Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Parulidae

Scientific Name: Dendroica angelae
Species Authority: Kepler & Parkes, 1972
Common Name(s):
English Elfin-woods Warbler, Elfin Woods Warbler
Spanish Reinita de bosque enano
Identification information: 12.5 cm. A black-and-white warbler. Similar spp. Wintering Black-and-white Warbler Mniotilta varia, but distinguished by lack of broad white crown-stripe, and behaviour: D. angelae gleans from leaves and twigs whereas M. varia creeps along trunks and limbs of trees. Voice Song is a series of short, rapid notes ending with slightly lower series of double notes. Contact call similar to first part of song. Seldom gives short, metallic chip. Hints Hyperactive, accompanies mixed flocks.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable D2 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Rodriguez, R., Anadón, V., Delannoy, C. & Colón-Merced, R.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Isherwood, I., Mahood, S., Pople, R., Sharpe, C J & Wege, D.
This species is listed as Vulnerable because it has a very small range and, were data to show that it is declining in population or range, it would be uplisted to Endangered.

Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Vulnerable (VU)
2004 Vulnerable (VU)
2000 Vulnerable (VU)
1994 Lower Risk/near threatened (LR/nt)
1988 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Dendroica angelae was only discovered in 1968 and is endemic to Puerto Rico (to USA) (Raffaele 1983). It was formerly considered to occur at four disjunct localities: in the east, the Sierra de Luquillo (El Yunque National Forest/Bosque Nacional del Caribe) and the Sierra de Cayey (Carite State Forest) and, in the west, the Cordillera Central (Maricao and Toro Negro Commonwealth Forests), but its existence at some of these sites has been questioned and it is now thought to be restricted to two widely separated locations: the Sierra de Luquillo and Maricao State Forest (Anadon-Irizarry 2006, Delannoy 2006). In optimal habitat it can be locally common, and although the population was previously thought to be no more than c.300 pairs (Curson et al. 1994), more accurate counts put the population at 1,830 individuals.
Countries occurrence:
Puerto Rico
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2: 31
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 31
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO): No
Number of Locations: 2
Continuing decline in number of locations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations: No
Lower elevation limit (metres): 170
Upper elevation limit (metres): 1030
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population is estimated to number at least 1,800 mature individuals, based on censuses conducted using playback methods. This is roughly equivalent to at least 2,700 individuals in total.

Trend Justification:  The species is thought perhaps to have declined owing to habitat degradation, but trends are unclear.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: 1800 Continuing decline of mature individuals: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations: No Population severely fragmented: Yes
No. of subpopulations: 1 Continuing decline in subpopulations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations: No All individuals in one subpopulation: Yes
No. of individuals in largest subpopulation: 100

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Although it inhabits elfin or montane dwarf forest on ridges and summits, montane wet forest, and sometimes ranges to lower-elevation wet forest, it reaches its highest densities in Podocarpus dominated forest (Cruz and Delannoy 1984, Raffaele et al. 1998, Delannoy 2006). Preferred areas have a dense canopy with vines, high subcanopy and sparse understorey (Curson et al. 1994, Raffaele et al. 1998). It shows a string preference for undisturbed forest, but has been recorded in secondary habitats and plantations (Cruz and Delannoy 1984). Breeding takes place in March-June, and the nest is built in aerial leaf-litter trapped in vegetation or vines, usually close to the trunk, or in a tree cavity (Curson et al. 1994, Raffaele et al. 1998, Rodriguez-Mojica 2004).
Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Unknown
Generation Length (years): 3.6
Movement patterns: Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): By the late 1940s, the natural vegetation of Puerto Rico had been reduced to c.6% of the island's land surface, but rapid regeneration of forest increased this figure to 31% in the early 1980s, a change which will probably benefit this species (Cruz and Delannoy 1984). However, Podocarpus dominated forest, which may be crucial to this species survival, makes up a tiny percentage of the total remaining forest and continues to destroyed by infrastructure projects, including tourism developments in protected areas (R. Rodriguez in litt. 2007). Natural disasters will continue to be a threat while the species's population and range remain so small.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

Conservation Actions Underway
Both known areas area protected, and the species is probably secure as long as suitable habitat is maintained in these reserves (Cruz and Delannoy 1984). In July 2011 Sociedad Ornitológica Puertorriqueña (SOPI), in collaboration with BirdLife, started a project which aims to carry out surveys for the bird in the Carite Commonwealth Forest and surrounding, privately-owned, potential habitat to determine the presence of a potential third population (V. Anadon in litt. 2012).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Ensure the complete protection of the two sites where it persists. Assess the current distribution (especially by surveying away from known sites) and population. Research factors limiting range and population, and attempt to determine why it disappeared from parts of its former range. Protect private land where the species occurs through cooperative agreements with landowners (USFWS).

Citation: BirdLife International. 2012. Dendroica angelae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22721749A39857971. . Downloaded on 04 October 2015.
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