Justification of Red List Category
This species formerly occurred in southeastern USA, but it is now Extinct, primarily as a result of persecution. The last wild records are of the subspecies ludoviciana in 1910.
Conuropsis carolinensis was endemic to the eastern USA, with the nominate race ranging from Florida to Virginia, and ludovicianus, through the Mississippi-Missouri drainage (Forshaw and Cooper 1989). Birds were still common at the beginning of the 19th century but, in 1832, Audubon noted their decline, which followed increasing human settlement moving inland from the east (Saikku 1991). The last specimens were collected by Chapman near Lake Okeechobee, Florida, in 1904, although rumours of its survival persisted into the 1930s (McKinley 1985). The last captive bird died in the Cincinnati Zoo in 1918 (Joines 1985).
Birds were wide-ranging but their typical habitat was cypress and sycamore trees along rivers and swamps (Saikku 1991).
The main causes of the species's extinction were persecution (for food, crop protection, aviculture and the millinery trade), and deforestation (especially of the bottomlands), probably compounded by its gregarious nature (Saikku 1991), and by competition with introduced bees (McKinley 1960).
Text account compilers
Brooks, T., Khwaja, N., Mahood, S., Martin, R
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Conuropsis carolinensis. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/10/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/10/2020.