Fuerteventura Stonechat Saxicola dacotiae is endemic to Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands (Spain). It is currently listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List under criterion C2, because when last assessed it was considered to have a small declining population (1,000-2,500 mature individuals).
A recent study (Seoane et al. in press), based on extensive surveys during 2005-2006, produced a much larger population estimate of 14,436 individuals (CI 95%: 13,376 – 15,492) and suggested that the species is present in a much larger area of the island than previously thought. It prefers steep terrain above 200 m, but also occurs at lower densities in lower, flatter areas which extend across large parts of Fuerteventura.
Although differences in methods from the only previous census (Bibby & Hill 1987) make it impossible to calculate a population trend from this revised estimate, it seems unlikely that the species has undergone a significant overall population decline. There is some suggestion that it may even have increased during the last 25 years, although local extinctions have probably also occurred due to urban expansion in some parts of the island, e.g. tourism developments in the south (Illera 2004; Seoane et al. in press).
Ongoing local threats include habitat degradation and destruction as a result of development for tourism, and predation by invasive species. However, the revised population estimate, improved knowledge of its habitat preferences, and lack of any evidence for overall decline, suggest that the global status of the species ought to be revised to either Near Threatened (nearly meeting the threshold under criterion C2a[ii]) or Least Concern. Comments on this proposal, and particularly any quantitative information that might justify a projected or inferred future decline, are welcomed.
Bibby, C. J. and Hill, D. A. (1987) Status of the Fuerteventura Stonechat Saxicola dacotiae. Ibis 129: 491-498.
Illera, J.C. (2004) Saxicola dacotiae. In: Madroño, A., González, C. and Atienza, J. C., eds. (2004) Libro Rojo de las aves de España. Madrid: Dirección General de Conservación de la Naturaleza and SEO/BirdLife.
Seoane, J., Kouri, A., Illera, J.C., Palomino, D., Alonso, C.L. and Carrascal, L.M. (in press) New data on the population, distribution and habitat preferences of the Canary Islands stonechat (Saxicola dacotiae). Ardeola.