Siphonorhis americana 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Caprimulgiformes Caprimulgidae

Scientific Name: Siphonorhis americana
Species Authority: (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common Name(s):
English Jamaican Poorwill, Jamaican Poorwill, Jamaican Paraque
Siphonorhis americanus (Linnaeus, 1758) [orth. error in Collar and Andrew (1988)]
Siphonorhis americanus (Linnaeus, 1758) [orth. error in Collar et al. (1994)]
Siphonorhis americanus (Linnaeus, 1758) [orth. error in BirdLife International (2000)]
Siphonorhis americanus (Linnaeus, 1758) [orth. error in BirdLife International (2004)]
Siphonorhis americanus (Linnaeus, 1758) [orth. error in Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993)]
Siphonorhis americanus (Linnaeus, 1758) [orth. error in Stotz et al. (1996)]
Taxonomic Source(s): del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International.
Taxonomic Notes: Gender agreement of species name follows David and Gosselin (2002b).

Identification information: 24 cm. Small, long-tailed nightjar. Overall mottled dark brown, narrow white chin patch, reddish-brown hindneck, spotted black and white. Long tail (extending well beyond primaries), tipped white in male and narrowly buff in female. Similar spp. Antillean Nighthawk Chordeiles gundlachii is larger with conspicuous white band in wing, flies high with conspicuous call and, when perched, primaries reach tail tip. Chuck-will's-widow Caprimulgus carolinensis is even larger and reddish-brown, with proportionally shorter tail (extends slightly beyond primaries). Voice Unknown.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered () D ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2015-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Levy, C. & Lamoreux, J.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Bird, J., Butchart, S., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A. & Ashpole, J
This species has not been recorded since 1860, and it may have been driven to extinction by introduced mongooses and rats, whose effect may have been exacerbated by habitat destruction. However, it cannot yet be presumed to be Extinct because there have been recent unconfirmed reports, and surveys may possibly have overlooked this nocturnal species. Any remaining population is likely to be tiny, and for these reasons it is treated as Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct).

Date last seen: 1860
Previously published Red List assessments:
2012 Critically Endangered (CR)
2009 Critically Endangered (CR)
2008 Critically Endangered (CR)
2004 Critically Endangered (CR)
2000 Critically Endangered (CR)
1996 Critically Endangered (CR)
1994 Critically Endangered (CR)
1988 Threatened (T)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The species is endemic to Jamaica, but has not been positively recorded since 1860. Reference has been made to five specimens, but only four have been located (C. Levy in litt. 1994, 1999). Two specimens (one untraced) were taken in the Great Salt Pond area near Spanishtown in 1857, with others collected in the Bluefields area, near Savanna-la-Mar in western Jamaica, (apparently) at Freeman's Hall near Albert Town and from near Linstead (BirdLife Jamaica in litt. 1998, C. Levy in litt. 1994, 1999). Three of these localities (excepting Freeman's Hall) are in the lowlands on the southern side of the island, and there is anecdotal evidence that the species could often be found in (what is now assumed to be) the Hellshire Hills (BirdLife Jamaica in litt. 1998, Cleere and Nurney 1998, Raffaele et al. 1998, C. Levy in litt. 1994, 1999). However, the specimen information is confused by the practice of labelling skins with the residence of the collector as the location of collection (C. Levy in litt. 1994, 1999). There have been some recent, unconfirmed reports of caprimulgids from Milk River and Hellshire Hills, which apparently do not refer to other known species on the island (Cleere and Nurney 1998).

Countries occurrence:
Possibly extinct:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 1
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO): No
Number of Locations: 2-5
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: Any remaining population is assumed to be tiny (numbering fewer than 50 individuals and mature individuals) based on a lack of records since 1860.

Trend Justification:  The current population trend is unknown as the species has not been recorded since 1860 and may be extinct.
Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: 1-49 Continuing decline of mature individuals: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations: No Population severely fragmented: No
No. of subpopulations: 1 Continuing decline in subpopulations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations: No All individuals in one subpopulation: Yes
No. of individuals in largest subpopulation: 100

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The south side of the island is drier, suggesting that the species is (or was) found in either dry limestone forest, semi-arid woodland or open country at low elevations. It presumably nests (or nested) on the ground.

Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Unknown
Generation Length (years): 5.4
Movement patterns: Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Introduced mammalian predators are considered primarily responsible for the possible extirpation of this species. The mongoose was introduced in 1872 (after the last confirmed record), but it can be assumed that rats were the cause of any decline prior to this date. As its ecological requirements are not known, the impact of habitat destruction is difficult to assess. However, the loss of at least 75% of original forest, with remaining forest largely secondary, presumably had (and perhaps continues to have) an adverse effect. A proposed transshipment port and industrial centre on the Goat Islands could lead to development and habitat destruction in the neighbouring Hellshire Hills (van Veen et al. 2014), an AZE site for this species (J. Lamoreux in litt. 2014).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
None is known.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey, especially Milk River and the Hellshire Hills, to locate any remaining populations (BirdLife Jamaica in litt. 1998).

Citation: BirdLife International. 2015. Siphonorhis americana. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T22689738A78762934. . Downloaded on 30 November 2015.
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