Madeira Firecrest Regulus madeirensis


Justification of Red List Category
Although this species may have a restricted range, it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be increasing, therefore it is does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is large hence it does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Population justification
The population is estimated at 50,000-100,000 pairs, which equates to 100,000-200,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015).

Trend justification
The population is estimated to be increasing (BirdLife International 2015).


This species is found in laurel (Laurus) forest with large tree-heath (Erica arborea), as well as mixed forests of oak (Quercus) and juniper (Juniperus), and mountain shrub vegetation of low tree-heath, Vaccinium and Genista. It is absent in pure deciduous stands, including in introduced eucalyptus (Eucalyptus). Most records of nests occur in June and July. The nest is a typical regulid cup made of mosses, lichens and spider webs and suspended in the twigs of large tree-heath. The clutch size is not known. It feeds on arthropods and favours large-sized prey such as moths and caterpillars (Lepidoptera). The species is resident but does make post-breeding descents to lower areas (Martens and Päckert 2015).


This species is not currently threatened, however indigenous laurel forest vegetation is being replaced with introduced eucalyptus plantations, which is a matter of conservation concern (Martens and Päckert 2015).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
Bern Convention Appendix II. There are currently no known conservation measures for this species.

Conservation Actions Proposed
The introduction of non-native plantations should be monitored to ensure this does not become a conservation concern. In the future, it may be necessary to implement protection of areas of native vegetation to conserve this species.


Text account compilers
Ashpole, J, Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Regulus madeirensis. Downloaded from on 24/09/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 24/09/2020.