The conservation status of the Socorro Mockingbird Mimodes graysoni in 1993-1994.

The Socorro Mockingbird Mimodes graysoni is endemic to Isla Socorro, Mexico, and has declined dramatically in this century. Study of its population size, distribution, and structure is currently underway to help assess its conservation status. In 1993 and 1994 215 Socrro Mockingbirds were ringed; a modified Lincoln index yielded a population estimate of 353 ± 66 individuals in 1994. Most of the birds observed occupied a small region at high elevation that covered less than 10% of the island's area. Average territory size was 1.48 ± 0.71 ha, n = 11. Of the 86 birds banded in 1993 67% were adults and 33% subadults. Of the 170 birds detected in 1994, including new captures and ringed individuals from the previous year, 44% were adults and 56% subadults. In 1993 62% were male and 38% female; in 1994 56% were male and 44% were female. The sex ratio of the population was similar to that of other undisturbed Mimid populations, which argues against the possibility that cats might prey disproportionately on incubating females. Moreover, the presence of young birds in both years indicates that successful reproduction was occurring and that the population was not suffering catastrophic nest failure, as might be caused by cat predation on nestlings or fledglings. Nothern Mockingbirds Mimus polyglottos, which first arrived on Socorro in the 1970s, occupied mainly open areas produced by sheep grazing, which suggests that the Socorro Mockingbird is not being competitively displaced. Our observations indicate that habitat degradation by sheep is the most probable cause of the Socorro Mockingbird's decline.

Main Author: Martinez-Gomez, Juan E.
Other Authors: Curry, Robert L.
Language: English
Published: 1996
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