Justification of Red List Category
This species is classified as Near Threatened because it is continuing to undergo a moderately rapid population reduction owing to hunting pressure and habitat loss. It is still locally common in certain areas and, with proper protection, would be much more abundant over its wide range.
The global population has been estimated to number 10,000-25,000 mature individuals based on the result of discussions on BirdLife's Globally Threatened Birds Forum.
The species is suspected to be declining at a slow to moderate rate, owing primarily to hunting pressure and probably the conversion of suitable habitat for agriculture in parts of its range (C. Sharpe in litt. 2010).
Neochen jubata remains relatively widespread in South America east of the Andes, from east Colombia and Venezuela (where taken together there are probably 5,000-10,000 individuals [T. McNish in litt. 2007]), Ecuador (previously thought to just be a vagrant (Ridgely et al. 1998), but a small population of 20-30 now known from the Rio Pastaza area), Guyana, Suriname (no recent records and may never have been more than a vagrant [K. Kreise in litt. 2004]), south through Amazonian Brazil (where there are thought to be 2,000-4,000 individuals in the Cantão and Bananal Island region alone [R. Pinheiro in litt. 2007]), extreme east Peru (relatively common [Clements in prep.]), Bolivia (perhaps a few thousand pairs [J. Tobias in litt. 2007]) and west Paraguay (two records, in 1990 and 1992 [Hayes 1995]) to extreme north-west Argentina (either very scarce there now or just a vagrant) (Carboneras 1992a),. Clear declines have been noted in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Argentina (Callaghan in prep.), and although the population was once estimated at c.25,000-100,000 individuals (P. Canevari in litt. 1993) it is now more likely to be 10,000-25,000 (K. Kreise in litt. 2004). Its strongholds appear to be the extensive, sparsely inhabited area of lakes, marshland and seasonally flooded savannas in north Beni, Bolivia, where flocks of up to 250 were observed in the early 1980s (Scott and Carbonell 1986, Ridgely et al. 1998), the Isla Bananal, Brazil (C. Yamashita verbally 2000) and the Colombian and Venezuelan llanos. It is becoming increasing localised over much of its range and is now scarce, except in remote or protected areas (Carboneras 1992a).
It inhabits forest-covered banks of tropical rivers and damp clearings, wet savannas and muddy and sandy margins of large freshwater wetlands, from lowlands to 500 m (Carboneras 1992a), occasionally to 2,600 m (Hilty and Brown 1986).
The current decline is attributed to heavy and continuing hunting pressure (Carboneras 1992a); although availability of foraging habitat may limit numbers locally, the abundance of the species on certain private reserves where it is well protected indicate that hunting is the primary reason for its decline. In Venezuela, conversion of former private reserves for rice production may threaten previously well-protected populations of the species (C. J. Sharpe in litt. 2010).
Conservation Actions Underway
It occurs in a number of private and public protected areas.
Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Bird, J., Capper, D., Clay, R., Isherwood, I., Mahood, S., Pilgrim, J., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A.
Davenport, L., McNish, T., Tobias, J., Díaz, D., Dornas, T., Kriese, K., Guevara Torres, D., Clay, R.P., Lebbin, D., Di Giácomo, S., Sharpe, C J, Hesse, C., Hennessey, A., Pracontal, N., Pinheiro, R.
BirdLife International (2021) Species factsheet: Neochen jubata. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 17/10/2021. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2021) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 17/10/2021.