Also - there has been a wealth of discussion on BIRDCHAT recently about this issue. People have pointed out a lengthy list of endemics - for example Adelaide's Warbler, Blue-headed Hummingbird, Plumbeous Warbler, Forest Thrush, Brown Trembler ,etc. - that are at risk of extinction from the hurricanes. Not just from the immediate storm effects, but the long-term loss of vegetation, food, and cover (to hide from predators). Imagine being a hummingbird with zero flowers left on your island. Or a frugivore with no fruit in sight.
Besides island endemics I worry about species like Kirtland's Warbler - where a lot of the population was already on wintering grounds in places like the southern Bahamas and Turks and Cacos. Same goes for Wayne's Black-throated Green Warblers.
Nathan Dias - Charleston, SC
On Tue, Sep 26, 2017 at 1:09 PM, Derb Carter <derbc...> wrote: > I have been trying to learn more about the impacts of hurricanes Irma and > Maria on already imperiled birds on the affected Caribbean islands. First, > our thoughts should be with the humans devastated by these storms. But the > toll on birds has been significant and I fear even possibly final for some > birds. Many of the islands are small and essentially all the trees blown > down or all the leaves blown off. Normally verdant forests on hillsides are > brown with no green vegetation. Individual birds that may have survived > will have little to sustain them. Communication infrastructure has been > devastated and information is hard to come by, and only now beginning to > trickle out. > > > > The endangered Barbuda Warbler is only found on Barbuda. A preliminary > survey of the small island from which all humans have been evacuated could > not locate any warblers. Dominica is only 30 miles north to south and 10 > miles wide but has two endemic parrots, the spectacular Imperial Parrot > (pop. ~ 200) and Red-necked Parrot (pop. ~ 1200). I think Dominica is the > only country that features a parrot on its national flag, and was working > hard to develop an ecotourism economy based on its preserved forests. I > have yet to find any information on the fate of the parrots. > > > > Reports are the Puerto Rican Parrots in the captive breeding facility have > survived, taken care of during the storm by a young woman. I have heard no > reports of the wild populations. Fortunately efforts had established three > parrot populations, increasing resiliency to hurricanes but the entire > island took a major hit and the largest El Yunque population took the brunt > of the storm. El Yunque is also the stronghold of the endemic Elfin Woods > Warbler. > > > > In April, a Carolina Bird Club trip to Cuba observed thousands of American > Flamingoes feeding in the salt lagoons at Cayo Coco on the north shore of > Cuba. This area took a direct hit from Irma. I have seen video from Cayo > Coco of hundreds of dead and a few crippled flamingoes. This area is also > the only site for Bahama Mockingbird on Cuba and one small barrier island is > the only site for a small population of the Cuban subspecies of Thick-billed > Vireo. > > > > I am trying to determine the best organization(s) working to assist the > local organizations that are working to do what can be done to help recover > the birds. If I find one to recommend, I will post. Of course, any > assistance to help the people recover will help, especially in a country > like Dominica which has a population of 70,000 and no mother country to turn > to. > > > > Derb Carter > > Chapel Hill, NC