Center for Biological Diversity

Endangered Bird Trends

Caribbean      

ESA Population Trend Determined:

 

CARIBBEAN BROWN PELICAN (Pelecanus occidentalis occidentalis)

population graph for Caribbean brown pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis occidentalis

Status since listing: Increased

Growth since listing: 24%

ESA status: Delisted

List year: 1970

Delisted: Final 2009

Recovery plan: 1986

SUMMARY
The Caribbean brown pelican nests throughout the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It declined due to pesticides, habitat loss, killing, nest-site disturbance, and possibly changes in oceanic food production/availability. Nesting on U.S. islands declined from 475 in 1980 to 201 in 1984, then increased in the 1990s to 590 in 2009, when it was delisted from the Endangered Species Act as a recovered species. The number of nests averaged 350 in the 1980s and 528 in the 2000s.

Mona yellow-shouldered blackbird, or la mariquita de Puerto Rico

MONA YELLOW-SHOULDERED BLACKBIRD, OR LA MARIQUITA DE PUERTO RICO (Agelaius xanthomus monensis)

Mona yellow-shouldered blackbird, or la mariquita de Puerto Rico, Agelaius xanthomus monensis
population graph for Mona yellow-shouldered blackbird, or la mariquita de Puerto Rico

Status since listing: Increased

Growth since listing: 83%

ESA status: Endangered

List year: 1976

Recovery plan: 1996

Critical habitat: 1977

SUMMARY
The Mona yellow-shouldered blackbird is threatened by habitat destruction, invasive predators (such as rats), and avian pox. Its isolation on the island of Mona, however, has spared it from more damaging invasives found on the main island of Puerto Rico. It was listed as endangered in 1976, increasing from a 1975 post-breeding roost count of 200 birds to 372 birds in 2010.

Piping plover, Atlantic DPS

PIPING PLOVER, ATLANTIC DPS (Charadrius melodus)

Atlantic piping plover
Atlantic piping plover, Charadrius melodus, population graph

Status since listing: Increased

Growth since listing: 212%

ESA status: Threatened

List year: 1985

Recovery plan: 2003

Critical habitat: 2001

SUMMARY
The Atlantic piping plover initially declined due to hunting and the millinery trade. With these eliminated it increased in the first half of the 20th century, but began declining after 1950 due to development, beach crowding and predation. It was listed as threatened in 1985. Intensive habitat protection and predator control grew its U.S. population from 550 pairs in 1986 to 1,679 in 2015. The 1,600 pair recovery goal was met in 2007 and 2012 through 2015 (although 2014 data is lacking).

Piping plover, Great Lakes DPS

PIPING PLOVER, GREAT LAKES DPS (Charadrius melodus)

Great Lakes piping plover
Great Lakes piping plover population graph

Status since listing: Increased

Growth since listing: 295%

ESA status: Endangered

List year: 1985

Recovery plan: 2003

Critical habitat: 2001

SUMMARY
The Great Lakes piping plover initially declined due to hunting, egg collecting and the millinery trade. More recent declines are the result of development, predation and human recreation in plover nesting habitat. When the plover was listed as endangered in 1985, only 19 pairs remained in the Great Lakes region. The species continued to decline to 12 pairs in 1990 before increasing steadily to 75 pairs in 2015.

Piping plover, northern Great Plains DPS

PIPING PLOVER, NORTHERN GREAT PLAINS DPS (Charadrius melodus)

Northern Great Plains piping plover
Northern Great Plains piping plover,Charadrius melodus, population graph

Status since listing: Increased

Growth since listing: 180%

ESA status: Threatened

List year: 1985

Recovery plan: 2016

Critical habitat: 2002

SUMMARY
The Northern Great Plains piping plover was listed as endangered in 1985 due to threats from habitat loss, predation and disturbance. The plover's numbers in the Northern Great Plains region increased from about 525 breeding pairs in 1986 (the year after it was listed) to 1,468 breeding pairs in 2008.

Puerto Rican broad-winged hawk, or guaraguao de bosque

PUERTO RICAN BROAD-WINGED HAWK, OR GUARAGUAO DE BOSQUE (Buteo platypterus brunnescens)

Puerto Rican broad-winged hawk, or guaraguao de bosque
population graph for Puerto Rican broad-winged hawk, Buteo platypterus brunnescens

Status since listing: Stable

Growth since listing: 1%

ESA status: Endangered

List year: 1994

Recovery plan: 1997

SUMMARY
The Puerto Rican broad-winged hawk declined due to habitat loss and degradation, human disturbance, competition with red-tailed hawks, and genetic problems due to its very small population size. It was listed as an endangered species in 1994 with an estimated 124 birds inhabiting three forests. The population has remained stable since then, with an estimated 125 hawks present in 2010.

