Vitelline Warbler Setophaga vitellina


Justification of Red List Category
This species has a moderately small population within an extremely small range. Although the species is tolerant of some habitat degradation, it may decline in the future owing to land development. For these reasons, the species is classified as Near Threatened.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but this species is described as 'fairly common' (Stotz et al.1996).

Trend justification
There are no data on population trends; however, the species is thought to be declining as a result of habitat degradation.

Distribution and population

Dendroica vitellina occurs as three subspecies. The nominate race is common on Grand Cayman, the race crawfordi is very common on Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, Cayman Islands (to UK), and nelsoni was (at least formerly) common on the Swan Islands, Honduras (Monroe 1968, Curson et al. 1994, Bradley 1995). The total extent of the range is less than 270 km2, but only half of this area holds suitable habitat.


It is most common in low scrubby woodland, but is also found in arid mixed woodland, clearings, coastal scrub and thickets, and even urban areas (Curson et al. 1994, Bradley 1995).


Proposed habitat conversion threatens populations in the Caymans, and the Swan Islands were formerly used for the training of Nicaraguan counter-revolutionaries.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
None is known.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Endeavour to locate proposed developments in sub-optimal or unoccupied habitat. Monitor the populations of all three subspecies.


Text account compilers
Capper, D., O'Brien, A., Sharpe, C J

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Setophaga vitellina. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 31/05/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 31/05/2020.