28 Feb 2011

Endangered Yellow-shouldered Blackbird on “Neotropical Birds”


An authoritative online life history for the Endangered Yellow-shouldered Blackbird Agelaius xanthomus has been published on Neotropical Birds Online. The species account deals with identification, distribution, life history, conservation and future research recommendations and provides an essential resource for the conservation of this species.

The Yellow-shouldered Blackbird is threatened by brood-parasitism by Shiny Cowbird Molothrus bonariensis, greatly reducing numbers and resulting in most birds breeding on offshore cays. Additional threats are the invasion of nesting areas by Caribbean Martin Progne dominicensis, habitat loss clearance for agriculture, nest-predation by the Pearly-eyed Thrasher Margarops fuscatus and elevated mortality by introduced carnivores.

The main breeding populations of the Yellow-shouldered Blackbird are found in the Important Bird Areas: Mona and Monito (PR001) and Suroeste (PR008) in Puerto Rico. An ongoing conservation program has substantially improved its status but, until habitat loss is halted, the species will continue to qualify as Endangered.

The full account on Neotropical Birds can be found here.

Post, W. (2011). Yellow-shouldered Blackbird (Agelaius xanthomus), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology.