Last search for the Jamaican Golden Swallow (Tachycineta e. euchrysea)

C. Justin Proctor, Seth E. Inman, John M. Zeiger, Gary R. Graves

Abstract


Abstract The Golden Swallow (Tachycineta euchrysea) is an aerial insectivore and obligate secondary cavity nester endemic to the Caribbean islands of Jamaica and Hispaniola. The declining Hispaniolan subspecies (T. e. sclateri) is estimated at 1,500–7,000 individuals and the population is categorized as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The nomi­nate race on Jamaica (T. e. euchrysea) has not been unequivocally observed since the early 1980s. We conducted surveys for the critically endangered Jamaican Golden Swallow in Cockpit Country and the Blue Mountains to complement extensive surveys carried out by Graves (2014). Between January and March 2015 (52 field days), we performed 635 standardized point counts and surveyed more than 480 km of trail in remote landscape. The presence and identification of all diurnal aerial insectivores were determined at each designated census site. No Golden Swallows were observed. Despite the infinitesimal probability that a relict population persists undetected, there is strong evidence that the Jamaican Golden Swallow is extinct.

Keywords aerial insectivores, Blue Mountains, Cockpit Country, extinction, Golden Swallow, Jamaica, Tachycineta euchrysea

 

Resumen Busqueda final de la Golondrina Verde de Jamaica (Tachycineta e. euchrysea)—La Golondrina Verde (Tachycineta euchrysea) es un insectívoro aéreo que anida obligadamente en cavidades secundarias y es endémico a las islas Caribeñas de Jamaica y La Española. La población de la subespecie de La Española (T. e. sclateri) se estima en unos 1.500–7.000 individuos, está considerada en declive y ha sido catalogada como Vulnerable por la Unión Internacional para la Conservación de la Natura­leza. La raza nominal de Jamaica (T. e. euchrysea) no ha sido inequívocamente observada desde comienzos de 1980. Realizamos observaciones de búsqueda de la críticamente amenazada Golondrina Verde de Jamaica en Cockpit Country y Blue Mountains para complementar la búsqueda extensiva realizada por Graves (2014). Entre los meses de enero y marzo de 2015 (52 días de campo), realizamos 635 observaciones estandarizadas de conteo por puntos y muestreamos más de 480 km de senderos en áreas remotas. Identificamos y determinamos la presencia de todos los insectívoros aéreos en cada sitio designado para censo. No se observaron Golondrinas Verdes. A pesar de la infinitésima posibilidad de que persista una población relicta que no ha sido detectada, existen fuertes evidencias de que la Golondrina Verde de Jamaica está extinta.

Palabras clave Blue Mountains, Cockpit Country, extinción, Golondrina Verde, insectívoros aéreos, Jamaica, Tachycineta euchrysea

 

Résumé Dernière recherche pour L'Hirondelle dorée Jamaïcaine (Tachycineta e. euchrysea)—L’Hirondelle dorée (Tachycineta euchrysea) est un insectivore aérien et diurne. Elle est obligée de se nicher en cavités secondaires et est endemique aux îles Caraïbes d’Hispaniola et la Jamaïque. La sous-espèce d’Hispaniola (T. e. sclateri) comprend entre 1.500 et 7.000 individus. Cette population est en déclin et est classée comme Vulnérable selon l’Union internationale pour la conservation de la nature. La race nominale en Jamaïque (T. e. euchrysea) n’a pas été observée de facon claire depuis le début des années 1980. Dans le but de compléter des enquêtes approfondies menées par Graves (2014), nous avons méné des enquêtes concernant l’Hirondelle dorée, qui est en danger critique d’extinction, dans le Cockpit Country et les Blue Mountains. Entre janvier et mars 2015 (soit 52 jours sur le terrain), nous avons réalisé 635 points d’écoute standardisées et sondé plus de 480 km de sentiers dans le paysage isolé. La présence et l’identification de tous les insectivores aériens diurnes ont été déterminées sur chaque site de recensement dési­gné. Aucune Hirondelle dorée n’a été observée. Malgré la probabilité infime qu’une population relique persiste a être inaperçue, il y a des fortes raisons de croire que l’Hirondelle dorée Jamaïcaine soit éteinte.

Mots clés Blue Mountains, Cockpit Country, extinction, Hirondelle dorée, insectivores aériens, Jamaïque, Tachycineta euchrysea


Keywords


Aerial insectivores; Blue Mountains; Cockpit Country; extinction; Golden Swallow; Jamaica; Tachycineta euchrysea

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