Puerto Rican nightjar

PUERTO RICAN NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus noctitherus)

Puerto Rican nightjar
Puerto Rican nightjar, Caprimulgus noctitherus, population graph

Status since listing: Increased

Growth since listing: 20%

ESA status: Endangered

List year: 1973

Recovery plan: 1984

SUMMARY
The Puerto Rican nightjar declined due to habitat loss from agricultural, residential and industrial development, livestock grazing, wildfire, and predation by invasive mongooses and feral cats. A main population's density was 0.11 birds per hectare (483 birds) in 1971 and 0.14 (615) in 1992. While a 2008 estimate was incomparable, it was much higher, and by that time the species' known range had increased and forest conditions had improved.

Puerto Rican parrot

PUERTO RICAN PARROT (Amazona vittata)

Puerto Rican parrot
Puerto Rican parrot population graph

Status since listing: Increased

Growth since listing: 354%

ESA status: Endangered

List year: 1967

Recovery plan: 2009

SUMMARY
The Puerto Rican parrot declined to near-extinction due to deforestation, hunting and hurricane damage. When it was listed as an endangered species in 1967, there were just 24 birds in the wild. Due to habitat protection, captive breeding and predator control, by 2014 the species had increased to 109 in the wild and 409 in captivity.

Puerto Rican plain pigeon

PUERTO RICAN PLAIN PIGEON (Columba inornata wetmorei)

Puerto Rican plain pigeon
population graph for Puerto Rican plain pigeon, Columba inornata wetmorei

Status since listing: Increased

Growth since listing: 363%

ESA status: Endangered

List year: 1970

Recovery plan: 1982

SUMMARY
The Puerto Rican plain pigeon declined to near-extinction due to hunting and the clearing of forests for agriculture and development. It remains highly threatened by habitat loss for development, hurricane damage to forests, and low bird density. Overall its total population has fluctuated, but it increased from a few hundred survivors observed at the time of the species' listing in 1970 and an estimated 2,055 birds in existence in 1986 to an estimated population of 9,509 birds in 2010.

Puerto Rican sharp-shinned hawk

PUERTO RICAN SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (Accipiter striatus venator)

Puerto Rican sharp-shinned hawk
Population graph for Puerto Rican sharp-shinned hawk, Accipiter striatus venator

Status since listing: Decreased

Growth since listing: -68%

ESA status: Endangered

List year: 1994

Recovery plan: 1997

SUMMARY
The Puerto Rican sharp-shinned hawk has been threatened primarily by habitat degradation and loss. It is also affected by warble-fly parasitism, road construction, human disturbance, and its low numbers and limited range. This subspecies was listed as endangered in 1994. It declined from an estimated 150 in 1992 to 49 in 2015. In 2015 it was called a "ghost bird," and people feared it would be extirpated from its former stronghold, Maricao Forest.

Puerto Rico yellow-shouldered blackbird, or la mariquita de Puerto Rico

PUERTO RICAN YELLOW-SHOULDERED BLACKBIRD, OR LA MARQUITA DEL PUERTO RICO (Agelaius xanthomus xanthomus)

Puerto Rico yellow-shouldered blackbird, or la mariquita de Puerto Rico
population graph for Puerto Rico yellow-shouldered blackbird, or la mariquita de Puerto Rico

Status since listing: Increased

Growth since listing: 176%

ESA status: Endangered

List year:1976

Recovery plan: 1996

Critical habitat: 1977

SUMMARY
The Puerto Rico yellow-shouldered blackbird declined dramatically due to cowbird parasitism, predation by introduced species such as black rats, and habitat loss due to development. The bird was listed as endangered in 1976 and the post-breeding roost count of its population on the island of its name was of 272 birds in 1982. The population grew to 750 post-breeding birds counted in 2012.

Roseate tern, Caribbean DPS

ROSEATE TERN, CARIBBEAN DPS (Sterna dougallii dougallii)

Roseate tern, Caribbean DPS
population graph for Roseate tern, Caribbean DPS, Sterna dougallii dougallii

Status since listing: Stable

Growth since listing: 30%

ESA status: Threatened

List year: 1989

Recovery plan: 1999

SUMMARY
The Caribbean distinct population segment of the roseate tern declined due to predation by invasive species, collection by humans, nest-site disturbance, habitat lost to development, disruption of vegetation succession processes, and storm-driven erosion. Since listing, Florida and Culebra nests have declined from 300 to 100 each. Southwestern Puerto Rico nests grew from 474 to 934. Virgin Islands nests fluctuated but were stable overall at about 1,200. Rangewide, nests were relatively stable at around 2,000.

Extinct or Extirpated Prior to ESA Listing:

 

White-necked crow

WHITE-NECKED CROW (Corvus leucognaphalus)

white-necked crow

ESA status: Endangered

List year: 1991

SUMMARY
The white-necked crow was extirpated from Puerto Rico by deforestation and hunting. As of 2015, the bird remained on Hispaniola where it faced the same threats. While the last sighting of the crow on Puerto Rico occurred in 1963, the species was listed as endangered in the United States in 1991.