San Clemente Sage Sparrow

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image: SCISageSparrow.jpg

Common Name: San Clemente Island Sage Sparrow

Scientific Name: Amphispiza belli clementeae

Size: 5-6 inches (12-15cm)

Habitat: North America. San Clemente Island (Part of the Channel Islands off the coast of California

Status: Threatened. Global Population: unknown. The sparrow was listed as threatened in 1977 because of its limited distribution and habitat destruction by introduced goats and pigs. In addition, feral cats preyed upon the birds and fuel-modification to prevent fires destroyed their habitat. It was also found that human disturbance played a big role in nesting success. The more disturbed the area, the smaller the number of sparrows.

Provisions taken to protect nesting areas as well as the removal of pigs, goats and cats have resulted in a stabilization of the current populations.

Diet: Insects, spiders and seed. Forages near the ground, generally in shrubs.

Breeding: The Sage Sparrow breeds in sagebrush over 90% of the time and is therefore considered an "obligate" species; that is to say, the Sage Sparrow is obliged to breed in this habitat type. It breeds in large patches brush, with a minimum requirement of about 320 acres of continuous habitat. Unlike its mainland relatives that live in sagebrush habitats, the San Clemente Island sage sparrow has adapted to live in boxthorn, cactus, and saltbush. Nests are typically placed low to the ground in a boxthorn shrub and use grasses and leaf litter as a canopy.

Cool Facts: The majority of the sparrows live on the western shore and northern end of the island.


Found in Songbird ReMix Threatened Endangered Extinct 1

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