Jacamaralcyon tridactyla


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Jacamaralcyon tridactyla
Species Authority: (Vieillot, 1817)
Common Name(s):
English Three-toed Jacamar

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2c+3c+4c;D1 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Kirwan, G. & Melo Júnior, T.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Capper, D., Clay, R., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A., Williams, R.
Although capable of surviving in some degraded woodlots, this species has undergone a major decline, such that the remaining population is believed to be very small and fragmented. Habitat loss and degradation continue to threaten populations, which are likely to be declining. For these reasons it qualifies as Vulnerable.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Jacamaralcyon tridactyla now occurs chiefly in small numbers at a few sites in the rio Paraíba valley in Rio de Janeiro state, and in the dry regions of east Minas Gerais, south-east Brazil. There are older records from Espírito Santo (known from only two localities and not since 1940), São Paulo (not since at least 1975) and Paraná (not reliably since 1961). Recent records from Minas Gerais have widened its known distribution (Machado et al. 1998, T. A. de Melo Júnior in litt. 1998, 1999, Silveira and Nobre 1998, Vasconcelos et al. 1999, Ribon et al. 2002) and suggest that further populations may exist within this area. It was considered very common in the early and mid-19th century and must have suffered a very substantial decline in numbers. It is now local even in the core of its current diminished range.

Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The total population is placed in the band 250-999 mature individuals, equating to 375-1,499 individuals in total, rounded here to 350-1,500 individuals.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is now primarily restricted to small patches of dry forest, possibly associated with streams, but can persist in degraded areas where the original vegetation has been replaced (e.g. by Eucalyptus plantations [Machado and Lamas 1996, Silveira and Nobre 1998]) if a native understorey remains. It is dependent on earth banks (streamsides and roadcuttings) for nesting-cavities (Silveira and Nobre 1998). Individuals are conspicuous, perching in exposed positions in the subcanopy (8-15 m), though also lower (T. A. de Melo Júnior in litt. 1998, 1999, G. M. Kirwan in litt. 1999), from where they sally to take aerial insect prey (Silveira and Nobre 1998). Preferred food items are small cryptic Lepidoptera (G. M. Kirwan in litt. 1999) and Hymenoptera (Machado and Lamas 1996), but birds also take Diptera, Odonata, Homoptera, Hemiptera and Isoptera (Machado and Lamas 1996). Vocalisations and courtship behaviour increase at the start of the rainy season, but decrease during incubation (Vasconcelos et al. 1999).

Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Widespread and continuing habitat destruction have been responsible for the significant decline in numbers and range of this species. In addition, its specialised habitat requirements ensure that it is absent from many degraded woodlots. Its resulting highly fragmented distribution is very vulnerable to further habitat loss and the effects of small population sizes, such as local extinctions and inbreeding.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
It is protected under Brazilian law. It is known from Caratinga Biological Station, the environs of Rio Doce State Park, Serra do Brigadeiro State Park, Fernão Dias State Park and UFMG Ecological Station, Minas Gerais.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey suitable habitat to clarify distribution, status and ecological requirements. Prevent disturbance of the understorey and earth banks at known localities (Silveira and Nobre 1998). Protect key sites, especially in south-east Minas Gerais and the rio Paraíba valley.

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Jacamaralcyon tridactyla. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 28 August 2015.
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