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 appears 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 may be moderately small to large, 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). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
The global population size has not been quantified. The species is described as 'fairly common' (Stotz et al. 1996), and it is regularly observed throughout its range (see records on eBird; eBird 2021). Based on the recorded population densities of congeners (Campephilus melanoleucus: 0.5 mature individuals/km2 and Campephilus rubricollis: 2-12 mature individuals/km2 [Santini et al. 2018]), the area of the species's mapped range (c. 125,000 km2), and precautionarily assuming that only around 10% of the range is occupied, the population is estimated to fall within the band 25,000-150,000 mature individuals.
The species is feared to be in slow decline due to loss of forests within the range. Deforestation rates have however been low over the past three generations (16.5 years), amounting to 7% (Global Forest Watch 2021, using Hansen et al.  data and methods disclosed therein). The species readily tolerates secondary and edge habitat (Winkler and Christie 2020). Nevertheless, it appears to require large patches of well-preserved forests nearby and reaches higher densities in forests than in secondary habitats (D. F. Cisneros-Heredia in litt. 2022). Moreover, it is locally hunted in western Ecuador (D. F. Cisneros-Heredia in litt. 2022). It is therefore precautionarily assumed that population declines exceed the rate of forest loss; they are here placed in the band 10-19% over three generations.
Campephilus gayaquilensis is restricted to the west slope of the Andes and adjacent lowlands, from south-west Colombia (Cauca) through west Ecuador to north-west Peru (south to Cajamarca) (Winkler et al. 1995).
The species inhabits dry deciduous and humid forests as well as tall second growth and mangroves (Hilty and Brown 1986). It is able to tolerate a certain degree of habitat degradation and survives well in disturbed, fragmented forest (Winkler and Christie 2020). Nevertheless, it appears to require large patches of well-preserved forests nearby and reaches higher densities in forests than in secondary habitats (D. F. Cisneros-Heredia in litt. 2022). The species occurs from sea-level to 800 m, but is occasionally found higher in the south with records to 1,800 m (Winkler et al. 1995, Jiggins et al. 1999).
Forest in this region is being cleared for agriculture, and goats and cattle graze the understorey of much of the remaining forest, preventing regeneration. Most remaining forest in the region is highly fragmented. Nevertheless, the species appears to tolerate the degradation and fragmentation of its habitat (Winkler and Christie 2020). In western Ecuador, it is locally hunted for food (D. F. Cisneros-Heredia in litt. 2022).
Conservation Actions Underway
In Ecuador, populations occur in Machalilla National Park, Tinalandia Natural Reserve and Cerro Blanco Protected Forest. It is present in Tumbes Natural Reserve and Cerros de Amotape National Park, Peru. The species is listed as Vulnerable at the national level in Ecuador (Freile et al. 2018) and as Near Threatened in Peru (SERFOR 2018).
Conservation Actions Proposed
Quantify the population size. Monitor the population trend. Study its ecology and the ability of small populations to persist in degraded habitats and small, fragmented patches. Effectively manage protected areas where the species occurs.
Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Cisneros-Heredia, D.F., Isherwood, I., Sharpe, C.J. & Symes, A.
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Campephilus gayaquilensis. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org/species/factsheet/guayaquil-woodpecker-campephilus-gayaquilensis on 28/05/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org on 28/05/2023.