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Laysan Finch Telespiza cantans

IUCN Red List Criteria

Critically Endangered  
Endangered  
Vulnerable D2 

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2012 Vulnerable
2008 Vulnerable
2004 Vulnerable
2000 Vulnerable
1996 Vulnerable
1994 Vulnerable
1988 Threatened

Species attributes

Migratory status not a migrant Forest dependency Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type   Average mass -

Distribution

  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 3 medium
Number of locations 2 -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 1500-7000 medium Estimated 2012
Population trend Stable medium -
Number of subpopulations 2 - - -
Largest subpopulation 1001-10000 - - -
Generation length (yrs) 4.9 - - -
Population justification: The species's population fluctuates widely, probably averaging around 5,000 birds. Carrying capacity for the species has been estimated at 10,000 individuals (M. Morin in litt. 2012), and so its population is best placed in the band 2,500-9,999 individuals. This equates to 1,667-6,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 1,500-7,000 mature individuals.
Trend justification: The current trend is unclear. Large fluctuations were recorded over the period 1968-1990, but this may be partly due to the varying methods and seasons of censuses (Morin and Conant 1994). There has been a dramatic increase in the numbers on Southeast Island, in Pearl and Hermes Reef Atoll, since the successful invasion of golden crown beard Verbesina encelioides, which provides nesting habitat and food. The negative impacts of Verbesina on seabirds dictates that it be removed from the atoll in spite of its benefits to the species (S. Conant in litt. 2003). The population of T. cantans crashed after the first efforts to control Verbesina, but the abundance of Verbesina has since increased (S. Conant in litt. 2007). The overall population is judged to have experienced unquantified fluctuations over the last ten years.

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
USA Native Extant       Yes

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
USA Northwestern Hawaiian Islands site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Dry major resident
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical Dry major resident
Altitude 0 - 0 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact

Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Biological resource use Gathering terrestrial plants / Unintentional effects (species is not the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Past, Likely to Return Majority (50-90%) Rapid Declines Past Impact
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation
Climate change & severe weather Droughts Timing Scope Severity Impact
Past, Likely to Return Whole (>90%) Causing/Could cause fluct Past Impact
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Climate change & severe weather Habitat shifting & alteration Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Whole (>90%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Climate change & severe weather Storms & flooding Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Whole (>90%) Causing/Could cause fluct Medium Impact: 7
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases / Unspecified species Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Decline Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Viral/prion-induced diseases / Avian Malaria (Plasmodium relictum) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Whole (>90%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Viral/prion-induced diseases / Avian Pox Virus (Poxvirus avium) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Whole (>90%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Telespiza cantans. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/07/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/07/2014.

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 Vulnerable
Family Fringillidae (Finches and Hawaiian honeycreepers)
Species name author Wilson, 1890
Population size 1500-7000 mature individuals
Population trend Stable
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 3 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species