Nightingale Wren Microcerculus philomela

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Troglodytidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Kate Rentschlar


Conservation Status

The IUCN (2009) lists the Nightingale Wren as of Least Concern due to its large range (a resident distribution of about 178,000 km2 according to BirdLife International (2011). However, it is a species of high concern to Partners in Flight (Berlanga et al. 2010). Based on determinations of habitat loss, Berlanga et al. (2010) estimated that 50% or more of the population has been lost in Mexico during the last century, and it is likely that similar rates of loss have occurred throughout the range of the species. It has an estimated world breeding population of 20,000-49,999 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2011). Similarly Gillespie (2001) places the wren on the "vulnerable" list in Nicaragua, based on probability of extinction (0.021), habitat specificity and forest preference. It is protected in some parts of its range: the Selva Lacandona in Mexico, Boswas and Rio Indio, in Nicaragua, and a few reserves in N Costa Rica (Kroodsma and Brewer 2005).

Effects of human activity on populations

Parker et al. (1996) lists the degree of sensitivity of Nightingale Wren to human disturbances as high. The primary threats to this species are habitat conversion of tropical evergreen forest for agriculture and livestock grazing. These birds prefer the forest interior (Levey 1988). This makes them especially susceptible to habitat loss as human development encroaches further into forests. Stiles (1983) reports that in Costa Rica where these wrens experienced "severe habitat disturbance" from deforestation, they could no longer be found in the remaining forest fragments.

Recommended Citation

Rentschlar, K. (2012). Nightingale Wren (Microcerculus philomela), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.