Archived 2017 topics: Forbes’s Blackbird (Anumara forbesi): downlist from Endangered to Vulnerable?

This discussion was first published as part of the 2016 Red List update. At the time a decision regarding its status was pended, but to enable potential reassessment of this species as part of the 2017 Red List update this post remained open and the date of posting was updated.

BirdLife species factsheet for Forbes’s Blackbird

Forbes’s Blackbird is currently known from widely scattered sites in Pernambuco, Alagoas and Minas Gerais, east and north-east Brazil, and has a very small and fragmented range. The population size has been preliminarily estimated to fall into the band 1,000-2,499 individuals, which equates to 667-1,666 mature individuals, with extremely small subpopulations, and overall numbers were estimated to be declining owing to brood-parasitism by the Shiny Cowbird and, to a lesser extent, habitat loss and exploitation for the pet trade. As a result, the species has been listed as Endangered under Criteria B1ab and C2a(i).

In the Brazilian Red List assessment for birds (MMA 2014) the population of A. forbesi has been assessed as up to 10,000 mature individuals, with all subpopulations numbering fewer than 1,000 mature individuals. The species has thus been listed as Vulnerable under criterion C2a(i). The species’s assessment on the Brazilian Red List can be accessed here. In addition, revisions to the method for calculating Extent of Occurrence mean that this is now calculated at 447,000 km2 for the species.

Up-to-date information is requested on the species’s population size, subpopulation structure and level of fragmentation. Confirmation of a population larger than 2,500 mature individuals and/or a subpopulation larger than 1,000 mature individuals and a population that is not severely fragmented would likely qualify the species to be downlisted to Vulnerable under Criterion C2a(i). The species is apparently doing well in forest fragments and adapting to urban areas (B. Hennessey in litt. 2016) – is there a quantified estimate of the current population trend? If the population trend is quantified and found to be in a continuing decline of 10% in three generations and the population is <10,000 mature individuals then the species would also warrant Vulnerable status under C1. Comments on the proposed downlisting are welcome.

 

References:

MMA (2014) Lista Nacional Oficial de Espécies da Fauna Ameaçadas de Extinção. Portaria No 444, de 17 de dezembro de 2014. Diário Oficial da União – Seção 1. Nº 245, quinta-feira, 18 de dezembro de 2014.

This entry was posted in Archive, South America and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Archived 2017 topics: Forbes’s Blackbird (Anumara forbesi): downlist from Endangered to Vulnerable?

  1. James Westrip (BirdLife) says:

    Based on available information, our proposal for the 2016 Red List would be to pend the decision on this species and keep this discussion open until 2017, while leaving the current Red List category unchanged in the 2016 update.

    Final 2016 Red List categories will be published on the BirdLife and IUCN websites in early December, following further checking of information relevant to the assessments by both BirdLife and IUCN.

  2. Bret Whitney says:

    As far as I know, there are no “populations” of this species numbering close to 1000 individuals (maybe near Pedra Talhada, AL, I don’t know). It is indeed highly fragmented, having lost almost all of its original, wood/scrub marshland habitat, mostly to production of sugar cane. The bird manages to persist, precariously, in scraps of “habitat”, which is often just a bit of brush/Cecropia-dominated second-growth bordering ditches near the edges of large sugar cane plantations. In such situations, a few pairs of birds may be found regularly — which I suspect contributes to some observers suggesting that it may be doing better than previously thought. However, the present situation is unhealthy and non-sustainable for the species. Furthermore, it occurs in few protected areas, the vast majority of individuals persisting under the above-described conditions. In my opinion, Forbes’s Blackbird is in very serious trouble, even as it manages to hang on in small, scattered numbers, in highly disturbed settings.

  3. Hannah Wheatley (BirdLife) says:

    Preliminary proposals

    Based on available information, our preliminary proposal for the 2017 Red List would be to list Anumara forbesi as EN under criterion B2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v).

    There is now a period for further comments until the final deadline of 4 August, after which the recommended categorisations will be put forward to IUCN.

    Please note that we will then only post final recommended categorisations on forum discussions where these differ from the initial proposal.

    The final 2017 Red List categories will be published on the BirdLife and IUCN websites in early December, following further checking of information relevant to the assessments by both BirdLife and IUCN.

Comments are closed.