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Kanarenschmätzer (Weibchen) Canary Islands Stonechat (Female) (Saxicola dacotiae)

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Cladus: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Cladus: Holozoa
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Megaclassis: Osteichthyes
Cladus: Sarcopterygii
Cladus: Rhipidistia
Cladus: Tetrapodomorpha
Cladus: Eotetrapodiformes
Cladus: Elpistostegalia
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Archosauromorpha
Cladus: Crurotarsi
Divisio: Archosauria
Cladus: Avemetatarsalia
Cladus: Ornithodira
Subtaxon: Dinosauromorpha
Cladus: Dinosauriformes
Cladus: Dracohors
Cladus: Dinosauria
Ordo: Saurischia
Cladus: Eusaurischia
Subordo: Theropoda
Cladus: Neotheropoda
Cladus: Averostra
Cladus: Tetanurae
Cladus: Avetheropoda
Cladus: Coelurosauria
Cladus: Tyrannoraptora
Cladus: Maniraptoromorpha
Cladus: Maniraptoriformes
Cladus: Maniraptora
Cladus: Pennaraptora
Cladus: Paraves
Cladus: Eumaniraptora
Cladus: Avialae
Infraclassis: Aves
Cladus: Euavialae
Cladus: Avebrevicauda
Cladus: Pygostylia
Cladus: Ornithothoraces
Cladus: Ornithuromorpha
Cladus: Carinatae
Parvclassis: Neornithes
Cohors: Neognathae
Cladus: Neoaves
Cladus: Telluraves
Cladus: Australaves
Ordo: Passeriformes
Subordo: Passeri
Infraordo: Passerida
Superfamilia: Muscicapoidea

Familia: Muscicapidae
Genus: Saxicola
Species: Saxicola dacotiae
Subspecies: S. d. dacotiae – †S. d. murielae

Saxicola dacotiae (Meade-Waldo, 1889)
Original combination: Pratincola dacotiæ


Ibis 1889: 504, BHL; pl. 15, BHL.
IUCN: Saxicola dacotiae (Near Threatened)

Vernacular names
azərbaycanca: Kanar çəkçəkisi
català: Bitxac canari
Cymraeg: Crec Fuerteventura
Deutsch: Kanarenschmätzer
English: Canary Islands Stonechat
Esperanto: Fuerteventura saksikolo
español: Tarabilla canaria
euskara: Kanariar pitxartxar
فارسی: چک جزایر قناری
suomi: Kanariantasku
Nederlands: Canarische roodborsttapuit
svenska: kanariebuskskvätta

The Canary Islands stonechat (Saxicola dacotiae), also known as the Fuerteventura stonechat or Fuerteventura chat, and formerly known as the Canary Islands chat due to its once widespread distribution on the Canary Islands, is a sedentary resident bird found only on the island of Fuerteventura where it is known as the Caldereta.
Female Canary Islands stonechat


The Canary Islands stonechat is a small passerine bird that was classed as a member of the thrush family Turdidae, but is now more generally considered to be an Old World flycatcher in the Muscicapidae. It, and similar small European species, are often called chats. It was included in the "common stonechat" (Saxicola torquata), but it is quite distinct; it is likely to be an insular derivative of ancestral European stonechats that colonised the islands some 1-2 mya, during the Early Pleistocene (Wink et al. 2002).

The Canary Islands stonechat is intermediate in appearance between the European stonechat and the whinchat; its body size and shape reminiscent of a lithe European robin. Its upperparts are generally coloured as the whinchat, but more contrasting, dark brown with a blackish head and back streaks. It has a purer white supercilium reaching behind the eye and white neck sides, and a light orangey-chestnut breast becoming duller and paler on the underside towards the whitish belly. The rump and tail are dark, the latter with a white pattern visible in flight. There is also a white wing band. The female is similar to a washed-out version of the male, with a brown, black-streaked head and no white neck patches.

The male has a ticking call like a pebble hitting another, and a high twittering song like a European stonechat.

This Canary Islands stonechat is highly faithful to good habitat. Its main occurrence and only breeding habitat is in barrancos, ravines and rocky slopes with fairly sparse (30-50% open ground), shrubby vegetation (Illera et al., 2006). Although they sometimes also venture into more open and arid areas such as malpaís (old lava flows with resurgent vegetation), the species prefers copses of palm trees and shrubs (Álamo Tavío 1975) such as the aulaga Launaea arborescens, the saltwort Caroxylon vermiculatum and the boxthorn Lycium intricatum (BirdLife International 2004). Males sing from exposed perches, from where the birds also like to hunt insects on the wing; occasionally, they venture into fields or gardens for feeding. Completely open habitat appears only to be utilised when gathering food for their young (BirdLife International 2004).

Laying 4-5 eggs per clutch and incubating for 13 days, it usually manages to raise two clutches of young a year.
Conservation status
The extinct sub-species

This Canary Islands stonechat is now considered Endangered, as construction, mainly tourism-related, encroaches upon the best habitat (Illera et al., 2006). The population is hard to estimate, but most probably between 1300 and 1700 mature birds (BirdLife International 2004), and recognisably in decline. In particular, heavy land clearance on the Jandía peninsula is isolating the local subpopulation and making it vulnerable to adverse effects of small population size.

Desertification, exacerbated by grazing goats and locally sinking water tables, has also contributed to habitat loss. Feral cats and black rats prey on the eggs and young. A conservation action plan has existed for this species since 1999 (BirdLife International 2004). Due to its fairly high reproductive rate, if enough habitat is secured and predators are kept at bay, it should be able to hold its own.

The Chinijo chat, subspecies murielae from the Chinijo Archipelago near Lanzarote, became extinct in the early 20th century. Usually claimed as mainly due to deteriorating habitat quality, the extinction may be more due to the effect of introduced predators. It was only reported to inhabit two offshore islands (Montaña Clara and Alegranza).[2]

BirdLife International (2017) [amended version of 2016 assessment]. "Saxicola dacotiae". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2017: e.T22710177A111095282. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-1.RLTS.T22710177A111095282.en.

"Fuerteventura stonechat". HBW.

BirdLife International (2006): Species factsheet: Saxicola dacotiae Archived 2008-12-28 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2006-DEC-12.
Álamo Tavío, Manuel (1975). Aves de Fuerteventura en peligro de extinción. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria: Asociación Canaria para Defensa de la Naturaleza. pp. 10–32.
Illera, Juan Carlos; Díaz, Mario & Nogales, Manuel (2006): Ecological traits influence the current distribution and range of an island endemic bird. J. Biogeogr. 33(7): 1192–1201. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2699.2006.01505.x (HTML abstract)
Wink, M.; Sauer-Gürth, H. & Gwinner, E. (2002): Evolutionary relationships of stonechats and related species inferred from mitochondrial-DNA sequences and genomic fingerprinting. Brit. Birds 95: 349–355. PDF fulltext

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