Understanding the Red Siskin
The Red Siskin was once a commonly observed bird in the Venezuela countryside and in many towns and cities; however, little is known about its natural history, reproduction and feeding habits. Our scientists use fieldwork, labwork, and in-depth analyses to study the threats to and the ecology and genetics of this species.
- 2022 Achievements coming soon
- Discovery of a Red Siskin population in southern Guyana.
- Discovery of active Red Siskin nests in the wild in 2017. Among the team’s fascinating discoveries include the fact that both female and male Red Siskins feed chicks.
- Production of a high-quality Red Siskin genome to understand its evolutionary history and biogeography. This product is the foundation for our future understanding and mitigation of the threats of inbreeding, loss of gene diversity, and hybridization.
- Confirmation in 2017 that unsustainable harvest of Red Siskins in Venezuela is ongoing and high, reaching at least 70 individuals/year removed from the wild in one portion of Venezuela alone.
- Exclusion of Guyana-origin Red Siskins as founders for reintroduction efforts in Venezuela: Rodriguez-Clark, K. M., Davidson B., Kingston S., Coyle B. J., Duchesne P., Braun M. J. (2018) Evaluating a potential source of founders for ex situ conservation efforts: Genetic differentiation between disjunct populations of the endangered Red Siskin (Spinus cucullatus). Endangered Species Research. 36: 183-196.
- Estimation of the historic and present distribution of high-quality Red Siskin habitat, using Geographic Information Systems (GIS)