Status of the Ibera Seedeater Sporophila iberaensis
Paraguayan records of the recently described Ibera Seedeater Sporophila iberaensis are compiled and reviewed. Observations of birds identifiable to this species in Paraguay date from at least 1998, with the first photographic documentation in December 2004. The species has now been recorded at a minimum of 11 localities in the departments of Cordillera, Itapúa, Misiones, San Pedro and Presidente Hayes. The first two records of the species from Brazil (both from Mato Grosso do Sul) are also listed. Most Paraguayan records are of singing males, and breeding has been documented (a pair feeding fledglings) at one locality in Cordillera department, significantly expanding the known breeding range of the species. At least three localities appear to hold small populations (observations of multiple territorial males and/or pairs). In Paraguay, as in Argentina, the species appears to prefer wet tall grasslands bordering wetland areas. Its preference for tall grasslands makes the species particularly susceptible to habitat loss and degradation through overgrazing, frequent burning, and conversion to agriculture. These threats are all present at the principal localities for the species in the country. A reassessment of the species global conservation status taking into consideration the Paraguayan range and population suggests that it may best be treated as “Vulnerable”.
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