Selasphorus ardens


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Selasphorus ardens
Species Authority: Salvin, 1870
Common Name(s):
English Glow-throated Hummingbird
Spanish Colibrí Ardiente

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered C2a(i,ii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2013-11-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S.
Contributor(s): Angehr, G. & Porteous, B.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Isherwood, I., Sharpe, C J & Taylor, J.
This species has been uplisted from Vulnerable because of a re-assessment of its subpopulation structure that indicates it is more susceptible to extinction than previously thought. It is listed as Endangered on the basis that its declining population is very small and forms a single subpopulation.

2012 Vulnerable

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Selasphorus ardens is restricted to west and central Panama in the Serranía de Tabasará (eastern Chiriquí and Veraguas provinces) and possibly the highlands of the Azuero Peninsula. In Chiriquí, it has been recorded on Cerro Flores and Cerro Colorado (adjacent peaks in the Cerro Santiago massif), but recently only from Cerro Colorado (Ridgely and Gwynne 1989, Wege and Long 1995, Montañez 1999). In Veraguas, there are records from Cerro Tute (a few sightings in the 1980s), Calovévora (presumably Pico Calovevora just north of Santa Fe) and an unnamed locality (possibly Santa Fe itself) in the Santa Fe area (Stiles 1983). It is poorly known, seemingly uncommon and difficult to locate, perhaps increasingly so (W. Porteous in litt. 1999), but this may be confounded by seasonal migrations (G. Angehr in litt. 2007). In 1994, Selasphorus hummingbirds were mist-netted and a specimen taken on Cerro Hoya, in the Azuero Peninsula, Los Santos (Engleman 1994). These records probably refer to this species, but there is some doubt concerning their identification (Engleman 1994, G. R. Angehr in litt. 1998, 1999).

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

Population [top]

Population: The population is estimated to number 250-999 mature individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. This estimate is equivalent to 375-1,499 individuals in total, rounded here to 350-1,500 individuals.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is found mainly in shrubby growth in clearings and forest borders at elevations of 750-1,850 m. It is not thought able to persist in areas where forest has been completely cleared (G. Angehr in litt. 2013).

Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Although the species can survive in disturbed and secondary forest, it probably cannot if the forest is completely removed for pasture (G. Angehr in litt. 2013). Forest in eastern Chiriquí is becoming fragmented, and the Serranía de Tabasará is generally threatened by subsistence agriculture, clearance for coffee plantations, cattle-grazing, over-use of pesticides and fires (Alvarez-Cordero et al. 1994, G. Angehr in litt. 2007). Deforestation for subsistence agriculture is severely affecting the core of the species's range in the area of Cerro Santiago (G. Angehr in litt. 2007, G. Angehr in litt. 2013).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. Santa Fe National Park was established in 2001 and protects part of the species's range, but it still has inadequate staff and resources (G. Angehr in litt. 2007). The Panama Audubon Society has opened discussions with communities in the Ngobe-Bugle Comarca (Indigenous Homeland) with regard to protection of the region of Cerro Santiago (G. Angehr in litt. 2007). Cerro Hoya National Park protects the possible population on the Azuero Peninsula (Wege and Long 1995, Angehr and Jordán 1998).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey to clarify its actual distribution and abundance. Study its habitat requirements. Determine the identity of the birds on the Azuero Peninsula. Monitor rates of habitat loss and degradation within its range. Establish a protected area around Cerro Santiago and neighbouring peaks (G. Angehr in litt. 2007).

Citation: BirdLife International 2013. Selasphorus ardens. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 31 August 2015.
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