Vireo caribaeus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Vireo caribaeus
Species Authority: Bond & Meyer de Schauensee, 1942
Common Name(s):
English San Andres Vireo, San Andrés Vireo, Saint Andrew Vireo, St. Andrew Vireo

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable D2 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Rosselli, A. & Gómez-Montes, C.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Gilroy, J., Sharpe, C J, Derhé, M.
This species is restricted to an extremely small range on a single island where it is susceptible to stochastic events and could rapidly become more threatened. However, it has been found to be one of the most common species on the island, tolerant of habitat degradation and there is no evidence of any significant declines. For these reasons it has been downlisted to Vulnerable.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Vireo caribaeus is endemic to San Andrés, Colombia, an island in the west Caribbean, east of Nicaragua. It is apparently now restricted to 17 km2, where it is common. A study estimated between 8,200 and 14,800 individuals on the island (Rosselli 1998).

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

Population [top]

Population: The species was estimated at 8,200-14,700 by Rosselli (1998); however, this be considered as preliminary as the methodology did not account for detectability differences between habitats nor did it account for the effective population percentage (Gómez-Montes 2011). As such, the population is precautionarily placed in the band 2,500-9,999 individuals, equivalent to 1,667-6,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 1,500-7,000 mature individuals.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Highest densities occur in coconut plantations with scattered trees and scrub, dry lowland woodland and inland mangrove swamps, but lower densities occur in mesophytic woodland and brushy pastures (Rosselli 1998, Moreno and Devenish 2003). Within this wide range of habitats it has a preference for areas of dense understorey vegetation (Rosselli1998). Breeding territory size ranges from 0.22 to 0.50 ha (Russel et al. 1979, Gómez-Montes and Moreno 2008). Breeding takes place from February to June (Gómez-Montes and Moreno 2008, Gomez et al. 2010) and seems to be triggered by photoperiod and by the first significant rains after the dry season (Gomez et al. 2010). Nests are built suspended from the forks of branches, in both mangroves and shrubby bushes (Barlow and Nash 1985). Dry scrub with a ground cover of dead leaves is the preferred nexting habitat (Gómez-Montes and Moreno 2008). Next failure rates of 47% have been recorded, with most failure due to abandonment of eggs (Gómez-Montes and Moreno 2008). It gleans actively for caterpillars and other arthropods and feeds fruit to its chicks as well as insects (Rosselli 1998, Gómez et al. 2010).

Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): San Andrés is densely populated and developed, with little remaining natural vegetation. The northern 20% of the island is urbanised, with tourist developments south of the urban zone. Habitat on most of the remainder of the island has been converted for agriculture and coconut-palm cultivation but, within this area, small and scattered patches of remnant habitat (mostly associated with inland mangroves) and scrub are found. The human population, tourism and agriculture are all expanding. Coastal mangroves are also being destroyed by waste oil and a hot-water outflow, although the extent to which the species is affected is unknown. Suitable habitats for the San Andrés population are highly fragmented. Exceptional events during the breeding season such as slash and burn and hurricanes may have an impact on the breeding population (Rosselli 1998).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
In 2000, the San Andrés & Providencia Archipelago was declared as the Seaflower Biosphere Reserve. In 2003, and education project was carried out carried out an education Project to increase awareness about the species (Moreno and Devenish 2003). There are ongoing projects investigating the species's biology and breeding ecology. (Gomez and Moreno 2008, Gomez et al. 2010). In 2006 the Chincherry bird reserve was established for this species (C. Gómez-Montes in litt. 2012).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Clarify its distribution, abundance and ecological requirements. Assess the extent and status of native habitat remaining. Identify realistic plantation management practises that will favour this species. Monitor changes in land use and consider active measures to protect remaining habitat. Dry scrubland habitat, which is vital for breeding and currently unprotected, should be conserved (Gómez-Montes and Moreno 2008).

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Vireo caribaeus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 29 August 2015.
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