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HBW Alive Newsletter
Nº16, October 2015

Status and conservation of all Critically Endangered species updated

Our knowledge of the world's birds is increasing exponentially, and an electronic resource that can be continuously updated, like HBW Alive, is the ideal way to assimilate and present new information. By its very nature the Status and conservation section of HBW Alive is the text that changes and becomes obsolete most rapidly: not only are we learning ever more about the true status of each species, but their individual situations and prospects are also in constant flux. Over the past two years we have made a concerted effort to address this by focussing particular attention on the Status and conservation texts for the world's most threatened species, as well as those species whose conservation status has changed markedly since the publication of their respective HBW volume. During this time we have completed updates of all Critically Endangered species on HBW Alive. We currently recognise 208 Critically Endangered species (including 14 Possibly Extinct). The Status and conservation sections for all these species now incorporates information from the latest IUCN Red List (compiled by BirdLife International, the official IUCN Red List Authority), supplemented with data from more recent publications. As a consequence, many of the HBW Alive accounts currently provide the most up-to-date and accurate single source of information available on the conservation status of these birds, and will doubtless assist BirdLife in their comprehensive 2016 Red List update. Indeed, just as HBW Alive cites BirdLife International as its major source for information on status, recent BirdLife Forums and Factsheets now regularly reference individual HBW accounts. We now endeavour to keep information on Critically Endangered species up-to-date as new information is published and rediscoveries are made, like those involving Australia's Night Parrot (Pezoporus occidentalis), the Solomon Islands' Guadalcanal Moustached Kingfisher (Actenoides excelsus) or Colombia's Blue-bearded Helmetcrest (Oxypogon cyanolaemus).

While this update of Critically Endangered process has been carried out, several major new regional Red Lists have been published. In June of this year the European Red List of Birds was launched, the effort of a consortium of bird conservation organisations coordinated by BirdLife International under the auspices of the European Commission. We are gradually working through the list of European species, many of whose conservation status has deteriorated dramatically in recent decades; 20 of these have been updated so far. At the same time, we are adding in information from the growing number of national Red Lists, the recently published Volume 1 of the Red Data Book of Colombian Birds being just one example.

In parallel, several taxonomic groups have been singled out for priority treatment, often because significant monographs have been published. For example, looking at some major Neotropical families, all members of the Tinamous (Tinamidae) and Cracids (Cracidae) have now been updated, together with all threatened Cotingas (Cotingidae).

What next? We will continue to work through the most threatened species, with the 418 Endangered species next on the to-do list. Species with older information will be updated at the same time, and we will continue to respond as quickly as possible to new information sources. In 2016, BirdLife International will be carrying out its four-yearly re-evaluation of the conservation status of the world's birds, a process which will certainly lead to multiple changes in IUCN Red List category, which will subsequently be incorporated in HBW Alive. So, there is plenty for us to do to keep up with the changing fortunes of the world's birds!

Chris Sharpe
Editor, HBW Alive
News on Birds
Ornithological News
Hume’s Owl
A new paper confirmed the existence of two species of Strix owls in the deserts of Arabia and nearby regions: Desert Tawny Owl (Strix hadorami) and Hume’s Owl (Strix butleri). The paper also proved the presence of Hume’s Owl in Iran, providing the first confirmation that this species still exists outside the Arabian Peninsula.
Other highlighted news:
  • A recent study of Eurasian Spoonbills (Platalea leucorodia) breeding in The Netherlands that migrate different distances (France, Iberia and Mauritania) has shown that mortality during spring migration increases with distance travelled.
Clarke’s Weaver
  • The first breeding colony of Clarke’s Weaver (Ploceus golandi), an Endangered species known only to occur in the vicinity of Malindi, coastal Kenya, was located in spring 2013 in the Dakatcha Woodlands. The breeding cycle was apparently completed within a month since adults were seen displaying and nest-building on 23 March and the colony was already abandoned by 19 April

First Country Reports

Pearly-breasted Cuckoo
Pearly-breasted Cuckoo (Coccyzus euleri), two birds photographed on 25th July 2014 at the Río Mono Bridge, is the first modern record for Panama and North America. The species was only recorded previously by a specimen obtained at Sombrero Island in 1863. Moreover the observers discovered these birds were actively breeding, with the adults feeding nestlings on 9th August 2014.
Report photo by Euclides Campos Cedeño.
Buff-breasted Wheatear
Other interesting First Country Reports include Forest Swallow (Petrochelidon fuliginosa) and Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva) in Angola; Buff-breasted Wheatear (Oenanthe bottae) and Short-toed Snake-eagle (Circaetus gallicus) in Somalia; and Violet Woodhoopoe (Phoeniculus damarensis) in Ethiopia.
Report photo by Callan Cohen
Read more   News on Birds   |   First Country Reports
IBC's Video of the Month
Common Eider

Common Eider

(Somateria mollissima)

