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Foudia sechellarum

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA AVES PASSERIFORMES PLOCEIDAE

Scientific Name: Foudia sechellarum
Species Authority: Newton, 1865
Common Name(s):
English Seychelles Fody
French Foudi des Seychelles

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2013-11-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S.
Contributor(s): Bristol, R., Millett, J., Parr, S., Shah, N., Skerrett, A. & Wagner, L.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Ekstrom, J., Harding, M., Pilgrim, J., Shutes, S., Symes, A., Taylor, J., Warren, B.
Justification:
This species is listed as Near Threatened because it has a tiny range, occurring at six locations, but its population is increasing and at present there are no serious threats to the species's survival.

History:
2012 Near Threatened

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Foudia sechellarum now occurs on six islands in the Seychelles: Cousin, Cousine, Frégate, D'Arros (introduced), Aride (reintroduced) and Denis (introduced). The former range included Marianne, possibly La Digue, and it may have been widespread throughout the Praslin group (Watson 1984, A. Skerrett in litt. 1999). Population estimates are: Cousin c.1,000 birds in 1997 and stable since 1985 (Rocamora 1997a); Cousine: 560 birds in 1996 (Rocamora 1997a); Frégate: at least 1,500 birds (Rocamora 1997a); D'Arros: c.200-300 birds in 1995 (Skerrett 1995); Aride: 124 individuals and 27 breeding territories (Wagner 2003, N. J. Shah in litt. 2004); Denis: at least 14 introduced birds and 10 island-bred birds present in May-July 2005 (Bristol 2005). Several island-bred birds have been seen with fledglings, including a pair of island-bred birds, indicating that the population is now self-sustaining (Bristol 2005). In all, the total population of this species was estimated at c.3,500 individuals in 2004 (Wagner 2004).

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

Population [top]

Population: In all, the total population of this species is now estimated at c.3,500 individuals, equating to c.2,300 mature individuals.
Population Trend: Increasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It probably originally occupied natural woodland, but has adapted to man-made habitats such as gardens and coconut plantations (Lloyd 1973, Rocamora 1997a). It has a varied diet including insects and invertebrates, seeds, nectar and fruits (Bathe and Bathe 1982, Brooke 1985). It also depredates eggs of other species, especially seabirds (Rocamora 1997a). It appears largely non-territorial, ranging widely, but occasionally defends a small territory in the breeding season (Bathe and Bathe 1982, Brooke 1985, Rocamora 1997a). They may breed several times a year, and even newly translocated birds to Aride have managed up to three breeding attempts in the 13 months since translocation (Wagner 2003).

Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Historically, slaves killed these birds as they were thought to pose a threat to crops (A. Skerrett in litt. 1999). This persecution, combined with habitat destruction, probably reduced the distribution of the species (Rocamora 1997a). Today, the main threat may be competition and predation from introduced species (A. Skerrett in litt. 1999). This species appears to have some degree of tolerance to introduced cats (on Frégate, Cousine and D'Arros) and brown rats Rattus norvegicus (on Frégate and D'Arros) (J. Millett in litt. 2004). However, black rats Rattus rattus pose a significant threat (J. Millett in litt. 2004, Bristol 2005), although they are unlikely to become established on islands that this fody inhabits (Wagner 2004). F. madagascariensis is not a major competitor (Crook 1961, Rocamora 1997a). However, an introduced female F. sechellarum produced hybrid offspring with F. madagascariensis on Aride before the bird was removed (Lucking 1997). Some colour variation in the D'Arros population may be a result of hybridisation with F. madagascariensis (Rocamora 2003, L. Wagner in litt. 2004).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
On Cousin, encouraging regeneration of natural woodland, dominated by Pisonia grandis, may have allowed the substantial population increase in recent years (Rocamora 1997a). On Cousine, habitat management has probably also helped (A. Skerrett in litt. 1999). In February 2002, Nature Seychelles translocated 64 fodies to Aride Island where the population has at least doubled in the last 13 months (Wagner 2003). In February 2003, Nature Seychelles introduced 47 fodies to Denis Island, where a self-sustaining population has now established (Bristol 2005). Assessment of the extent of hybridisation on D'Arros through DNA analysis is underway (L. Wagner in litt. 2004).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Continue collection of data on population status (A. Skerrett in litt. 1999). Continue to assess threats to the species (A. Skerrett in litt. 1999). Continue management and habitat conservation on Cousin and Cousine, and extend to Frégate (Rocamora 1997a). Avoid further introductions of F. madagascariensis (N. J. Shah and S. Parr in litt. 1999). Consider translocation to other predator-free islands, taking account of those with populations of other threatened birds since it predates on eggs and may compete for food resources (Rocamora 1997a) and establish captive breeding populations to support such future reintroductions, in addition to supplementation efforts.


Citation: BirdLife International 2013. Foudia sechellarum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 20 September 2014.
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