Henicopernis infuscatus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Accipitriformes Accipitridae

Scientific Name: Henicopernis infuscatus Gurney, 1882
Common Name(s):
English Black Honey-buzzard, Black Honey Buzzard, New Britain Honey-buzzard
Spanish Abejero Negro
Henicopernis infuscata ssp. infuscata Gurney, 1882 — Collar and Andrew (1988)
Taxonomic Source(s): del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.
Identification information: 50 cm. Large, heavily barred, forest raptor. Almost black with conspicuous white bands on flight and tail feathers. Usually seen in flight when long tail and long wings with bulging secondaries and broad wing-tips are distinctive. Similar spp. Pacific Baza Aviceda subcristata is smaller and much paler. Voice Piped series of c.12 accelerating, upslurred notes. Hints Usually seen from vantage points overlooking hill or montane forest.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2c; C1+2a(ii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Beehler, B., Bishop, K., Dutson, G., Finch, D., Gregory, P., Pilgrim, J. & Wilkinson, R.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Derhé, M., Dutson, G., Mahood, S., O'Brien, A. & Stattersfield, A.
This species is considered Vulnerable on the basis of a small estimated population which is suspected to have declined rapidly through rapid lowland forest loss, driven partly by development of oil palm plantations. However, rates of forest loss and degradation have slowed in recent years.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Henicopernis infuscatus is a little-known endemic of New Britain (including Lolobau) in Papua New Guinea. As a large raptor, it is believed to occur at low population densities and it appears to be much less common than the allospecific New Guinea Long-tailed Buzzard H. longicauda (B. Finch in litt. 1994, K. D. Bishop in litt. 1994, G. Dutson pers. obs. 1997-1998, P. Gregory in litt. 1999). However, it is an inconspicuous forest species which is probably widespread and is likely to be under-recorded (Dutson 2011).

Countries occurrence:
Papua New Guinea
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:63200
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):YesExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Number of Locations:11-100Continuing decline in number of locations:Yes
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:No
Upper elevation limit (metres):1300
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The population is estimated to number 10,000-19,999 individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size (Buchanan et al. 2008, Davis et al. in prep.). This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. This equates to about 6,000-15,000 mature individuals.

Trend Justification:  Buchanan et al. (2008) calculated the rate of forest loss within the species's range on New Britain as about 19% over three generations (30 years). Less detailed analysis is available for later years but about 2.2% of forest was lost plus 5.2% degraded across New Britain between 2002 and 2014 (Bryan and Shearman 2015). It is inferred that forest loss and degradation has slowed and the species’s rate of decline is now estimated at 10-19% over over three generations (30 years).

Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:6000-15000Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
No. of subpopulations:1Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:Yes
No. of individuals in largest subpopulation:100

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It is usually recorded gliding over primary hill forest to a maximum of 1,300 m (K. D. Bishop in litt. 1994). There are few records from logged or otherwise degraded forest, but its habitat requirements are poorly known (Dutson 2011). Its feeding ecology may be similar to that of H. longicauda which hunts above or within the canopy for arthropods, lizards, birds and birds' eggs (Coates 1985).

Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):10
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Nearly all lowland and hill forests on gentle gradients on New Britain have been logged or are under logging concessions, and large areas have been converted to oil-palm plantations (Buchanan et al. 2008). However, much of this species's habitat is on steep slopes and montane forest which is not suitable for logging (Clay 1994, G. Dutson pers. obs. 1997-1998) and conversion to oil palm plantations has slowed as few remaining areas suitable for new plantations. Forest is also being slowly degraded and lost to subsistence gardens by the growing local population. These striking birds are likely to be shot opportunistically as trophies and for meat (K. D. Bishop in litt. 1994). Hunting has rendered H. longicauda scarce in some areas of New Guinea (Coates 1985).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. No conservation measures are known.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Determine best survey techniques. Survey status in logged forest. Employ local hunters to find nests for intensive observation. Assess levels of hunting through interviewing local hunters. Map remaining forest and logging concessions across New Britain. Lobby for a moratorium on forest clearance for oil-palm plantations. Encourage creation of community-run sustainable logging rather than commercial logging. Work with local land-owners to encourage creation of large wildlife management areas on New Britain.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2016. Henicopernis infuscatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22694980A93482642. . Downloaded on 19 June 2018.
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