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Status review of Belding's Yellowthroat Geothlypis beldingi, and implications for its conservation

  • Richard A. Erickson (a1), Robert A. Hamilton (a2) and Steven G. Mlodinow (a3)

Abstract

Belding's Yellowthroat (Geothlypis beldingi) inhabits freshwater marshes the length of the state of Baja California Sur. A gap in occurrence from approximately 25°50′N to 24°50′N separates the subspecies goldmani to the north from beldingi to the south. According to BirdLife International's (2000, 2007) population estimates, the most important sites for the species are San Ignacio (537–648 birds) and La Purísima (203–450) in the north and San José del Cabo (219–480) and Punta San Pedro (70) in the south. Half of 12 presumed breeding sites in the north and five of 14 in the south were discovered within the last ten years. The species apparently no longer occurs at one historical site in the south. Since 2000, two records from Guerrero Negro and one from Bahía Tortugas approximately 140 km and > 200 km respectively northwest of the known breeding range demonstrate the species' dispersal ability. Belding's Yellowthroat is of utmost conservation concern, but the most recent conservation summaries exaggerated the species' plight, in particular by under-appreciating the bird's capacity for long-range dispersal and the ability of marsh habitat to regenerate quickly. Formal studies of the species should be undertaken and marsh creation should be incorporated in the state's development plans. Previous calls for reintroduction efforts should not be heeded, at least for the time being.

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*Author for correspondance; e-mail: richard.erickson@LSA-assoc.com

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Status review of Belding's Yellowthroat Geothlypis beldingi, and implications for its conservation

  • Richard A. Erickson (a1), Robert A. Hamilton (a2) and Steven G. Mlodinow (a3)

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