Justification of Red List Category
Based on a model of deforestation in the Amazon basin, and the potential susceptibility of this newly split species to hunting, it is suspected that its population will decline very rapidly over three generations from 2002, and it is therefore listed as Endangered.
The global population size has not been quantified, but this species is described as 'fairly common' (Stotz et al. 1996).
This species is suspected to lose 30.2-40.5% of suitable habitat within its distribution over three generations (24 years) from 2002, based on a model of Amazonian deforestation (Soares-Filho et al. 2006, Bird et al. 2011). Given the susceptibility of the species to hunting and trapping, and the fact that it is intolerant of habitat degradation and small fragments, its population is suspected to decline by 50-79% over this time period.
Pionites leucogaster is distributed from the Rio Madeira to Maranhão, Brazil, and is characterised as common across most of its range (del Hoyo et al. 1997).
This species occurs along watercourses in lowland tropical rainforest. It preferentially occurs in várzea (seasonally flooded forest), although it is also found in terra firme forest (with no flooding). In the east of its range it is known to breed in January; the nest is made in a tree hollow c.30 m above the ground (del Hoyo et al. 1997).
The primary threat to this species is accelerating rates of deforestation in the Amazon basin (Soares-Filho et al. 2006, Bird et al. 2011). Proposed changes to the Brazilian Forest Code reduce the percentage of land a private landowner is legally required to maintain as forest (including, critically, a reduction in the width of forest buffers alongside perennial steams) and include an amnesty for landowners who deforested before July 2008 (who would subsequently be absolved of the need to reforest illegally cleared land) (Bird et al. 2011). Despite being common in undisturbed landscapes, this species is not thought to be tolerant of secondary forest or agropastoral land and appears restricted to alluvial habitats. It may also be susceptible to hunting (A. Lees in litt. 2011).
Conservation Actions Underway
No targeted conservation actions are known for this species.
Conservation Actions Proposed
Expand the protected area network to effectively protect IBAs. Effectively resource and manage existing and new protected areas, utilising emerging opportunities to finance protected area management with the joint aims of reducing carbon emissions and maximizing biodiversity conservation. Conservation on private lands, through expanding market pressures for sound land management and preventing forest clearance on lands unsuitable for agriculture, is also essential (Soares-Filho et al. 2006). Campaign against proposed changes to the Brazilian Forest Code that would lead to a decrease in the width of the areas of riverine forest protected as Permanent Preservation Areas (APPs), which function as vital corridors in fragmented landscapes.
Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Khwaja, N., Symes, A., Taylor, J., Sharpe, C J
BirdLife International (2019) Species factsheet: Pionites leucogaster. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 18/11/2019. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2019) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 18/11/2019.