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Least Poorwill Siphonorhis brewsteri
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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Although this species is very poorly known, its population is believed to be moderately small and declining owing to habitat loss and degradation. Its small range is, however, not yet severely fragmented or restricted to few locations. For these reasons it has been classified as Near Threatened.

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.

17-21.5 cm. Overall greyish brown streaked with black. Broad buff nuchal collar and white chest-band. Wing coverts boldly tipped with white. Barred below. Sexes are believed to be similar. Similar spp. Nighthawks are larger and have a very different flight. Greater Antillean Nightjar Caprimulgus cubanensis is larger with more extensive white at the tail corners and a buff rather than white chest-band. Voice a croaking, half-whispered gu-ek followed by drawn-out, gutteral pau-rá-kay.

Distribution and population
Siphonorhis brewsteri is found in central and west Dominican Republic (particularly on the north slope of the Sierra de Baoruco and between Oviedo and Pedernales), Haiti (between Arcahaie and Montruis north of Port-au-Prince) and, at least formerly, was numerous on Ile de la Gonâve (Raffaele et al. 1998). It is thought to be generally rare, although it can be locally common and is possibly under-recorded (Cleere and Nurney 1998, Raffaele et al. 1998). Surveys at Las Cruces, Sierra de Bahoruco, in March 1996 revealed 4.5 birds/km2, essentially unchanged from 4.8 birds/km2 during 1976 surveys in the same area.

Population justification
This species is suspected to have a moderately small population based upon its apparent rarity and the limited availability of suitable habitat. It is placed in the band 10,000-19,999 individuals, equating to 6,667-13,333 mature individuals, rounded here to 6,000-15,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
The species is suspected to be declining at a slow to moderate rate across much of its range, owing to habitat destruction (S. Latta in litt. 2006).

It is found in arid or semi-arid lowlands, especially scrubby woodland, and also broadleaf, pine or mixed forest up to 800 m (Cleere and Nurney 1998). Perches inconspicuously by day on branches close to the ground. Crepuscular and nocturnal, calling at night.

Habitat destruction and introduced predators are thought to threaten the species (Raffaele et al. 1998).

Conservation Actions Underway
There are currently no actions being taken for this species. Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys to obtain more precise range, population and trend estimates. Avoid habitat destruction at key sites. Consider trapping introduced predators at key sites.

Cleere, N.; Nurney, D. 1998. Nightjars: a guide to nightjars and related nightbirds. Pica Press, Robertsbridge, U.K.

Raffaele, H.; Wiley, J.; Garrido, O.; Keith, A.; Raffaele, J. 1998. Birds of the West Indies. Christopher Helm, London.

Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Bird, J., Butchart, S., Capper, D., Isherwood, I., Mahood, S., Sharpe, C J

Fernandez, E., Latta, S., Rimmer, C.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Siphonorhis brewsteri. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Near Threatened
Family Caprimulgidae (Nightjars)
Species name author (Chapman, 1917)
Population size 6000-15000 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 18,700 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species