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This species is listed as Critically Endangered owing to an ongoing range contraction caused by excessive predation by introduced mice. Mouse predation has forced this species out of coastal areas into sub-optimal upland habitat and is causing the population to decline. Urgent conservation intervention, which would also benefit the island's breeding seabirds, is needed to reverse this decline.
Dowsett, R. J.; Forbes-Watson, A. D. 1993. Checklist of birds of the Afrotropical and Malagasy regions. Tauraco Press, Li
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.
Nesospiza goughensis Dowsett and Forbes-Watson (1993)
18 cm. Large, chunky, drab olive-coloured bunting. Male uniform dull olive-green overall with yellowish forehead and eyebrow. Underparts slightly paler dull olive with prominent black bib. Thick-based, pointed, black bill. Female and juvenile buffy-olive, heavily streaked above and below with dark brown. Apparently two "streaky" immature plumages occur, including transitional phase between juvenile streaky and adult olive plumage. Voice Contact call is keet keet and song is high, keening whistle.
Related state of the world's birds case studies
BirdLife International. 2008. Critical News. Available at: #http://www.birdlife.org/news/news/2008/12/critical_news.html#.
Collar, N. J.; Stuart, S. N. 1985. Threatened birds of Africa and related islands: the ICBP/IUCN Red Data Book. International Council for Bird Preservation, and International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, Cambridge, U.K.
Cooper, J.; Ryan, P. G. 1994. Management plan for the Gough Island Wildlife Reserve. Government of Tristan da Cunha, Edinburgh, Tristan da Cunha.
Cuthbert, R. and Sommer, S. E. 2004. Gough Island bird monitoring manual. RSPB Research Report.
Cuthbert, R. J., Visser, P., Louw, H., Rexer-Huber, K., Parker, G. and Ryan, P. G. 2011. Preparations for the eradication of mice from Gough Island: results of bait acceptance trials above ground and around cave systems. In: C.R. Veitch, M.N. Clout, and D.R. Towns (eds), Island invasives: eradication and management, pp. 47-50. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.
Cuthbert, R.; Hilton, G. 2004. Introduced house mice Mus musculus: a significant predator of threatened and endemic birds on Gough Island, South Atlantic Ocean? Biological Conservation 117: 483-489.
IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. Available at: www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 19 November 2015).
Richardson, M. E. 1984. Aspects of the ornithology of the Tristan da Cunha group and Gough Island, 1972-1974. Cormorant 12: 123-201.
Ryan, P. G.; Cuthbert, R. J. 2008. The biology and conservation status of Gough Bunting Rowettia goughensis. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 128(4): 242-253.
Torr, N.; Golding, C. and Cuthbert, R.[J.]. 2010. Preliminary operational plan for eradicating House Mice from Gough Island. Version 1.0.
Wace, N. M. 1986. The rat problem on oceanic islands-research is needed. Oryx 20: 79-86.
Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Calvert, R., Ekstrom, J., Mahood, S., McClellan, R., Shutes, S., Stattersfield, A., Symes, A., Taylor, J. & Wright, L
Cooper, J. & Ryan, P.G.
IUCN Red List evaluators
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Rowettia goughensis. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/07/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/07/2016.
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|
|Family||Emberizidae (Buntings, American sparrows and allies)|
|Species name author||(Clarke, 1904)|
|Population size||670 mature individuals|
|Distribution size (breeding/resident)||60 km2|
|Links to further information|
|- Additional Information on this species|