The initial deadline for comments on this topic is 28 April 2014, and therefore later than for most other topics currently under discussion.
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.
Golden-bellied Starfrontlet Coeligena bonapartei is being split into C. bonapartei, C. eos and C. consita, following the application of criteria set out by Tobias et al. (2010).
Prior to this taxonomic change, C. bonapartei (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. The pre-split species is described as inhabiting cloudforest, dwarf forest and open terrain with scattered vegetation, at 1,400-3,200 m (del Hoyo et al. 1999).
C. consita is endemic to the Sierra de Perijá, along the Colombian-Venezuela border. This area is reported to be subject to much illegal activity, such as new settlements, with mining perhaps a future threat to the area (del Hoyo et al. 1999). This species appears to be scarce, but it is unclear whether the population trend is negative. Further information is requested on the likely population size and trend. Any evidence that the species numbers fewer than 10,000 mature individuals and is in decline would warrant consideration of threatened status under criterion C2. If its population is thought to be stable, it would probably only warrant listing as Near Threatened or Vulnerable if its population were estimated to approach as few as, or number fewer than, 1,000 mature individuals.
C. eos is known from the Andes of western Venezuela, while C. bonapartei (as defined following the taxonomic change) occurs in the East Andes of Colombia (del Hoyo et al. 1999). These species are thought likely to be listed as being of Least Concern, on the basis that they are not thought to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under any of the IUCN Red List criteria.
Comments are invited on these proposed categories and further information would be welcomed.
del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Sargatal, J. (1999) Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 5: Barn-owls to Hummingbirds. Barcelona, Spain: Lynx Edicions.
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.