Skip to Main Content

Florida Grasshopper Sparrow

North America's most endangered bird teeters on the edge of extinction, with perhaps as few as 20 pairs left in the wild. This ground-nesting songbird, endemic to central Florida's dry prairie, is a sentinel species for an ecosystem in peril. Habitat conversion, climate change, fire ants, environmental contaminants and disease have driven the sparrow's collapse over the past two decades.

The Project

An emergent, genetically novel, isosporoid parasite was identified within the captive ex-situ population of Florida Grasshopper Sparrows established at the Rare Species Conservatory. This project seeks to understand the impact this organism has on Florida Grasshopper Sparrows and model the potential influence it could have on their population growth.

The Impact

Many grassland-dwelling species are imperiled within the central Florida grassland system. Understanding processes such as emergent wildlife disease which drive avian declines is fundamental in conserving critically endangered species like the Florida Grasshopper Sparrow and in proposing effective recovery measures.

To find more information on this program, visit the Rare Species Conservatory Foundation.