Mimus macdonaldi


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Mimus macdonaldi
Species Authority: Ridgway, 1890
Common Name(s):
English Espanola Mockingbird, Española Mockingbird, Hood Mockingbird
Nesomimus macdonaldi BirdLife International (2004)
Taxonomic Notes: The genus Nesomimus has been subsumed into the genus Mimus following SACC (2007).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable D1+2 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Cruz, F., Vargas, H. & Wiedenfeld, D.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Butchart, S., Gilroy, J., Sharpe, C J, Taylor, J.
This little-known species is classified as Vulnerable because it is restricted to two small islands and is thus inherently susceptible to stochastic events and human activities. In particular, it may be threatened by extreme climatic events, which regularly occur in this region, as well as the possibility of introduction of pest species. Any evidence of increases in climate variability, or the arrival of invasive pests to occupied islands, should lead to re-appraisal of its status.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Mimus macdonaldi is endemic to Española Island and the small adjacent islet of Gardner-by-Española, in the south-east Galápagos Islands, Ecuador (Castro and Phillips 1996). It is considered common (Harris 1982, Stotz et al. 1996), but nothing is known of population trends, and there are no recent population estimates.

Ecuador (Galápagos)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: There is no recent information on population size. Gardner-by-Española is a tiny island, a few hectares in size, and is less than 1 km from Española, so the population there may not represent a discrete subpopulation. The total population is thought to number 1,000-2,499 individuals, equating to 667-1,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 600-1,700 mature individuals.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It inhabits arid lowland scrub and deciduous forest (Stotz et al. 1996). It is omnivorous, feeding mainly on carrion and seabird eggs (Harris 1982). It is a co-operative breeder, with a variable mating system, and territorial groups averaging nine adults (Curry and Grant 1991). Nesting is very synchronised, taking place in March and April, with a single egg usually laid (Harris 1982). In the non-breeding season, it gathers in groups of up to 40 individuals, which forage together (Stotz et al. 1996).

Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is inherently susceptible owing to its extremely limited range. It may be affected by the regular and extreme weather events that have been shown to cause significant fluctuations in the population of Floreana Mockingbird N. trifasciatus (Wiedenfeld and Jiménez 2008). It is also at constant risk of the introduction of pest species (e.g. rats Rattus spp.), parasites (Wiedenfeld et al. 2007) and diseases to occupied islands, although none of these pests are now present (D. Wiedenfeld in litt. 2012).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
The Galápagos National Park was gazetted in 1959, and includes almost all the land area of the islands. In 1979, the islands were declared a World Heritage Site (Jackson 1985).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Estimate population size as a baseline to determine trends. Minimise chance introductions of predators (e.g. rats Rattus spp.) and disease (H. Vargas and F. Cruz in litt. 2000). Research breeding ecology and adult survival in relation to climatic variation, with particular reference to drought events.

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Mimus macdonaldi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 04 September 2015.
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