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GALLERIES > BIRDS > EMBERIZOIDAE > THRAUPIDAE > GOUGH ISLAND FINCH [Rowettia goughensis]


Gough Island Finch Picture
 
 

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SPECIES INFO

The Gough Bunting or Gough Finch (Rowettia goughensis) is a songbird species. Traditionally considered a bunting and placed in the family Emberizidae, it is actually neither a bunting nor a true finch, but belongs to a group of finch-like birds or tanager-finches in the family Thraupidae. In particular it shares some plumage characteristics with the south american genus Melanodera which may be its nearest mainland relative.

It is endemic to the remote South Atlantic Gough Island which politically belongs to the British overseas territory of Saint Helena. Its natural habitats are temperate shrubland and subantarctic grassland.

It was formerly classified as a Vulnerable species by the IUCN. But new research has shown that its population has collapsed and it is on the verge of extinction due to the introduced population of house mice (Mus musculus), noted for its unusual aggressiveness, competing with the birds for food and eating their eggs and nestlings. Consequently, it is uplisted to Critically Endangered in 2008.





                                     



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