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This species has been listed as Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct) because, of three known individuals in 1998, one died in captivity in 2004 and the remaining two individuals have not been seen since 2003 and 2004. It may be extinct, but continuing surveys in all areas of potential habitat are needed to confirm that no other individuals survive. If any do still survive, the total population must be tiny.
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.
14 cm. Chunky, short-tailed passerine with heavy, somewhat finch-like bill. Adult brown above, greyish-white below, with broad black mask extending behind eye. Grey above mask, shading into brown of crown, with bold, pale patch just behind mask. Juvenile similar but buffier below with smaller mask without grey above. Voice Song a quiet jumble of chittering notes. Call a loud chirk, often in short series.
Related state of the world's birds case studies
Anderson, S. J.; Stone, C. P. 1993. Snaring to control feral pigs Sus scrofa in a remote Hawaiian rain forest. Biological Conservation 63: 195-201.
Baker, P. E. 2001. Status and distribution of the Po'ouli (Melamprosops phaeosoma) in the Hanawi natural area reserve between December 1995 and June 1997. In: Scott, J.M.; Conant, S.; van Riper, C. (ed.), Ecology, conservation and management of endemic Hawaiian birds: a vanishing avifauna, pp. 144-150. Cooper Ornithological Society.
Groombridge, J.J.; Massey, J. G.; Bruch, J.C.; Malcolm, T.; Brosius, C.N.; Okada, M.M.; Sparklin, B.; Fretz, J.S.; VanderWerf, E. A. 2004. An attempt to recover the Po'ouli by translocation and an appraisal of recovery strategy for bird species of extreme rarity. Biological Conservation 118: 365-375.
Mountainspring, S.; Casey, T. L. C.; Kepler, C. B.; Scott, J. M. 1990. Ecology, behavior, and conservation of the Po'o-uli (Melamprosops phaeosoma). Wilson Bulletin 102: 109-122.
Pratt, T. K.; Kepler, C. B.; Casey, T. L. C. 1997. Po'ouli (Melanprosops phaeosoma). In: Poole, A.; Gill, F. (ed.), The birds of North America, No. 272, pp. 1-16. The Academy of Natural Sciences, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC.
Reilly, S. E. 1998. Saving the Po`o-uli Melamprosops phaeosoma, the world's rarest bird. 'Elepaio 58: 17-18.
Rosa, K.; Hopper, D.; Reilly, S. 1998. Draft environment assessment for possible management actions to save the Po'ouli. US Fish and Wildlife Service, Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife, Honolulu.
U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2006. Revised Recovery Plan for Hawaiian Forest Birds. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Honolulu, Hawaii.
USFWS and Hawaii DLNR. 1999. US Fish and Wildlife Service and Hawai'i DLNR, Honolulu, USA.
Vanderwerf, E. A.; Groombridge, J.J.; Fretz, J.S.; Swinnerton, K.J. 2006. Decision analysis to guide recovery of the po'ouli, a critically endangered Hawaiian honeycreeper. Biological Conservation 129: 383-392.
Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Bird, J., Butchart, S., Capper, D., Derhé, M., Harding, M., Isherwood, I., Stattersfield, A. & Symes, A.
Baker, P., Camp, R., Collins, M., Fretz, S., Gorresen, M., Pratt, T., Swinnerton, K., VanderWerf, E. & Woodworth, B.
IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Melamprosops phaeosoma. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 05/05/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 05/05/2016.
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
|Current IUCN Red List category||Critically Endangered - Possibly Extinct|
|Family||Fringillidae (Finches and Hawaiian honeycreepers)|
|Species name author||Casey & Jacobi, 1974|
|Population size||1-49 mature individuals|
|Distribution size (breeding/resident)||3 km2|
|Links to further information|
|- Additional Information on this species|