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#308 Gorgeted Puffleg

Critically Endangered

These hummingbirds were only discovered in 2005, and then declared a species in 2007. The first survey seems to have then been done in 2009 at which point they were declared critically endangered. They are endemic to one location in a forest on the mountains of Columbia. Their biggest risk is from the forest being destroyed to make room for cocoa production. There doesn't seem to be much known about them other than what is assumed based on knowledge of other pufflegs.

While I was looking up all the critically endangered or extinct hummingbirds I noticed that the Black-breasted Puffleg that I painted back on August 18th is now listed as endangered. The survey was done on August 6th, 2020, but they do not post the results for quite some time, so it would have been long after I'd done the painting. I'm confused as to why they have been upgraded to be honest. The information says that they still have a declining population, and say they have 100-150 adult birds. By comparison, the Gorgeted is said to have probably 600 mature birds. The Black-breasted was declared critically endangered in 1994 and in the next 10 surveys they retained that classification. If their numbers are so low and they are still going down, I definitely find it surprising that they felt it was ok to upgrade them. I mean my hope for all of the animals I paint is for the extinct ones to be found again and the critically endangered ones to be classified as least concern. That said though, I do not feel comfortable with an animal being upgraded when it looks as if the risk is still as great and their numbers are still so low. Hopefully they have just not updated the information as to the population numbers.

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