Hylocichla mustelina 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Turdidae

Scientific Name: Hylocichla mustelina (Gmelin, 1789)
Common Name(s):
English Wood Thrush
Catharus mustelinus ssp. mustelinus — Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993)
Taxonomic Source(s): Cramp, S. and Simmons, K.E.L. (eds). 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Cheskey, T. & Taylor, C.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Symes, A., Taylor, J., Westrip, J.
This species has been uplisted to Near Threatened on the basis of evidence that it has undergone a moderately rapid population decline over the past three generations.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Hylocichla mustelina is a widespread breeding visitor to the eastern USA and south-eastern Canada, wintering in southern Mexico and Central America, south to Panama.
Countries occurrence:
Belize; Canada; Colombia; Costa Rica; Cuba; El Salvador; Guatemala; Honduras; Mexico; Nicaragua; Panama; United States
Bahamas; Bermuda; Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba; Cayman Islands; Curaçao; Dominican Republic; Falkland Islands (Malvinas); Haiti; Iceland; Jamaica; Portugal; Puerto Rico; Saint Pierre and Miquelon; Sint Maarten (Dutch part); Turks and Caicos Islands; United Kingdom
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:1710000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:No
Upper elevation limit (metres):600
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is characterised as common.

Trend Justification:  

Survey data obtained in the species’s breeding range indicate that its population is in decline. Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data yielded an average survey-wide yearly decline of 2.71% between 1999 and 2011, decreasing from an abundance index of 4.08 birds/route in 1999 to 2.86 birds/route in 2011 (Sauer et al. 2012). These results imply that the species underwent a c.30% decline over those 12 years (estimate of three generations). The trend between 1999 and 2011 appeared to be part of a longer term negative trend overall, stretching back to 1966 at least, when the annual index was 8.03 birds/route (Sauer et al. 2012). The average survey-wide yearly decline from 1966 to 2011 was 2.22%. Newer BBS data suggest a yearly decline of 1.11% between 2005 and 2015, which would equate to a decline of only c.13% over 3 generations (Sauer et al. 2017). Partners in Flight gave the species a 'half-life' of 31 years (Rosenberg et al. 2016), which would equate to a decline of 24% over 3 generations. Therefore, the decline is tentatively placed in the range of 20-29% over 3 generations.

Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species breeds in the interior and edge of a variety of deciduous and mixed forest communities, preferring those with a moderate shrub/subcanopy layer and fairly open forest floor, shade, moist soil and decaying leaf litter (del Hoyo et al. 2005). On passage, the species frequents secondary growth and forest edge. In its non-breeding range, it occupies the interior understorey of humid to semi-humid broad-leaved evergreen and semi-deciduous forest and mixed palm forest, also occurring in secondary growth, low-stature forest, thickets and plantations. It feeds mainly on soil-dwelling invertebrates, and takes fruit from late summer to early spring. It breeds from early May to late August, with pairs typically raising two broods. It is predominantly monogamous, with rare instances of polygyny. Pairs bonds usually last for a single season. It is a long-distance nocturnal migrant, leaving its breeding areas in mid-August to mid-September and crossing the Gulf of Mexico on a broad front from Texas to Florida, and making landfall from Veracruz, Mexico to Costa Rica (del Hoyo et al. 2005, Stanley et al. 2015). Individuals leave the non-breeding region during April (Stanley et al. 2012) and most birds (>70%) travel northwards through the central U.S. Gulf Coast (Stanley et al. 2015).

Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):4.1
Movement patterns:Full Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The primary threat to the species is likely to be the clearance and fragmentation of forests in both its breeding and non-breeding ranges, with pairs breeding in fragmented habitat potemtially suffering higher levels of nest predation and brood parasitism (del Hoyo et al. 2005, see also Etterson et al. 2014). Demographic models suggest that population declines are primarily driven by loss and fragmentation of non-breeding habitat in Central America (Taylor and Stutchbury 2016). Acid rain is also thought to impact breeding success by leaching calcium out of the soil, which is necessary for healthy egg production (del Hoyo et al. 2005).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
This species has been the subject of targeted research and its population trends are captured through established survey programmes.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Continue to monitor population trends through established citizen science programmes. Investigate the possible causes of the decline. Carry out habitat restoration for the species. Increase the area of suitable habitat that receives formal and effective protection in both its breeding and non-breeding ranges; using modelling to aid in strategic conservation planning and predict possible future effects of certain activities (e.g. Bonnot et al. 2011, 2013, Beaudry et al. 2013)

Amended [top]

Amended reason: Edited Population Trend Justification, Habitats and Ecology, Threats and Conservation Actions Information text. Put the habitat extent/area/quality to be declining. Altered the rate of decline to 20-29% over the past 3 generations. Added new references, a new Contributor and a new Facilitator/Compiler.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2017. Hylocichla mustelina (amended version of 2016 assessment). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T22708670A111170926. . Downloaded on 20 August 2018.
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