Noronha Elaenia Facts
- Most notably, the Noronha Elaenia once existed in far greater numbers within its territory. Europeans discovered the islands the small avian inhabits in 1503.
- Since then, human habitation, unfortunately, has felled virtually all larger trees. Because the species uses a very selective material for nesting, this presented an impediment to reproduction.
- Additionally, humans have also eliminated the majority of the supporting vegetation as well.
- The birds have also suffered from increased predation. Humans again introduced a number of non-native invasive species to the region. These predators include cats and rats. In addition, fire also poses a credible threat.
Noronha Elaenia Physical Description
Firstly, the wonderful Noronha Elaenia remains an average-sized bird. Because of this, adults average about 6.7 in (17 cm) in length. Exceptional specimens do occur, but these are rare.
In addition, the backs and wings of most individuals typically present a dull brown in color. Furthermore,the belly generally shows a pale yellow or off-white in color. Variations happen quite rarely.
Also, the head usually develops a small crest. Yet, in color, this part of the body of the avian often shows an olive-brown shade. Finally, the fascinating animal shows no noticeable sexual dimorphsim.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Aves
- Order: Passeriformes
- Family: Tyrannidae
- Genus: Elaenia
- Species: E. ridleyana
Noronha Elaenia Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The Noronha Elaenia represents a rather small species of bird native to a highly specific range. Because of this, it only inhabits the main island of the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha. This forms part of the country of Brazil, in South America.
The bird is strictly confined to its archipelago. Aside from the main island, only a few individuals occur on one other island, Ilha Rata. Only three species of birds remain endemic to the archipelago. Quite sadly, the Noronha Elaenia numbers by far the rarest of the three.
Also, within its zone of habitation, this bird typically inhabits woodland, scrub, and man-made gardens. Its diet consists primarily of insects and small fruits. The breeding season runs from February to May.
Further, this species appears to be extremely rare. Due to this, estimates place the number of adult Noronha Elaenia at no more than 500 individuals. Though its numbers are quite low, the population appears to be relatively stable within the Marine National Park. Active conservation efforts are underway to protect and preserve the species.