Bahia Tapaculo (Eleoscytalopus psychopompus): downlist to Endangered?

This discussion was first published as part of the 2011 Red List update, and remains open for comment in the hope that we will receive enough information to reassess the species in 2015.

Link to BirdLife species factsheet for Bahia Tapaculo

Bahia Tapaculo Eleoscytalopus psychopompus is currently listed as Critically Endangered under criterion B1a+b(i,ii,iii,iv,v), because its Extent of Occurrence (EOO) was estimated at less than 100 km2, in which its habitat is severely fragmented and ongoing declines are suspected in the EOO, Area of Occupancy, area, extent and/or quality of habitat, number of locations or sub-populations and number of mature individuals, owing to continued habitat loss.

Recent records have extended the species’s known range, and editing of its range map has produced a revised EOO estimate of 7,900 km2. This suggests that the species is no longer eligible for Critically Endangered or Endangered status under the B1 criterion.

BirdLife range map for Bahia Tapaculo

The species’s population is currently estimated at 50-249 mature individuals; however, the revised range size suggests that a larger population exists. This implies that the species should be downlisted to Endangered under criterion C2a(i), on the basis that it has a population that numbers 250-2,499 mature individuals, which is suspected to be declining. However, to qualify it must be reasonably suspected that all sub-populations number 250 birds or less.

Comments are invited on the proposal to downlist this species. In addition, information is requested on the species’s estimated population size and sub-population structure, as well as any new information on the species’s likely rate of decline over 10 years and the rate of habitat loss.    

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4 Responses to Bahia Tapaculo (Eleoscytalopus psychopompus): downlist to Endangered?

  1. I plan to begin a study this year of the distribution and habitat use of this species in our reserve and in the surrounding landscape. The reserve forest guards who have learned the Bahia tapaculo call while guiding visiting ornithologists are registering the bird throughout the reserve and the rubber plantation landscape suggesting that the bird may be quite adaptable. This information will be verified in the field using the call-back techniques and in a year’s time I should be able to provide a clearer understanding of the conservation status of this bird.

  2. Kevin M. Flesher, Ph.D. says:

    Unfortunately I have not been able to carry out the study listed above due to other work and research obligations, but hope to begin the study in 2014. I plan on using occupancy models to study the bird’s distribution and habitat use in the Reserva Ecologica Michelin landscape. Over the past few years (since 2011) we have continued to register the bird in the degraded pioneer (Schefflera, Cecropia, Inga, Tapirira, Miconia, Henrietta, Piper, Bauhinia, Syagrus) riparian vegetation in the rubber groves and there is no indication as of yet that the population is declining (we continue to find the bird in the same places as we did several years ago). I have also heard the bird calling in the largest forest block, along streams in both 40 year old manioc fallows and in forest that was heavily logged 50-70 years ago. Therefor in our 4000 ha landscape, the Bahian tapaculo does not appear to be endangered and given that the landscape is stable (no foreseen changes), the population there should not be in imminent danger of disappearing. Given that degraded riparian forests, manioc fallows and heavily logged forests are common in the greater landscape, it is certainly possible that the bird is not uncommon in our region. However, until we actually conduct the occupancy and habitat use study, this remains speculation. I believe that the downgrading of the conservation status of the species from critically endangered to endangered is justified based on the evidence from our site.

  3. Joe Taylor says:

    Preliminary proposals

    Based on available information, our preliminary proposal for the 2014 Red List is to pend the decision on Bahia Tapaculo Eleoscytalopus psychopompus 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.

  4. 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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