Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist montane forest. It is threatened by habitat loss. The species had declined from around 1000 birds in the 1950s to 150 birds in the late 1970s. At that point a conservation program began to save the species, which galvanised popular support to save the species, and by 1990 the species had increased to 350 birds.Although the population in Saint Lucia is small it is still expanding.
The story of its salvation from the brink of extinction (including the influence of conservationist Paul Butler) is told in Chapter 7 of the 2010 book "Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard" by Chip & Dan Heath.