A male Common Eider (Somateria mollissima) eating a crab that it has just caught.
Hoswick, Mainland, Shetland Islands, Scotland, Great Britain, on 28 May 2015.
© Greg Baker
IBC's Photo of the Month
Matsudaira's Storm-petrel

Matsudaira's Storm-petrel

(Oceanodroma matsudairae)

A Matsudaira's Storm-petrel (Oceanodroma matsudairae) flying over the sea.
Taken in Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, Japan, on 7 May 2015.
© John and Jemi Holmes
IBC's Sound Recording of the Month
Southern Boobook

Southern Boobook

(Ninox boobook)

Territorial call of Southern Boobook (Ninox boobook) subspecies rotiensis, kwown as “Roti Boobook”, very distinct from other subspecies.
Recorded in Roti (Rote), Lesser Sundas, on 10 August 2009.
© Philippe Verbelen
News on HBW Alive
Species with Multimedia Links
West African Pied Hornbill
Currently more than 310 of the “new species” (resulting from splits) have multimedia links incorporated in their species accounts. See what we mean, for example, in the accounts of Wilson's Snipe (Gallinago delicata), West African Pied Hornbill (Lophoceros semifasciatus), Flat-billed Kingfisher (Todiramphus recurvirostris) or Moorea Kingfisher (Todiramphus youngi).
We have added more than 800 multimedia links to the accounts of the 50 Gull species. Explore them!
Podoces species
Chaco Owl
Here are some highlights of species with recently incorporated links: Spotted Wood-quail (Odontophorus guttatus), Chaco Owl (Strix chacoensis), Black-and-chestnut Eagle (Spizaetus isidori), Whitehead's Trogon (Harpactes whiteheadi) and Grey Tit (Parus afer).
HBW Alive Features

States of the USA and the provinces of Canada created as territories in HBW Alive

The Geographic Filter (see upper left-hand corner of the page) is one of HBW Alive’s most powerful tools, as we have explained in previous Newsletters and tutorials (“Geographic Filter” and “More on the Geographic Filter”).
Recently we have created the checklists of all the states of the USA and the provinces of Canada, so now you can filter by one or more of these territories. If you are planning a trip to British Columbia (Canada) and Washington State (USA), by typing those territories in the Geographic Filter box and clicking on “set” only the species present in those localities will be displayed in the Taxonomic Tree. As you can see in the image on the right, only the Orders present in British Columbia and Washington State are shown, and so Struthioniformes, Phoenicopteriformes, Eurypygiformes… disappear from the Taxonomic Tree.
Imagine that you’re interested in knowing which Woodpeckers you might see. In the header menu, click on “Families” and in the “English name” field type and select “Woodpeckers” and click “Apply”. You will be taken to the Picidae family page. If you go to the “Species table” within this family entry, you will find a list of all the Woodpeckers present in British Columbia and Washington State, so now you can explore all the woodpeckers that you might see!

You can also obtain the printable checklist of these two localities with the country status of each locality, which will help you to find out which species you can expect to see wherever you are during the trip.
You have also these new territories in the Geographic Tree (see left-hand vertical bar), so if you are interested in seeing all the species present in Texas, just click on Nearctic, then the folder image close to USA and all the USA states will be displayed; now click on Texas. A new page will be loaded and now you can scroll to see all the species present in Texas, and you will also see the ones that you have already checked.
Get the Most Out of My Birding

New territories from Borneo, New Guinea and Solomon Archipelago

Recently we have created the checklists for several territories that will make it easier to introduce your sightings into the Birdlists for these places, as the species list will be shorter.
The new territories are:
  • From Borneo Island: Kalimantan, Sarawak, Brunei and Sabah.
  • From New Guinea: West Papua and Papua New Guinea.
  • From Solomon Archipelago: North Solomons and Solomon islands.
So if you have been to Bougainville Island and you want to introduce your sightings into a Birdlist, now you can choose North Solomons instead of Solomon Archipelago so that only the species present in Bougainville and Buka Islands will be shown in the species list of the birdlist.
As you can see in the image below, only the Bougainville Rail (Hypotaenidia tertia) is available on the list, but not the Guadalcanal Rail (Hypotaenidia woodfordi) or the Santa Isabel Rail (Hypotaenidia immaculata), endemic rails from the Solomon Archipelago not present in North Solomons.
All these territories are also available in the Geographic Filter and the Geographic Tree, so if you are planning to go to one of these territories, use the filters and select the one you require.
New Publications
Aves mágicas de Bolivia / Magical Birds of Bolivia

Aves mágicas de Bolivia / Magical Birds of Bolivia
By Daniel Alarcón

With 1,430 species of which 17 are endemic, Bolivia is the country with the sixth highest number of bird species in the world.
This book contains photographs, maps and general information that will facilitate the observation of all the endemic birds of Bolivia, most of which are classified as rare or in danger of extinction.
34.00€    .BUY NOW 
Copyright © 2015 Lynx Edicions, All rights reserved.

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