|Scientific Name:||Nesospiza questi|
|Species Authority:||P.R. Lowe, 1923|
|Taxonomic Notes:||Nesospiza acunhae (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993) has been split into N. acunhae (Inaccessible Island) and N. questi (Nightingale Island), while subspecies N. wilkinsi dunnei (Inaccessible Island) has been transferred to N. acunhae following Ryan et al. (2007) and Ryan (2008) who provide compelling phylogenetic evidence for this arrangement and point out the morphological and vocal differences supporting the treatment of paraphyletic forms questi and acunhae as species.|
|Red List Category & Criteria:||Vulnerable D2 ver 3.1|
|Reviewer/s:||Butchart, S. & Taylor, J.|
|Contributor/s:||Cooper, J. & Ryan, P.|
Although this species is abundant within its extremely small range and is not currently thought to be declining, the potential arrival of invasive species on Nightingale Island could lead to extremely rapid declines such that the species could become Critically Endangered or Extinct within a short time period (as has happened to Nesospiza acunhae on Tristan da Cunha). It is consequently classified as Vulnerable.
|Range Description:||Nesospiza questi occurs on Nightingale Island, and the smaller nearby Middle and Stoltenhoff Islands, Tristan da Cunha (St Helena to UK), in the South Atlantic Ocean (Ryan 2008). Numbers on Middle and Stoltenhoff are unlikely to exceed 500 pairs (Ryan 1992). The population on Nightingale Island is likely to be c.4,000 pairs (Ryan 2008).|
Native:Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
|Population:||Whilst numbers on Middle and Stoltenhoff are unlikely to exceed 500 pairs, the population on Nightingale island is likely to be c.4,000 pairs, giving an overall estimate of 9,000 mature individuals, roughly equating to 13,000-14,000 individuals in total.|
|Habitat and Ecology:||This species is abundant throughout Nightingale and fairly common on the adjacent islets, from the rocky shoreline to the highest peaks, but is most abundant in tussock grassland and Scirpus-domianted areas in the centre of Nightingale Island (del Hoyo et al. 2011, P. G. Ryan in litt. 2012). Breeding is poorly-known but takes place from November-January and the nest is an open cup built low down in dense sedge or grasses (del Hoyo et al. 2011). The diet consists mainly of seeds and berries, but also some invertebrates (del Hoyo et al. 2011).|
Visits to Nightingale can now be made by islanders via at least two RIBS as well as the fishery patrol vessel and the crayfish vessel operating in Tristan waters (P. G. Ryan in litt. 2012). This species is thus permanently at risk from the accidental introduction of mammalian predators which could prey on eggs, chicks and nesting birds.
Conservation Actions Underway
No specific conservation action is known for this species. Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys to obtain an up-to-date population estimate. Carry out regular surveys to monitor population trends. Minimise the risk of introduction of exotic animal or plant taxa, including soil pathogens that could affect important plant species, by strict controls on visits, and promoting awareness of the dangers of inter-island transfers (P. G. Ryan in litt. 2012).
|Citation:||BirdLife International 2012. Nesospiza questi. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 21 May 2013.|
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