|Scientific Name:||Mellisuga helenae|
|Species Authority:||(Lembeye, 1850)|
|Red List Category & Criteria:||Near Threatened ver 3.1|
|Reviewer/s:||Butchart, S. & Symes, A.|
This species is classified as Near Threatened because it has a moderately small population that is declining moderately rapidly as a result of forest loss and degradation.
|Range Description:||Mellisuga helenae is endemic to Cuba, with a patchy distribution including Habana, Sierra de Anafe, Guanahacabibes Peninsula, Zapata Swamp, Jucaro, Moa, Cuchillas del Toa, Sierra Cristal, Mayarí and the coast of Guantánamo (Raffaele et al. 1998, Garrido and Kirkconnell 2000) and formerly Isla de la Juventud. Although previously common and widespread, it is now rare and localised (Raffaele et al. 1998).|
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
|Population:||The global population size has not been quantified, but this species is described as 'uncommon' (Stotz et al. 1996).|
|Habitat and Ecology:||It is found primarily in dense forests and edge of woodlands with plenty of bushes (Raffaele et al. 1998, Garrido and Kirkconnell 2000). Nesting takes place between April and June (Garrido and Kirkconnell 2000).|
|Major Threat(s):||The historic decline is principally the result of habitat modification and destruction (Raffaele et al. 1998). Much of Cuba's natural vegetation has been converted to cultivation and pasture for cattle, with only 15-20% of land remaining in its natural state (Perera and Rosabal 1986), and the recent expansion of cacao, coffee and tobacco production poses a further serious threat (Dinerstein et al. 1995).|
Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. Conservation Actions Proposed
Enforce the protection afforded to the species by protected areas. Discourage further clearance of forest for agriculture, using the species as a figurehead. Monitor key populations.
Dinerstein, E.; Olson, D. M.; Graham, D. J.; Webster, A. L.; Primm, S. A.; Bookbinder, M. P.; Ledec, G. 1995. A conservation assesssment of the terrestrial ecoregions of Latin America and the Caribbean. World Bank, Washington, D.C.
Garrido, O. H.; Kirkconnell, A. 2000. Field guide to the birds of Cuba. Comstock / Cornell University Press, Ithaca.
IUCN. 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2012.1). Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 19 June 2012).
Perera, A.; Rosabal, P. 1986. Las áreas protegidas en Cuba. Silvestres 2: 13-17.
Raffaele, H.; Wiley, J.; Garrido, O.; Keith, A.; Raffaele, J. 1998. Birds of the West Indies. Christopher Helm, London.
Stotz, D. F.; Fitzpatrick, J. W.; Parker, T. A.; Moskovits, D. K. 1996. Neotropical birds: ecology and conservation. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
|Citation:||BirdLife International 2012. Mellisuga helenae. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 19 June 2013.|
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