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GALLERIES > BIRDS > PASSERIFORMES > MIMIDAE > COZUMEL THRASHER [Toxostoma guttatum]

Cozumel Thrasher Picture
 
 

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SPECIES INFO

The Cozumel Thrasher, Toxostoma guttatum, is a bird from the mockingbird family (Mimidae), which is endemic to the island of Cozumel off the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. It is believed to be the most critically endangered species of bird in Mexico - if it indeed still exists, which is probable but not certain.

This bird has brown upperparts and white underparts with black streaks. It has a grey face, a long black bill with a downward curve and two white wing bars.

Decline and status

The numbers of this bird declined rapidly when Hurricane Gilbert hit this island on September 14, 1988. Until it was sighted in June 2004, this bird had last been seen in 1995, the same year that Hurricane Roxanne hit Cozumel on October 11, and it was widely believed to have become extinct.

It is still unclear what damage the impact of Hurricanes Emily and Wilma in 2005 caused; it seems that the bird was not found anymore during a survey in December 2006

The last - unconfirmed - sightings were in April 2006, where an apparent T. guttatum was sighted at the Cozumel Golf Club; in October and December 2007, thrashers were also seen but could not be reliably identified as T. guttatum. Relocation efforts continue; though at least a few birds seem to survive, the continuing existence of this species had not been verified as of January 2008.

Some scientists believe that other factors must have contributed to the bird's decline, because the Cozumel Thrasher likely survived hurricanes for millennia. Introduced species, including predatory boa constrictors"?which were released on the island in 1971 and are now abundant"?may also have had a detrimental effect.





                                     



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