Whistling Warbler Catharopeza bishopi


Justification of Red List category
This species qualifies as Endangered because it has a very small range, within which its habitat is declining in extent, area and quality. These reductions have probably resulted in a population decline.

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 3,000-5,000 individuals, roughly equating to 2,000-3,300 mature individuals.

Trend justification
There are no new data on population trends; however, the species is suspected to be declining at a slow rate, since habitat encroachment is likely to be on-going.

Distribution and population

Catharopeza bishopi is endemic to St Vincent (St Vincent and the Grenadines) in the Lesser Antilles, where it primarily occurs at Colonaire and Perserence valleys, and Richmond Peak (Raffaele et al. 1998). A total of 1,500-2,500 singing males was estimated in 1986 (Carr et al. 1990). The extent of suitable habitat has diminished from 140 km2 in the 1900s to c.80 km2 in 1986 (Carr et al. 1990).


It inhabits dense undergrowth and vine-tangles in primary rainforest, palm brake, elfin forest, secondary growth and borders (Andrle and Andrle 1976, Carr et al. 1990). Rainforest and palm brake are the most important, holding c.80% of the population (Carr et al. 1990). It is found at elevations of 300-1,100 m, but probably mostly below 600 m (Carr et al. 1990). The nest is built low in a sapling, and eggs are laid between April and July (Andrle and Andrle 1976, Carr et al. 1990).


Reductions in habitat have been caused by shifting agriculture, selective logging for charcoal production and illegal cultivation of cannabis (Carr et al. 1990). Mt Soufrière has erupted twice since 1900 (Raffaele et al. 1998).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
The population was surveyed in 1973 and 1986 (Andrle and Andrle 1976, Carr et al. 1990). Much of the central part of St Vincent was designated as a wildlife reserve in 1987, and an extensive environmental education programme has been developed (Carr et al. 1990). Many highland areas outside this reserve comprise very rugged and inaccessible terrain of negligible economic importance, and are not particularly susceptible to human disturbance (Carr et al. 1990).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Monitor the population. Protect remaining habitat to prevent further reduction and fragmentation.


14.5 cm. Boldly patterned, black-and-white warbler. Adult, blackish hood, upperparts and breast-band. Greyish on flanks with rest of underparts white. Broad white eye-ring. White tips to outertail feathers. Immature similar but brownish, dingier, and has small whitish spot by bill. Frequently cocks tail. Voice Rising series of notes increasing in volume and ending emphatically.


Text account compilers
Wheatley, H., Everest, J.

Isherwood, I., Millar, K., Pople, R., Sharpe, C.J. & Wege, D.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Species factsheet: Catharopeza bishopi. Downloaded from https://datazone.birdlife.org/species/factsheet/whistling-warbler-catharopeza-bishopi on 02/03/2024.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2024) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from https://datazone.birdlife.org on 02/03/2024.