Gough Finch Rowettia goughensis


Taxonomic note

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A., Fishpool, L.D.C., Boesman, P. and Kirwan, G.M. 2016. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 2: Passerines. Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.
Dowsett, R. J.; Forbes-Watson, A. D. 1993. Checklist of birds of the Afrotropical and Malagasy regions. Tauraco Press, Li
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.

IUCN Red list criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
B1ab(ii,iii,v) A2ae+3e+4ae; B1ab(ii,iii,v); C2a(ii) A2ae+3e+4ae; B1ab(ii,iii,v); C1+2a(i,ii); D2

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2016 Critically Endangered B1ab(ii,iii,v)
2015 Critically Endangered B1ab(ii,iii,v)
2012 Critically Endangered B1ab(ii,iii,v)
2010 Critically Endangered B1a+b(iii,v)
2009 Critically Endangered B1a+b(iii,v)
2008 Critically Endangered
2004 Vulnerable
2000 Vulnerable
1996 Vulnerable
1994 Vulnerable
1988 Threatened
Species attributes

Migratory status not a migrant Forest dependency Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type Average mass -
Extent of occurrence (EOO)

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 70 medium
Number of locations 1 -
Fragmentation -
Population and trend
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 1000 medium estimated 2007
Population trend Decreasing medium estimated -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) 50-79 - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) 50-79 - - -
Number of subpopulations 1 - - -
Largest subpopulations 100 - - -
Generation length (yrs) 4.9 - - -

Population justification: Modern population estimates have varied and may not accurately reflect population trends; there were thought to be c. 200 pairs in 1972-1974 (Richardson 1984) (substantially lower than previous estimates), 1,500 pairs in 1991 (P. G. Ryan in litt. 1999), 400-500 pairs in 2000-1 (Cuthbert and Sommer 2004) and 400-500 pairs in 2007 (Ryan and Cuthbert 2008).

Trend justification: Surveys of breeding territories indicate that density of territorial pairs roughly halved between 1990 and 2007, owing to predation by mice (Ryan and Cuthbert 2008).

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
St Helena (to UK) N Extant Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
St Helena (to UK) Gough Island

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Grassland Subantarctic major resident
Shrubland Temperate major resident
Altitude 0 - 800 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Whole (>90%) Very Rapid Declines High Impact: 9
Competition, Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Whole (>90%) Very Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 7
Reduced reproductive success

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2017) Species factsheet: Rowettia goughensis. Downloaded from on 18/10/2017. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2017) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 18/10/2017.