St. Lucia Warbler Setophaga delicata

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Parulidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Judith D. Toms


Conservation Status

Although a single island endemic, the St. Lucia Warbler is listed as a species of Least Concern by the ICUN due to its seemingly stable population trend (BirdLife International 2009). It also is listed as a relatively low conservation concern on the island due to its relative abundance and lack of habitat specificity (Toussaint et al. 2009). Nevertheless, lack of information about its population trend and vulnerability to potential threats (see Effects of Human Activity on Populations) preclude a thorough assessment of its conservation status.

Effects of human activity on populations

Historically, humans probably have affected St. Lucia Warblers most dramatically through conversion of forest to agricultural and urban land types. One of the two forest types most commonly used by St. Lucia Warblers, semi-evergreen seasonal forest, is now rare on the island because it largely has been converted to agriculture (Toussaint et al. 2009). St. Lucia Warblers also were killed for the feather trade in the late 1800’s, although it is unlikely that great numbers were ever taken (Jouanin 1989).

In modern times, the greatest threat to populations is the conversion of forest to tourist developments and associated urbanization; the seasonal deciduous and semi-evergreen seasonal forests that St. Lucia Warblers most commonly use are at higher risk because they lie outside the forest reserve system and occur on more modest slopes that are suitable for development (Toussaint et al. 2009).

Global climate change is predicted to cause reduced rainfall during the June-August period (Neelin et al. 2006). This could strongly affect St. Lucia Warblers and other endemic species because this is normally the rainiest time of the year, when most species are breeding or have young fledglings. Global climate change may also increase the frequency of hurricanes. While rare, hurricanes have strongly affected the island in the past; Hurricane Allen in 1980 destroyed 80% of the forest on the island (Toussaint et al. 2009).

A variety of introduced mammals and other taxa also occur on the island (Toussaint et al. 2009), although their affect on tree-nesting species such as the St. Lucia Warbler is unknown.

Recommended Citation

Toms, J. D. (2010). St. Lucia Warbler (Setophaga delicata), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.