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.
Amethyst Brown-dove Phapitreron amethystina is being split into P. amethystina, P. maculipectus and P. frontalis, following the application of criteria set out by Tobias et al. (2010).
Prior to this taxonomic change, P. amethystina (BirdLife species factsheet) was listed as being of Least Concern, on the basis that it was not thought to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under any of the IUCN Red List criteria.
P. maculipectus is known from Negros and Panay in the Philippines. It has been characterised as rare on Negros and its status on Panay remains uncertain (Gibbs et al. 2001). There had apparently been a dearth of recent records on Negros, until it was recorded in North Negros Natural Park in May 2008 (Pedregosa-Hospodarsky 2009). The species was also photographed at Twin Lakes, Negros, in February 2013 (Hutchinson 2013). Further records are requested.
The apparent shortage of information on this species makes an assessment of its threat status difficult, but its rarity suggests that the population numbers fewer than 2,500 mature individuals overall. On-going deforestation in its range implies that the population is likely to be in decline. If the populations on Negros and Panay are regarded as separate subpopulations (likely to exchange no more than one individual per year), and each probably numbers fewer than 250 mature individuals, the species may qualify as Endangered under criterion C2a(i). If each subpopulation is thought to number between 250 and 1,000 mature individuals, the species may qualify as Vulnerable under the same criterion.
P. frontalis is known from Cebu, where it has been considered probably extinct (Dutson et al. 1993), after it was apparently last recorded in 1892 (Rabor 1959). However, in November 2004 two possible individuals were observed in Alcoy Forest (Paguntalan and Jakosalem 2008). The species is said to prefer hill and montane primary forest (Rabor 1959). If it is correct that the species has not been recorded with certainty since the late 19th century and that it could still persist, it may qualify as Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct) under criterion C2a(ii) and perhaps criterion D, assuming that it is extremely rare, with a single subpopulation numbering fewer than 250 mature individuals, and perhaps fewer than 50 mature individuals, which is inferred to be in on-going decline owing to habitat loss and degradation.
P. amethystina (as defined following the taxonomic change) is widespread in the Philippines. It has been described as uncommon, which may be partly due to its shyness, but it can be locally very common (Gibbs et al. 2001). It is thought likely to be listed as being of Least Concern, on the basis that it does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under any of the IUCN Red List criteria.
Comments are invited on these suggested categories and further information would be welcomed.
Dutson, G. C. L., Magsalay, P. M. and Timmins, R. J. (1993) The rediscovery of the Cebu Flowerpecker Dicaeum quadricolor, with notes on other forest birds on Cebu, Philippines. Bird Conservation International 3: 235–243.
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.
Hutchinson, R. (2013) Remote Philippines: Mindoro, Sierra Madre, Bohol, Cebu, Negros, Camiguin Sur. Birdtour Asia report.
Paguntalan, L. M. J. and Jakosalem, P. G. (2008) Significant records of birds in forests on Cebu island, central Philippines. Forktail 24: 48–56.
Pedregosa-Hospodarsky, M. (2009) A faunal assessment of North Negros Natural Park (NNNP), Negros Island, Philippines. Report to the Rufford Small Grants Foundation.
Rabor, D. S. (1959) The impact of deforestation on the birds of Cebu, Philippines, with new records for that island. Auk 76: 37–43.
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.