Leucopeza semperi


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Leucopeza semperi
Species Authority: Sclater, 1877
Common Name(s):
English Semper's Warbler

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered D ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Temple, H.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Bird, J., Butchart, S., Calvert, R., Pople, R., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A.
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.

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). 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.
Saint Lucia
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.
Population Trend: Unknown

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.

Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The introduction of mongooses 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
There have been no targeted searches for the species in recent years.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey to locate any remaining population.

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Leucopeza semperi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 02 September 2015.
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