|Scientific Name:||Melanospiza richardsoni (Cory, 1886)|
|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:||13-14 cm. Small, black or brown finch with heavy, black bill. Male entirely black with pink legs. Female brown above with contrasting grey crown and buffy below. Immature like female. Similar spp. Lesser Antillean Bullfinch Loxigilla noctis is larger, has smaller bill and lacks pink legs. Voice Rough tick-zwee-swisiwis-you with emphasis on second and last notes, slightly resembling Bananaquit Coereba flaveola. Hints Mainly terrestrial in leaf-litter of dense understorey. Bobs tail up and down.|
|Red List Category & Criteria:||Endangered C2a(ii) ver 3.1|
|Reviewer(s):||Butchart, S. & Symes, A.|
|Contributor(s):||Temple, H., Morton, M., Isidore, L., Dornelly, A. & Haynes, P.|
|Facilitator/Compiler(s):||Isherwood, I., Mahood, S., Pople, R., Sharpe, C J, Wege, D. & Wheatley, H.|
This species qualifies as Endangered because it has a very small population; suitable habitat is declining through clearance for agriculture and introduced predators are also reducing numbers.
|Previously published Red List assessments:|
|Range Description:||Melanospiza richardsoni is endemic to St Lucia in the Lesser Antilles, where it is most numerous in the mountains (Bond 1979, Keith 1997). Surveys in 1987 failed to find any large populations and noted that much apparently suitable habitat was unoccupied (Keith 1997), although due to its broad habitat tolerance its range is probably not severely fragmented (H. Temple in litt. 2007).|
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
|Population:||The population is estimated to number 250-999 mature individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. This estimate is equivalent to 375-1,499 individuals in total, rounded here to 350-1,500 individuals.|
Trend Justification: There are no new data on population trends, but the species is suspected to be in a slow decline owing to habitat degradation.
|Current Population Trend:||Decreasing|
|Habitat and Ecology:||It exhibits considerable ecological flexibility, inhabiting rainforest, forest edge, secondary vegetation, plantations, shrubbery, semi-arid scrub and woodland, up to 800 m (Bond 1979, Trail and Baptista 1989, Keith 1997). However, it has a preference for dense undergrowth, which is naturally found in ravines within moist montane forest (Keith 1997). Birds feed primarily on the ground on seeds, fruit and insects (Keith 1997). Nesting has been recorded in April-June.|
|Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:||Yes|
|Generation Length (years):||3.8|
|Movement patterns:||Not a Migrant|
|Major Threat(s):||The clearing of undergrowth, particularly in timber plantations, renders areas completely unsuitable for this species and is probably the major threat (Keith 1997). Introduced mongooses and rats may also predate eggs, nestlings and adults (Keith 1997). Feral pigs degrade or destroy the forest undergrowth used by this species and are perceived to have increased in numbers and continue to increase (M. Morton in litt., 2016).|
Conservation Actions Underway
It occurs in a number of forest reserves, such as La Sorcière and Edmond (Raffaele et al. 1998). Conservation Actions Proposed
Assess the species's current distribution and population, and use the results to design a conservation strategy. Curtail undergrowth clearing in plantations and other forested areas (Keith 1997). Control feral pigs, mongooses and other non-native predators (M. Morton in litt., 2016).
Bond, J. 1979. Birds of the West Indies. Collins, London.
IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-3. Available at: www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 07 December 2016).
Keith, A. R. 1997. The birds of St Lucia, West Indies: an annotated check-list. British Ornithologists Union, Tring, UK.
Raffaele, H., Wiley, J., Garrido, O., Keith, A., and Raffaele, J. 1998. Birds of the West Indies. Christopher Helm, London.
Trail, P. W.; Baptista, L. F. 1989. The behaviour, status and relationships of the endemic St Lucia Black-finch. National Geographic Society Research Reports 5(1): 82-98.
|Citation:||BirdLife International. 2016. Melanospiza richardsoni. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22723725A94830466.Downloaded on 23 April 2018.|
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