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Extinction behind our backs: the possible fate of one of the Darwin’s finch species on Isla Floreana, Galápagos


Grant, P R; Grant, B R; Petren, K; Keller, L F (2005). Extinction behind our backs: the possible fate of one of the Darwin’s finch species on Isla Floreana, Galápagos. Biological Conservation, 122(3):499-503.

Abstract

Without regular monitoring a rare species may slip into extinction unnoticed. We report a possible case from the Galàpagos archipelago. The warbler finch (Certhidea fusca) has not been recorded by scientists on Isla Floreana in recent years, and we have been concerned about its status. On a two-day visit to prime habitat in the breeding season of 2004 we used playback of warbler finch song and calls recorded on another island to stimulate an approach of local birds. We failed to find a single warbler finch, whereas we encountered numerous small tree finches (Camarhynchus parvulus), medium tree finches (C. pauper) and yellow warblers (Dendroica petechia). Searches in 1979, 1983, 1997 and 1999 were also unsuccessful. Our continuing failure to find any warbler finches indicates the species must be extremely rare on the island, if not actually extinct. We discuss possible reasons for their demise and draw attention to other species that could be heading in the same direction.

Without regular monitoring a rare species may slip into extinction unnoticed. We report a possible case from the Galàpagos archipelago. The warbler finch (Certhidea fusca) has not been recorded by scientists on Isla Floreana in recent years, and we have been concerned about its status. On a two-day visit to prime habitat in the breeding season of 2004 we used playback of warbler finch song and calls recorded on another island to stimulate an approach of local birds. We failed to find a single warbler finch, whereas we encountered numerous small tree finches (Camarhynchus parvulus), medium tree finches (C. pauper) and yellow warblers (Dendroica petechia). Searches in 1979, 1983, 1997 and 1999 were also unsuccessful. Our continuing failure to find any warbler finches indicates the species must be extremely rare on the island, if not actually extinct. We discuss possible reasons for their demise and draw attention to other species that could be heading in the same direction.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:April 2005
Deposited On:09 Apr 2009 14:48
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:26
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0006-3207
Publisher DOI:10.1016/j.biocon.2004.09.001
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-3238

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