Leucopeza semperi 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Parulidae

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

Previously published Red List assessments:
2010 Critically Endangered (CR)
2009 Critically Endangered (CR)
2008 Critically Endangered (CR)
2004 Critically Endangered (CR)
2000 Critically Endangered (CR)
1996 Critically Endangered (CR)
1994 Critically Endangered (CR)
1988 Threatened (T)

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.
Countries occurrence:
Saint Lucia
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 1
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO): No
Continuing decline in number of locations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations: No
Lower elevation limit (metres): 400
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: 1-49 Continuing decline of mature individuals: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations: No Population severely fragmented: No
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: 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
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 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 2012: e.T22721873A39846509. . Downloaded on 01 December 2015.
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