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Phylloscartes roquettei

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA AVES PASSERIFORMES TYRANNIDAE

Scientific Name: Phylloscartes roquettei
Species Authority: Snethlage, 1928
Common Name(s):
English Minas Gerais Tyrannulet

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered A2c+3c+4c ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2013-11-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S.
Contributor(s): Coelho, A., De Luca, A., Diniz, M., Lopes, L., Luiz, É. & Ribon, R.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Bird, J., Butchart, S., Capper, D., Pople, R., Sharpe, C J & Symes, A.
Justification:
This species is classified as Endangered because habitat loss and degradation driven by a number of processes are suspected to be causing very rapid ongoing population declines.

History:
2012 Endangered

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Phylloscartes roquettei is known from the São Francisco and Jequitinhonha valleys, in north and central Minas Gerais, east-central Brazil. The type-specimen was collected in July 1926 near Januária, now Brejo de Amparo, and birds were seen again in 1977 on both sides of the rio São Francisco (Willis and Oniki 1991). Searches in 1985, 1986 and 1987 were unsuccessful, but the species was located at Várzea da Palma, near Pirapora (c.190 km south of the type-locality) in 1993 and found to be very rare at the site in 1998, 1999, 2002 and 2005 (Raposo et al. 2002; de Vasconcelos et al. 2006; Kirwan et al. 2004). A male specimen was taken at Francisco Dumont (c.250 km south of the type-locality) in 1995 (Raposo et al. 2002). An overlooked specimen taken in 1990 at the Fazenda Cana Brava along the rio Pardo Grande has recently come to light (de Vasconcelos et al. 2008). It was recorded at the Projeto Jaíba, Mocambinho in September 1996. Recent surveys discovered the species at several new localities along the São Francisco river valley (Lopes et al. 2008) and from the Jequitinhonha river basin (Luiz et al. 2006). These new records increased the known extent of occurrence to 33,500 km2  (Lopes et al. 2008). Conjecture that the species may occur in contiguous habitat in south-west Bahia (de Vasconcelos et al. 2006) was confirmed by dos Santos et al. (2009) who describe five new localities within the state; nesting has also been documented (Albano 2009). There appears to be suitable habitat to the northeast and north-northwest of its current distribution (Marini et al. 2010). The population size has not been assessed; the only previous estimate was based on extrapolation across the known range at the time of just 50 km2, given the revised EOO the population is unlikely to be small. Similarly population trends have not been assessed, but there are a number of severe threats to cerrado habitats within the species's range that suggest a rapid decline is likely.

Countries:
Native:
Brazil
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: No empirical data is available, however, despite it apparent low population density and ongoing habitat degradation and fragmentation within the species's range, an extensive area of potentially suitable habitat remains that suggests the previous population estimate of 50-250 individuals needed revision. It is instead estimated to number 2,500-9,999 individuals, equating to 1,667-6,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 1,500-7,000 mature individuals.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The species has been recorded in dry forest, riparian forest and semi-deciduous forest within the cerrado including in secondary growth and forest fragments (Lopes et al. 2008). In the dry season of 1977, it was almost always observed in pairs, 10-20 m up in the few green trees and bushes (Willis and Oniki 1991). Birds occasionally also descended to the green cotton Gossypium bushes of a plantation (Willis and Oniki 1991). In both dry and gallery forests, it appears to prefer the upper branches of taller, emergent trees, where it sallies for insect prey (Raposo et al. 2002). Nest building has been observed in October (Kirwan et al. 2004, Albano 2009), and presumed incubation in November, with a fledgling in December (Albano 2009). It occurs at low densities and can be difficult to detect, even at known sites. Its ability to disperse is unknown; given that cerrado habitats are under threat and increasingly fragmented, it is likely that many populations are increasingly isolated.

Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Its habitat is probably the most threatened in central Brazil owing to its valuable aroeira Astronium urundeuva wood and relatively fertile soils. Charcoal-burners were fully active at the type-locality in 1986, where there was also extensive forest cutting for pasture and agricultural development. The São Francisco basin is also threatened by limestone quarrying and a large-scale irrigation project that has already resulted in the loss of large areas of forest (Raposo et al. 2002). Cattle ranching has resulted in forest clearance across large parts of the state of Minas Gerais within its range (Lopes et al. 2008). These same threats are impacting upon recently discovered locations and are exacerbated when remaining forest is highly fragmented (Lopes et al. 2008).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
It is protected under Brazilian law but no other measures have been taken. There is a record from Cavernas do Peruaçu National Park (Raposo et al. 2002). Considerable survey effort has occurred within the species range resulting in a revised conservation status assessment and improved knowledge of the species's range and requirements.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Continue survey work to improve knowledge of the species's range. Urgently protect the known area near Pirapora, as well as other suitable habitat patches. Conduct an environmental awareness campaign directed at landowners, local communities and schools. Reinforce the protection of the region's gallery forests (Raposo et al. 2002).


Citation: BirdLife International 2013. Phylloscartes roquettei. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 01 October 2014.
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