Red List status of this species.

    This discussion will remain open for further comments and information until early 2015, and the current Red List category will remain unchanged in 2014.

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