Leucopeza semperi 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Parulidae

Scientific Name: Leucopeza semperi Sclater, 1877
Common Name(s):
English Semper's Warbler
Taxonomic Source(s): del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A., Fishpool, L.D.C., Boesman, P. and Kirwan, G.M. 2016. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 2: Passerines. Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.
Identification information: 14.5 cm. Large, dull, long-legged warbler. Adult dark grey above and whitish below. Immature brownish-grey above with buffy underparts. Long, pale legs. Voice Song unknown. Call a scolding tuck-tick-tick-tuck. Hints Listen for calls from dense undergrowth.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered D ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Temple, H., John, L., Isidore, L., Haynes, P., Dornelly, A. & Morton, M.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Bird, J., Butchart, S., Calvert, R., Pople, R., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A. & Wheatley, H.
This species has not been recorded with certainty since 1961, and there are few records from the 20th century despite being apparently more abundant before then. It may have been driven extinct by introduced mongooses, perhaps compounded by habitat loss. However, it possibly remains extant because some suitable habitat remains, searches have not been adequately extensive, and there have been a number of possible or tentative sightings. A tiny population is assumed to remain and therefore it is treated as Critically Endangered.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Leucopeza semperi is endemic to St Lucia, where it is extremely rare and there have been no confirmed records for many years. It eluded almost all 20th century efforts to find a population. There are a mere handful of reports since the 1920s and no certain records since 1961. Sightings in 1965, 1989, 1995 and 2003 have not been confirmed (Keith 1997, H. Temple in litt. 2003). Recently, there have been possible sightings at Louvet in 2014 and Marquis in 2015 in lower elevation forest (A. Toussaint, pers. comm.). It was apparently more abundant in the 19th century, and has clearly undergone a significant decline (Keith 1997). It possibly remains extant because some suitable habitat remains and searches have not been adequately extensive.
Countries occurrence:
Saint Lucia
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:1
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):900
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Any remaining population is assumed to be tiny (numbering fewer than 50 individuals and mature individuals), with the last confirmed record in 1961.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:1-49Continuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
No. of subpopulations:1Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:Yes
No. of individuals in largest subpopulation:100

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It is known from the undergrowth of montane and elfin forest. The ecology is virtually unknown, but it is apparently largely terrestrial and possibly even nests on the ground.

Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):3.9
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The introduction of mongooses Herpestes javanicus in 1884 portended the disappearance of this species, as they probably preyed on adults (Keith 1997), nestlings and eggs (Curson et al. 1994). The decline may have been compounded by habitat loss, but suitable forest still remains on the island. Having a montane distribution that is close to the maximum altitude within its range, this species is potentially susceptible to climate change (BirdLife International unpublished data).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
In 2016, Forestry Department staff were trained and five days of searches were carried out in areas deemed likely habitat (M. Morton in litt. 2016).
Conservation Actions ProposedSurvey to locate any remaining population. Search areas have been prioritized, but this work is not yet resourced.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2016. Leucopeza semperi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22721873A94736500. . Downloaded on 18 June 2018.
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