Gough finch

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Gough finch
RowettiaGoodchild.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Thraupidae
Genus: Rowettia
Lowe, 1923
Species: R. goughensis
Binomial name
Rowettia goughensis
(Clarke, 1904)
Synonyms

Nesospiza jessiae

The Gough finch or Gough bunting (Rowettia goughensis) is a songbird species. Traditionally considered a bunting and placed in the family Emberizidae, it is actually neither a bunting nor a true finch, but belongs to a group of finch-like birds or tanager-finches in the family Thraupidae. In particular it shares some plumage characteristics with the South American genus Melanodera[2] which may be its nearest mainland relative.[3]

It is endemic to the remote South Atlantic Gough Island which politically belongs to the British overseas territory of Saint Helena. Its natural habitats are temperate shrubland and subantarctic grassland.

The immature was described as Nesospiza jessiae

It was formerly classified as a Vulnerable species by the IUCN.[4] But new research has shown that its population has collapsed and it is on the verge of extinction due to the introduced population of house mice (Mus musculus), noted for its unusual aggressiveness,[5] competing with the birds for food and eating their eggs and nestlings. Consequently, it was uplisted to Critically Endangered in 2008.[6]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Rowettia goughensis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ See Ridgely, R. S., & G. Tudor. 1989. The Birds of South America, vol. 1. P.448
  3. ^ Rand (1955) & Vuilleumier (1991)
  4. ^ BLI (2004)
  5. ^ Wanless et al. (2007)
  6. ^ BLI (2008)

References[edit]

External links[edit]