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Juan Fernández Firecrown

JUAN FERNÁNDEZ HUMMINGBIRD

The Juan Fernández hummingbird (Sephanoides fernandensis) is a bird that only inhabits Robinson Crusoe Island in Chile. According to the IUCN, this species is considered critically endangered due to the threats it faces due to the loss of habitat and invasive alien species, such as cats and rats.

The island where this hummingbird lives is considered a hotspot of biodiversity, where endemism in native vascular plants reaches 66%. Many of these plants depend on the pollination of this hummingbird.

Males and females are very different, and formerly thought to be different species. The male has a deep red color with a characteristic orange crown, while the female has a green and white coloration, with metallic blue crown.

Since 2008 and between the months of July to December, Oikonos has been monitoring the nesting of this bird in the sector of El Yunque Plazoleta. The entire nesting process is carried out by the female, who builds the nest, incubates the eggs and feeds the young until they leave the nest. Our work is also led by an islander woman, who searches the nests thoroughly among the trees of the forest, despite the cold and humidity. It is a job that requires a lot of effort and patience, but it has allowed us to gather more data of this species as well as being able to monitor the number of nests for a period of 10 years.

During the months when there is no nesting, our team controls invasive plants in the sites near the registered nests, in order to reduce the threats in this important nesting site. Since 2008, we have restored approximately 12 hectares of native forest essential for the survival of this bird.

PARTNERS

National Forestry Corporation (CONAF)

Ministry of the Environment (MMA)

GEF Project of Invasive Alien Species, Chile

Island Conservation

American Bird Conservancy

Club 300

Mohamed Bin Zahed