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Zapata Wren Ferminia cerverai
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A recent survey suggests that this species might be more common than previously feared. However, it is classified as Endangered because it has a very small range and presumably population, which are confined to one area and continue to decline in response to habitat loss (Collar et al. 1992).

Taxonomic source(s)
AOU. 1998. Check-list of North American birds. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.
Stotz, D. F.; Fitzpatrick, J. W.; Parker, T. A.; Moskovits, D. K. 1996. Neotropical birds: ecology and conservation. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

16 cm. Medium-sized, brown wren. Brown, striped black, except for greyish underparts. Long tail, bill and legs. Similar spp. House Wren Troglodytes aedon is smaller, all brown and does not inhabit sawgrass. Voice High-pitched, loud and musical warble preceded by guttural note, given in series of three or four phrases. Also harsh and chipping notes. Female song is weaker and shorter.

Distribution and population
Ferminia cerverai is known only from the northern and central parts of the Zapata Swamp, Cuba. It was reported as common at the time of its discovery in 1926, but anecdotal evidence suggests that it has subsequently declined. A survey along the Hatiguanico and Guareira rivers in 1998 recorded 24 wrens in three new localities (Kirkconnell et al. 1999).

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 1,000-2,499 individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or 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 667-1,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 600-1,700 mature individuals.

Trend justification
There are no new data; however, the species is suspected to be declining at a rate of 1-9% over ten years, owing mainly to habitat degradation.

It occupies freshwater marshes with extensive fields of sawgrass Cladium jamaicensis and patches of shrubs seasonally flooded to a depth of 0.5 metre (Garrido and Kirkconnell 2000). It feeds on insects, spiders, small snails, lizards and berries (Raffaele et al. 1998). Nests are placed in sawgrass tussocks, and the breeding season is apparently January-July (Stattersfield et al. 1998).

Dry-season burning, wetland drainage and agricultural expansion destroy and degrade suitable habitat, and it is possibly predated by introduced mongooses and rats (Dinerstein et al. 1995).

Conservation Actions Underway
Areas of the Zapata Swamp have protected status, but regulations are often not enforced (Stattersfield et al. 1998). Surveys for this species were undertaken in 1998 (Kirkconnell et al. 1999). Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey to accurately determine range, numbers and threats (Kirkconnell et al. 1999). Enforce the legal protection of the Zapata Swamp.

Collar, N. J.; Gonzaga, L. P.; Krabbe, N.; Madroño Nieto, A.; Naranjo, L. G.; Parker, T. A.; Wege, D. C. 1992. Threatened birds of the Americas: the ICBP/IUCN Red Data Book. International Council for Bird Preservation, Cambridge, U.K.

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.

Kirkconnell, A.; González, O.; Alfaro, E.; Cotayo, L. 1999. Nuevas localidades para la Gallinuela de Santo Tomás Cyanolimnas cerverai y la Ferminia Ferminia cerverai, en la Ciénaga de Zapata, Cuba. Cotinga 12: 57-60.

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

Stattersfield, A. J.; Crosby, M. J.; Long, A. J.; Wege, D. C. 1998. Endemic bird areas of the world: priorities for bird conservation. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

Further web sources of information
Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) species/site profile. This species has been identified as an AZE trigger due to its IUCN Red List status and limited range.

Click here for more information about the Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE)

Detailed species account from the Threatened birds of the Americas: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 1992). Please note taxonomic treatment and IUCN Red List category may have changed since publication.

Detailed species account from the Threatened birds of the Americas: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 1992). Please note, taxonomic treatment and IUCN Red List category may have changed since publication.

Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Recuento detallado de la especie tomado del libro Aves Amenazadas de las Americas, Libro Rojo de BirdLife International (BirdLife International 1992). Nota: la taxonomoía y la categoría de la Lista Roja de la UICN pudo haber cambiado desde esta publicación.

View photos and videos and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Isherwood, I., Mahood, S., Pople, R., Sharpe, C J, Wege, D.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Ferminia cerverai. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016.

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.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Zapata wren (Ferminia cerverai) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Endangered
Family Troglodytidae (Wrens)
Species name author Barbour, 1926
Population size 600-1700 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 940 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species