This species inhabits an extremely small area on Montserrat (to UK) in the Lesser Antilles. By the early 1990s, it occurred throughout the three main forested hill ranges on the island (the Centre, SoufriÃ¨re and South SoufriÃ¨re hills), but volcanic activity in 1995-1997 entirely destroyed two-thirds of remaining habitat (G. Hilton in litt. 2000, 2003). Initially, only the Centre Hills (c.14 km2) population was thought to have survived the pyroclastic flows (although even this area was heavily ashed) (P. Atkinson in litt. 1998, 1999, Arendt et al. 1999), but a remnant population was later discovered in a 1-2 km2 forest patch in the South SoufriÃ¨re Hills, just 1 km from the summit of the volcano (Bowden et al. 2001). In December 1997, the estimated population was c.4,000 birds (Arendt et al. 1999), but intensive monitoring between 1997-2003 indicated that the Centre Hills population declined by 40-50%, despite reduced volcanic activity (G. Hilton in litt. 2000, 2003, Hilton et al. 2003). In 2001, 2003 and 2006, further major volcanic eruptions caused heavy ash falls on large areas of the Centre Hills, destroying several nests and curtailing breeding (G. Hilton in litt. 2000, 2003, Anon 2006). The rapid declines noted between 1997-2003 may now have ceased, but population levels remain at less than 50 % of those of 1997, with a total population estimated at just 307-690 birds (212-1,131, 95% CI) in 2012, c.80 % in the Centre Hills and 20 % in the South SoufriÃ¨re Hills (Oppel et al. 2013).
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