Progne modesta 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Hirundinidae

Scientific Name: Progne modesta Gould, 1837
Common Name(s):
English Galapagos Martin, Galápagos Martin
Taxonomic Source(s): SACC. 2005 and updates. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered C2a(i) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Tye, A., Wiedenfeld, D., Grant , P., Young, G. & de Vries, T.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Gilroy, J., Harding, M., Sharpe, C.J.
The population size, structure and trends of this species are very poorly known. Total numbers are certainly very low and probably declining, and there may well be movement of birds between populations on different islands. It is unlikely that the total population exceeds 500 birds, with fewer than 250 mature individuals in each subpopulation, and is in decline. The species has therefore been uplisted to Endangered. Dedicated surveys are needed urgently, and may reveal that the species warrants uplisting to Critically Endangered on the basis of an even smaller population.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Progne modesta occurs on the central and southern islands of the Galápagos Archipelago, Ecuador (on Fernandina, Isabela, Santiago, Pinzón, Daphne, Baltra and Seymour, Santa Cruz, Santa Fé, San Cristóbal, Española [no breeding recorded] and Floreana) (Turner and Rose 1989, Castro and Phillips 1996). It has been described as uncommon (Turner and Rose 1989), and the population is likely to number fewer than 1,000 individuals, and may be lower than 600 individuals (D. Wiedenfield in litt. 2004, A. Tye in litt. 2005). No more than 50 birds have been recorded at any one site (A. Tye in litt. 2005). The population is likely to have undergone a decline over the last 200 years (D. Wiedenfield in litt. 2004, A. Tye in litt. 2005), and this trend appears to continue, but current population trends are unconfirmed.

Countries occurrence:
Ecuador (Galápagos)
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:28700
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Number of Locations:11-100Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:No
Upper elevation limit (metres):970
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:D. Wiedenfield (in litt. 2004) considers the population likely to number fewer than 1,000 individuals, and possibly even fewer than 200. A. Tye (in litt. 2005) estimates the population to number c.600 individuals. Wiedenfield and Jiménez-Uzcátegui (2008) consider it likely to number much fewer than 500 individuals. It is placed in the band 250-999 mature individuals here, equating to 375-1,499 individuals in total, rounded here to 350-1,500 individuals.

Trend Justification:  Current population trends are unclear, but historical declines are probably continuing (A. Tye in litt. 2005, D. Wiedenfeld in litt. 2005, 2007, 2011, 2012, Wiedenfeld & Jiménez-Uzcátegui 2008, T. de Vries in litt. 2012, P. Grant in litt. 2012). Minimum counts of birds observed at Daphne Major Island since the 1970s indicate a decline here (P. Grant in litt. 2012).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:250-999Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
No. of subpopulations:2-100Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It frequents forested areas, mountain tops (up to 970 m), shore and coastal lagoons with mangroves, and feeds around houses on Isabela (Turner and Rose 1989). However, recent information suggests that it is more restricted, with pairs or small groups seen around the highest peaks, but only occasionally in the lowlands (at sites with special characteristics, such as sheer sea cliffs) (A. Tye in litt. 2005). It nests between August and March, laying two or three white eggs in holes and crevices (Castro and Phillips 1996) lined with feathers (Harris 1982). It feeds on insects caught in flight (Turner and Rose 1989, Castro and Phillips 1996). It is not known to migrate (Turner and Rose 1989).

Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):5.5
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Little is known about the threats to this species. Past declines are likely to be due to introduced diseases and parasites, especially the parasitic botfly Philornis downsi, which occurs on all known breeding islands (Wiedenfeld et al. 2007), and introduced nest predators (e.g. rats Rattus) (D. Wiedenfield in litt. 2004, A. Tye in litt. 2005).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
None is known.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Urgently carry out surveys for this species throughout its range, visiting all known or suspected strongholds, to develop accurate population estimates. Establish monitoring program to determine population trends. Carry out research to determine the reasons for its small population and any declines. Carry out actions to reduce any threats to this species (e.g. control of nest predators).

Citation: BirdLife International. 2016. Progne modesta. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22731986A95040437. . Downloaded on 26 September 2018.
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