NT
Bee Hummingbird Mellisuga helenae



Taxonomy

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.

IUCN Red list criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - -

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2021 Near Threatened A2ac+3c+4ac
2016 Near Threatened A2c+3c; C2a(i)
2012 Near Threatened A2c+3c;C2a(i)
2008 Near Threatened A2c; A3c; C2a(i)
2004 Near Threatened
2000 Lower Risk/Near Threatened
1994 Lower Risk/Near Threatened
1988 Threatened
Species attributes

Migratory status not a migrant Forest dependency Medium
Land mass type Average mass 2 g
Distribution

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 161,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 40,000
Number of locations 11-100 -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 22000-66000 poor estimated 2012
Population trend Decreasing poor inferred -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) 20-29 - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) 1-19 - - -
Number of subpopulations 3 - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation 1-89 - - -

Population justification: The species is described as 'uncommon' (Stotz et al. 1996). Density estimates range from 2.9-5.2 pairs/km2 in humid and pine forest to 3.2-8.7 pairs/km2 in semi-dry forests (González Alonso et al. 2012). Assuming that only 10% of the mapped extant range are occupied by the species to account for its rarity, the population may thus number c.11,000-33,000 pairs, equating to 22,000-66,000 mature individuals.

Based on observational records (eBird 2021), it is assumed that the species forms three subpopulations in the Guanahacabibes Peninsula and Sierra del Rosario, in the Zapata Swamp and its vicinity, and in the far east of the island. Based on the known population density, each subpopulation may number around 3,000-11,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification: There are no data on population trends; however, the species is inferred to be declining and has already disappeared from large areas where it was formerly considered abundant (Chai and Kirwan 2020). Declines are caused by habitat loss and degradation, as the species relies on mature, dense forest (Chai and Kirwan 2020). Over the past ten years, 5% of habitat has been lost within the range (González Alonso et al. 2012; Global Forest Watch 2021). The species's rapid disappearance from large parts of its range suggests that population declines are likely exacerbated considerably by additional degradation of mature forests. Tentatively, the rate of population decline is placed in the band 20-29% over ten years.


Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Bahamas V Extant Yes
Cuba N Extant Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Cuba Mil Cumbres
Cuba Sierra del Rosario
Cuba Desembarco del Granma
Cuba La Mensura
Cuba Alejandro de Humboldt
Cuba Hatibonico - Baitiquirí - Imías
Cuba Guanahacabibes
Cuba Ciénaga de Zapata
Cuba Pico Cristal
Cuba Siboney - Juticí

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Rural Gardens suitable resident
Artificial/Terrestrial Subtropical/Tropical Heavily Degraded Former Forest suitable resident
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Dry major resident
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland major resident
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane suitable resident
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Swamp suitable resident
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical Moist suitable resident
Altitude 0 - 800 m Occasional altitudinal limits (max) 1200 m

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops - Agro-industry farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops - Scale Unknown/Unrecorded Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Agriculture & aquaculture Livestock farming & ranching - Agro-industry grazing, ranching or farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Biological resource use Logging & wood harvesting - Unintentional effects: (large scale) [harvest] Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Biological resource use Logging & wood harvesting - Unintentional effects: (subsistence/small scale) [harvest] Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Mellisuga helenae. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 07/12/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 07/12/2022.