Photo credit: Michale Dvorak
The Floreana Mockingbird, Mimus trifasciatus, is classified as ‘CRITICALLY ENDANGERED’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. It survives today only on two tiny islets off the coast of Floreana Island in the Galápagos. Current population estimates are 47 birds on the 9 hectare Champion Island and 400-500 on the 80 hectare Gardner-por-Floreana.
The Floreana Mockingbird has a special place in science because it inspired Charles Darwin, during the HMS Beagle voyage, to develop the Theory of Natural Selection. In 1835, Darwin recorded the mockingbird as being common on Floreana, but it must have declined rapidly as the last reported sighting there was in 1868. Human hunting, predation by invasive mammals and disappearance of the prickly pear cactus, a favoured place to nest and a source of food, are thought to be responsible for the decline of this species.
A new effort to restore Floreana back to its former glory has been launched by the Galápagos National Park, aiming to remove invasive species from the main island and re-introduce marooned endemic species, including the Floreana Mockingbird.
To learn more about the Floreana Mockingbird, click here. Or visit the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ by clicking their logo below.
To learn more about the Bush Warriors “Species of the Day” feature, please click here and read up on our initiative to raise awareness about the loss of earth’s biodiversity.