Accipiter gundlachi 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Accipitriformes Accipitridae

Scientific Name: Accipiter gundlachi
Species Authority: Lawrence, 1860
Common Name(s):
English Gundlach's Hawk
Spanish Gavilán Cubano
Accipiter gundlachii subspecies gundlachii Lawrence, 1860 [in Collar and Andrew (1988)]
Accipiter gundlachii subspecies gundlachii Lawrence, 1860 [in Collar et al. (1994)]
Taxonomic Source(s): del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International.
Identification information: 43-51 cm. Medium-sized, stocky forest raptor. Adult, dark blue-grey upperparts with blackish cap, and barred rufous underparts. Immature, brown above, paler below, but with dark streaking. Rounded tail in flight. Similar spp. Sharp-shinned Hawk A. striatus is smaller and has squared tail in flight. Broad-winged Hawk Buteo platypterus is broader-winged and -tailed, and chunkier. Voice Loud kek-kek-kek ....

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered C2a(i) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2015-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Kirkconnell, A. & Mitchell, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Isherwood, I., Mahood, S., Sharpe, C J, Wege, D., Khwaja, N. & Ashpole, J
This species is considered Endangered owing to its very small and severely fragmented population, which has continued to decline until very recently. Trends appear to have stabilised or even reversed over the last five years, and if this is confirmed the species may warrant downlisting to Vulnerable in the future.

Previously published Red List assessments:
2012 Endangered (EN)
2008 Endangered (EN)
2004 Endangered (EN)
2000 Endangered (EN)
1996 Endangered (EN)
1994 Endangered (EN)
1988 Threatened (T)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The species has never been common, but formerly occurred throughout Cuba. It is now very rare and local, with five main population centres known to remain. The total population was estimated at 150-200 pairs in 1994. There are three centres for the nominate race in west and central Cuba, but two of these held only three and 20 pairs respectively in 1994. There are two further areas important for the race wileyi in the east of the island, where the bulk of the population resides. Sightings around Pico Turquino are scarce, but a bird was seen on the north slopes of the Sierra Maestra in early 1999 (Rompré et al. 2000).

Countries occurrence:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 12700
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Yes
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO): No
Number of Locations: 11-100
Continuing decline in number of locations: Yes
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations: No
Upper elevation limit (metres): 800
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population is estimated to number c.400 individuals, equivalent to c.270 mature individuals.

Trend Justification:  The species is suspected to still be slowly declining, owing mainly to habitat loss and persecution. However, recently trends appear to have stabilised or even reversed, with more frequent sightings over a five-year period (A. Kirkconnell in litt. 2012). Further work is needed to confirm these trends.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: 270 Continuing decline of mature individuals: Yes
Extreme fluctuations: No Population severely fragmented: Yes
No. of subpopulations: 5 Continuing decline in subpopulations: Yes
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations: No All individuals in one subpopulation: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is found up to 800 m in a variety of wooded habitats including humid, dry and pine forests (Bierregaard 1994a). It preys mostly on birds, including poultry. The breeding season is February-May, with young fledging by June (Bierregaard 1994a, A. Kirkconnell in litt. 1999). The nest is generally placed close to the trunk of a high tree, but below the canopy.

Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Yes
Generation Length (years): 7.2
Movement patterns: Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Habitat loss and disturbance as a result of logging and agricultural conversion, and human persecution (because it preys on poultry) have been the chief causes of its  decline (A. Kirkconnell in litt. 2012). There are records of young being taken from the wild for trade (Bierregaard et al. 2014).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation and Research Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. Populations occur within the Sierra Maestra and Sierra del Cristal National Parks. Environmental education has grown in Cuba in recent years (A. Kirkconnell in litt. 2012).

Conservation and Research Actions ProposedSurvey Pinar del Río province and the Zapata swamp, and re-survey areas in eastern Cuba to determine current populations and assess trends. Further define the species's ecological requirements. Conduct education and public awareness campaigns to highlight the plight of the bird and discourage human persecution (A. Mitchell in litt. 1998).

Citation: BirdLife International. 2015. Accipiter gundlachi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T22695659A83522893. . Downloaded on 29 November 2015.
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