Archived 2017 topics: White-collared Kite (Leptodon forbesi): downlist from Critically Endangered to Endangered?

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 White-collared Kite

White-collared Kite is endemic to north-east Brazil, where it has been recorded in Paraíba, Pernambuco, Alagoas and Sergipe. It inhabits Atlantic coastal rainforest (Bierregaard et al., 2016).

The species is listed as Critically Endangered under C2a(i). It has an extremely small known population and is found in areas where habitat loss is continuing rapidly.  Recent survey work in Alagoas and Pernambuco recorded 21 pairs and roughly estimated a total population of c.50 pairs or 100 mature individuals (F.V. Dénes in litt. 2007). The overall population is placed in the band 50-249 mature individuals. Forest cover has been reduced to less than 1% of its former distribution within this species’s range. The largest remaining forest fragments in Pernambuco and Alagoas are 45 km2 and 30 km2 respectively, suggesting the species is in a precarious position. Despite the threat of habitat loss, recent records (Dénes 2009) suggest that the species’s range has previously been underestimated.

In the Brazilian Red List assessment for birds (MMA 2014) this species is listed as Endangered under C2a(ii). The population is estimated at no more than 2,500 mature individuals with 95-100% of the individuals in one subpopulation. The population is estimated to be in continuing decline owing to habitat loss. The species’s assessment on the Brazilian Red List can be accessed here.

Up-to-date information is requested on the species’s population size and subpopulation structure. Is the population now best estimated to number >250 mature individuals but <2,500 mature individuals? Confirmation that 95-100% of mature individuals are found in one subpopulation and information on numbers in each subpopulation is also sought. Should this larger population estimate be confirmed it would likely qualify the species for Endangered globally either under criterion C2a(i) if the number of mature individuals in each subpopulation is <250 or C2a(ii) if 95-100% of mature individuals are found in each subpopulation. Comments on the proposed downlisting are welcome.
References:

Bierregaard, R.O., Jr, Christie, D.A., Kirwan, G.M. & Sharpe, C.J. (2016). White-collared Kite (Leptodon forbesi). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.

Dénes, F. V., Silveira, L. F. Seipke, S. Thorstrom, R. Clark, W. S, and Thiollay J.-M. 2011. The White-collared Kite (Leptodon forbesi Swann, 1922) and a Review of the Taxonomy of the Grey-headed Kite (Leptodon cayanensis Latham, 1790). Wilson Journal of Ornithology 123(2): 323-331.

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.

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3 Responses to Archived 2017 topics: White-collared Kite (Leptodon forbesi): downlist from Critically Endangered to Endangered?

  1. Alexander Lees says:

    from our paper: http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?pid=S0031-10492014001400001&script=sci_arttext&tlng=es

    Considered one of the world’s most threatened raptors, this species was recently “rediscovered” (Pereira et al., 2006; Dénes et al., 2011), when recorded from 12 localities in the states of Alagoas and Pernambuco (Seipke et al., 2011). This species was considered a PCE endemic, but there is now a single recent record south of the São Francisco river in Sergipe outside of the PCE which may be a vagrant individual – perhaps unsurprising as a river is unlikely to form a major barrier for a large soaring forest raptor. We recorded this species from another 16 sites in Pernambuco, Alagoas and Paraíba states (Table 2). This series of new records (including the first for the state of Paraíba) suggests that this species is more widespread in the PCE than formerly thought. The persistence of some individuals in small and degraded forest fragments (and likely an ability to move between different forest patches) coupled with an apparent absence of hunting pressure, suggest a degree of resilience to land-use change in the region, although quantitative studies should be undertaken to assess this assumption. Nevertheless, we suggest that this species also ought to be the target of a captive breeding program given the relative ease at which raptors can be maintained and bred in captivity.

  2. 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.

  3. Hannah Wheatley (BirdLife) says:

    Preliminary proposals

    Based on available information, our preliminary proposal for the 2017 Red List would be to adopt the proposed classifications outlined in the initial forum discussion.

    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 those in 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.