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Gubernatrix cristata

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA AVES PASSERIFORMES EMBERIZIDAE

Scientific Name: Gubernatrix cristata
Species Authority: Vieillot, 1817
Common Name(s):
English Yellow Cardinal
Spanish Cardenal Amarillo

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered A2cd+3cd+4cd ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2013-11-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S.
Contributor(s): Azpiroz, A., Chebez, J., Martins-Ferreira, C., Rocha, G. & Claramunt, C.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Capper, D., Mazar Barnett, J., Pople, R., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A., Temple, H., Williams, R., Khwaja, N.
Justification:
The trapping of this species for the cagebird market, compounded by habitat loss, has probably resulted in such very rapid declines that it qualifies as Endangered. Remaining populations are now small and fragmented.

History:
2012 Endangered

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Gubernatrix cristata was formerly widespread and common throughout much of Argentina and Uruguay, with a few records from Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, as a non-breeder. In Argentina, it is now rare except very locally in San Luis, Buenos Aires, La Pampa and Río Negro, and especially between General Conesa, San Antonio Oeste and Viedma. There are further important populations in Pay Urbe and Estancia San Antonio, Corrientes; the Montiel area, Ceibas and Estancia la Choza, Entre Ríos, and Chancaní, Córdoba (Chebez et al. 1998). There are pre-1975 records from Salta, Tucumán, Santiago del Estero, Santa Fe and San Juan, and it has been listed without details for Formosa, Chaco, La Rioja and, mistakenly, Misiones (Chebez 1996). In Uruguay, it was historically known from 13 departments, but recently from only Paysandú, Río Negro, Florida and Rocha (A. B. Azpiroz in litt. 1999, G. Rocha in litt. 1999). In 1999, the Uruguayan population was estimated at fewer than 300 mature individuals, mostly concentrated in the río Uruguay basin (A. B. Azpiroz in litt. 1999), while any populations in southern Brazil are probably now extinct (C. Martins-Ferreira in litt. 2007). Two specimens collected from Paraguay in 1905 probably refer to escaped cagebirds (Hayes 1995). The total global population was estimated at 1,500-3,000 individuals in 2007 (C. Martins-Ferreira in litt. 2007).
Countries:
Native:
Brazil; Uruguay
Possibly extinct:
Argentina
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The total population is estimated to number 1,500-3,000 individuals, roughly equivalent to 1,000-2,000 mature individuals (Martins-Ferreira in litt. 2007).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It inhabits open woodland (including Prosopis woodland), savanna, scrub and shrubby steppe, up to c.700 m. Breeding occurs in the austral spring, with nests containing three eggs found in November.

Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Constant and chronic exploitation as a songbird for the cagebird market remains the most significant threat (Pessino and Tittarelli 2006). It presumably suffers from timber extraction for firewood and furniture (Chebez 1994) and, especially, rapid afforestation with Eucalyptus plantations (A. B. Azpiroz in litt. 1999). Conversion to cattle pasture may be another potential threat. Hybridisation with Common Diuca-finch Diuca diuca has been recorded (Bertonatti and Guerra 1997, Bertonatti and López Guerra 2001).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. In Argentina, it occurs in Sierra de las Quijadas, Lihue Calel and El Palmar (where it is possibly extinct) national parks, and Chancaní Provincial Reserve (Wege and Long 1995, Chebez et al. 1998). In Uruguay, a captive-breeding programme is being established (A. B. Azpiroz in litt. 1999) and in southern Brazil a captive-breeding programme with specimens seized from poachers is being established (ARKive).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Protect the Montiel area and Pay Urbe (J. C. Chebez in litt. 1999). Designate protected areas in the core of its Argentine range. Protect Prosopis woodlands in west Uruguay (A. B. Azpiroz in litt. 1999). Draft and enforce legal measures against trappers. Organise awareness campaigns to sensitise consumers.  Extend and develop captive breeding efforts.

Citation: BirdLife International 2013. Gubernatrix cristata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 25 October 2014.
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