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 Protea Canary: http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/species/factsheet/22720283
Crithagra leucoptera is endemic to the mountain Fynbos of South Africa, in the Western and Eastern Cape Provinces (Taylor et al. 2015). The population is estimated at 395,257-831,202 individuals (Taylor et al. 2015), and is believed to have undergone a range and reporting rate decline of 32% between Southern African Bird Atlas Projects (SABAPs) (Lee and Barnard 2015), although this may be an over estimate because the species is likely under-reported. The time between SABAPs is greater than the 3 generation period, and so it is not believed to attain the 30% decline threshold required to be classed as Vulnerable. Additionally, later data suggest that the range decline may only be 24% (11% decline in core range; Lee et al. in press). Therefore, following the 2015 Eskom Red Data Book of Birds of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland (Taylor et al. 2015) we suggest that this species be uplisted to Near Threatened because it is suspected to be in decline approaching but not reaching the 30% threshold for listing as Vulnerable under criterion A2c+3c+4c.
We welcome any comments or further information.
Lee, A. T. K.; Barnard, P. 2015. Endemic birds of the Fynbos biome: a conservation assessment and impacts of climate change. Bird Conservation International, 26: 52-68
Lee, A.; Barnard, P.; Altwegg, R. (in press) Estimating conservation metrics from atlas data: the case of southern African endemic birds. Bird Conservation International.
Taylor, M. R.; Peacock, F.; Wanless, R. M. 2015. The 2015 Eskom Red Data Book of Birds of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. BirdLife South Africa, Johannesburg.