Cyanolyca nana


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Cyanolyca nana
Species Authority: (Du Bus De Gisignies, 1847)
Common Name(s):
English Dwarf Jay

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2c+3c+4c;B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Escalante, P., Navarro, A. & Peterson, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Capper, D., Harding, M., Isherwood, I., Mahood, S., Pople, R., Sharpe, C J
This species is considered Vulnerable because it has a small range, which is declining rapidly in response to habitat loss.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Cyanolyca nana is known historically from Veracruz adjacent to the border with Puebla and the Sierras Juárez, Aloapaneca and Zempoaltepec in Oaxaca south-east Mexico. It was feared extinct throughout this range except for the Cerro San Felipe in the Sierra Aloapaneca, where it remains quite common. However, it is now known to be more widespread. There are records from Tangojó in extreme east Querétaro, north Hidalgo, central Veracruz and La Chinantla in north Oaxaca, and it may be locally common where suitable habitat persists (M. Angel Martínez, E. Ruelas and R. Sanchez pers. comm. to A. G. Navarro in litt. 1998, A. G. Navarro in litt. 1998, Rojas-Soto et al. in press).

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

Population [top]

Population: The population size is preliminarily estimated to fall into the band 10,000-19,999 individuals. This equates to 6,667-13,333 mature individuals, rounded here to 6,000-15,000 mature individuals.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It has been observed in several humid montane forest-associations, but most abundantly in pine-oak-fir associations and areas with an even mix of pine and oak. Laurel and abundant epiphytic growth are characteristic of these associations. Lower densities occur in oak-dominated forest, and its occurrence in secondary growth depends on the predominance of the preferred tree-associations and nearby tracts of primary forest. Suitable breeding habitat has a sufficiently open canopy to allow the development of a dense subcanopy. It forages mostly from the lower subcanopy to the higher shrub layer, where it gleans invertebrates from and around epiphytes. It occurs at elevations of 1,400-3,200 m (Rojas-Soto et al. in press), but only above 1,670 m in the centre and south of its range. This is plausibly a natural altitudinal distribution, but it may have been extirpated from the lower elevations in the south of its range. The breeding season begins at Cerro San Felipe in early April.

Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Logging, agricultural expansion, firewood-gathering, road and tourist developments, sheep-ranching, intense grazing and intensive urbanisation have resulted in extensive and continuing destruction and fragmentation of its habitat (Dinerstein et al. 1995). It is prone to nest-desertion following human disturbance, suggesting that there are few predators of adult birds. The continuing spread of West Nile virus is not thought to pose a serious threat, and no related mortality has been detected in this species (P. Escalante in litt. 2005).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
Cerro San Felipe is officially within Benito Juárez National Park, but the boundaries of this relatively small reserve have never been demarcated (Salas et al. 1994) and it offers the species little protection (A. T. Peterson in litt. 1998).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey to assess more precisely the extent of its distribution. Demarcate and effectively protect the boundaries of Benito Juárez National Park. Protect sites where the species has been recently recorded.

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Cyanolyca nana. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 31 August 2015.
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