Siphonorhis americana


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Siphonorhis americana
Species Authority: (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common Name(s):
English Jamaican Poorwill, Jamaican Poorwill, Jamaican Paraque
Siphonorhis americanus Collar and Andrew (1988)
Siphonorhis americanus Collar et al. (1994)
Siphonorhis americanus BirdLife International (2000)
Siphonorhis americanus BirdLife International (2004)
Siphonorhis americanus Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993)
Siphonorhis americanus Stotz et al. (1996)
Taxonomic Notes: Gender agreement of species name follows David and Gosselin (2002b).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered D ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Levy, C.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Bird, J., Butchart, S., Sharpe, C J & Symes, A.
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).

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Siphonorhis americana 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).

Possibly extinct:
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.
Population Trend: Unknown

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

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.

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 2012. Siphonorhis americana. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 03 September 2015.
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