Justification of Red List Category
This species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (extent of occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend is suspected to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). Therefore, the species is now listed as Least Concern.
The global population size has not been quantified, but it is commonly sighted on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (C. Sivaperuman in litt. 2016) and has been described as not uncommon, although very poorly known (del Hoyo et al. 1997).
There are no data on population trends, but the species is suspected to be in decline owing to habitat degradation and hunting.
Macropygia rufipennis is endemic to the Andaman and Nicobar (Nancowry subgroup and Great Nicobar) archipelagos, India, where it is locally frequent (C. Sivaperuman in litt. 2016).
It frequents dense broadleaved primary and secondary evergreen forest, tolerating some degree of habitat degradation, and occurring in adjacent secondary growth, gardens and clearings (Gibbs et al. 2001. The species is frugivorous and takes a variety of fruits and berries, including those of Vitis species, and in some areas is said to feed almost exclusively on bird's-eye chillies (Gibbs et al. 2001).
While forest remains fairly extensive on the Andamans and Nicobars, the human population on larger islands is rising rapidly and habitat is consequently under pressure from agriculture, grazing and logging. Hunting is also apparently common on the islands, possibly affecting this species, and planned development projects on the Nicobars could seriously affect its habitat.
Conservation Actions Underway
The Department of Environment and Forests, Andaman & Nicobar Islands has initiated steps to conserve the endemic and threatened bird species of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the Zoological Survey of India is monitoring the bird population of this archipelago (C. Sivaperuman in litt. 2016).
Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey to assess population size, as well as habitat and ecology parameters (C. Sivaperuman in litt. 2016). Regularly monitor to determine population trends. Investigate its tolerance of degraded forest and the extent of hunting by local residents. Control hunting where possible, perhaps using awareness campaigns. Protect significant areas of intact forest on a number of islands across its range.
Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Mahood, S., Westrip, J., Taylor, J.
Praveen, J., Sivaperuman, C.
BirdLife International (2019) Species factsheet: Macropygia rufipennis. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/04/2019. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2019) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/04/2019.