White-winged Warbler Xenoligea montana


Justification of Red List Category
This species is considered Vulnerable because it has a small and severely fragmented range and population, which has undergone a considerable historic decline and presumably continues to decline rapidly as a result of habitat loss.

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 2,500-9,999 individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. This estimate is equivalent to 1,667-6,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 1,500-7,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
Population trend data based on constant-effort mist netting show mixed results. Annual declines of 2.1-20.5% have been documented from sites in Sierra de Bahoruco National Park during the period 1997-2010 (Lloyd et al. 2016), which equates to a loss of 21-93% across three generations (11.7 years), assuming exponential decline. However, the authors have low confidence in these findings because trends were driven by exceptionally high capture rates in 1997 and varied between sites. If further evidence confirms a reduction of 50% or more across three generations, the species may be uplisted to a higher threat category.

Distribution and population

Xenoligea montana is known from the Massifs de la Hotte and de la Selle, Haiti, and the Sierras de Baoruco and de Neiba, and the Cordillera Central in the Dominican Republic. It is extremely threatened in Haiti, and may already have been extirpated from much of the country, including the Massif de la Selle (Raffaele et al. 1998, Dávalos and Brooks 2001), but there are recent records from Pic Macaya National Park where it is fairly common in wet karst limestone forest (P. Bayard and E. Fernandez in litt. 2003, Latta et al. 2006). In the Dominican Republic, it is still locally common, but is presumably declining.


It inhabits dense stands of montane broadleaved vegetation including low trees, open thickets and humid shrubbery, and sometimes pines. It occurs between 875 and 2,000 m, but mostly at 1,300-1,800 m in moist montane forest of broadleaf or mixed broadleaf and pines (Latta et al. 2006). It forages for insects and seeds in low, dense vegetation and is particularly associated with the Florida trema Trema micrantha, which produces one of its favourite fruits (Raffaele et al. 1998, Latta et al. 2006). Nests are placed in dense understory vegetation (Rimmer et al. 2008). One nest observed in Sierra de Bahoruco National Park fledged young on 28 June (Rimmer et al. 2008).


Habitat loss for agriculture and timber is probably the principal threat since large areas of montane growth have been cleared on Hispaniola. Predation of nests by introduced mongooses may have contributed to this species's decline (Curson et al. 1994).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
It occurs in a number of protected areas including Pic Macaya and (at least formerly) La Visite National Parks, Haiti, as well as Sierra de Baoruco and Armando Bermudez National Parks, the Dominican Republic.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Assess the status of the population, especially in Haiti (Ottenwalder 1992c). Determine its precise habitat requirements and the status of this habitat (Ottenwalder 1992c). Ensure that the protected-areas network adequately protects this species (Ottenwalder 1992c). Enforce the protection afforded to the species habitat by Sierra de Baoruco National Park.


14.5 cm. Chunky, heavy billed, olive denizen of dense cloud-forest. Olive upperparts contrast with grey head. White subloral spot and slightly split white eye-ring. Whitish underparts and extensive white in primaries. Grey tail with white outer rectrices. Heavy black bill and dark eye. Juvenile undescribed. Similar spp Green-tailed Warbler Microligea palustris is duller, less contrasting, and lacks white subloral spot and white in primaries. Voice Song is short accelerating series of squeaky notes. Call is thin tseep and low chattering. Hints Best located by call in dense understorey. Usually seen in pairs, but sometimes with mixed-species flocks.


Text account compilers
Fisher, S., Isherwood, I., Mahood, S., Pople, R., Sharpe, C J, Wege, D., Ashpole, J & Wheatley, H.

Bayard, P., Fernandez, E. & Lloyd, J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Species factsheet: Xenoligea montana. Downloaded from on 20/05/2019. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2019) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 20/05/2019.