Crithagra leucoptera 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Fringillidae

Scientific Name: Crithagra leucoptera Sharpe, 1871
Common Name(s):
English Protea Canary, White-winged Seedeater
French Serin des protéas
Serinus leucopterus (Sharpe, 1871)
Taxonomic Source(s): del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A., Fishpool, L.D.C., Boesman, P. and Kirwan, G.M. 2016. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 2: Passerines. Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.
Taxonomic Notes:

Crithagra leucoptera (del Hoyo and Collar 2016) was previously placed in the genus Serinus and listed as S. leucopterus following Dowsett & Forbes-Watson (1993); Sibley & Monroe (1990, 1993).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2017-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Symes, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Westrip, J.
There have been moderately rapid declines in range and reporting rates of this species based on data from Southern African Bird Atlas Projects, and these declines may continue into the future. The rate of decline is not thought to meet the threshold for Vulnerable, but it is precautionarily considered to approach this threshold and hence the species is listed as Near Threatened.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Crithagra leucoptera is endemic to the mountain Fynbos of South Africa, in the Western and Eastern Cape Provinces (Taylor et al. 2015). The species breeds in mature Fynbos, but can be seen readily in areas that have been recently burnt as a result of the release of seeds (Taylor et al. 2015).
Countries occurrence:
South Africa
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:136000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):YesExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:No
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Lee and Barnard (2015) estimate the population at 395,257-831,202 individuals. This roughly equates to 263,500-554,130 mature individuals, placed here in the range 250,000-600,000 mature individuals.

Trend Justification:  The species is thought to be undergoing a moderately rapid decline, as implied by range and reporting rate reductions between Southern African Bird Atlas Projects (SABAP). Lee and Barnard (2015) place the range and reporting rate reduction between SABAPs (SABAP1 1987-1992; SABAP2 2007-ongoing) as 32%, though Lee et al. (2017) place the range decline at 24%. The time between SABAPs is also greater than the 3 generation period for this species (11.4 years), and it has also been suggested that the species may be under-reported in SABAPs (see Taylor et al. 2015). Therefore, the rate of decline is assessed as being <30% over 3 generations, but it is suspected to approach this rate. Given that climate change may be having a particular impact on this species, this decline is suspected to continue into the future.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:250000-600000Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The species is predominantly found in mature Fynbos, but can be found in large numbers in areas of recent burning as a result of seed release by Protea species (Lee and Barnard 2014). The species may also be found in other habitats such as tall shrubs, semi-arid scrub and woodland patches (Clement and Sharpe 2017).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):3.8
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Recent declines are unlikely to have been driven by agriculture expansion, as most arable land in this species's habitat having already been converted before the start of the first Southern African Bird Atlas Project (see Lee and Barnard 2015). The main threat to this species is considered to be climate change (see Huntley and Barnard 2012, Lee and Barnard 2015, Taylor et al. 2015). Climate change will not only impact upon the temperature and rainfall regime in this species's range (temperatures in South Africa have been reported to be rising [van Wilgen et al. 2016]), but it could also have a significant impact on burning cycles, with subsequent impacts on the growth of mature Fynbos vegetation (such as Protea) (see Taylor et al. 2015). The spread of alien vegetation within the Fynbos biome may be another threat (Lee and Barnard 2015).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
This species occurs in several protected areas. There is a programme underway that is tackling invasive vegetation in the Fynbos biome (Working for Water) (Turpie et al. 2008).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct targeted repeat surveys to better understand population dynamics and ecology. Attempt to assess and implement the most appropriate burning regimes that allow for the required release of food resources for the species, while maintaining sufficient breeding habitat (Taylor et al. 2015). Continue work to remove invasive vegetation from the Fynbos biome (Taylor et al. 2015).

Citation: BirdLife International. 2017. Crithagra leucoptera. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T22720283A118562907. . Downloaded on 23 May 2018.
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