Coeligena orina


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Coeligena orina
Species Authority: Wetmore, 1953
Common Name(s):
English Glittering Starfrontlet

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(ii,iii,v);C2a(i) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Krabbe, N. & Salaman, P.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Bird, J., Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Harding, M., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A.
This species has an extremely small and fragmented range and an extremely small and declining population. For these reasons it qualifies as Critically Endangered.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species has a very restricted range, being known from two tiny forest fragments at Páramo Frontino and Farallones del Citará in north-west Colombia. There are only five other localities in the entire western Andes that retain suitable habitat. The combined area of all potentially suitable sites is thought to be less than 25 km2. Therefore, the species's global population is unlikely to exceed 250 individuals.

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

Population [top]

Population: The population is estimated to fall within the band 50-249 mature individuals, equating to 75-374 individuals in total, rounded here to 70-400 individuals.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is apparently tied to elfin forest-timberline-páramo habitats and adjacent tall humid forest. At 3500 m it was seen feeding on insects in the Ericaceae-clad canopy of elfin forest. Stomach content analysis has shown that it feeds on parasitic wasps, spiders and dipterans; presumably in addition to nectar. Very little is known about its habits and breeding ecology.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Páramo de Frontino contains rich deposits of gold, zinc and copper, which have attracted the attention of mining companies. However, political instability in the region has prevented exploitation of these resources to date. The future expansion of mining remains a serious potential threat. The area is currently wholly unprotected and is suffering from continuing deforestation. Future colonisation by human settlers is likely to lead to habitat loss and degradation; a process ongoing in the nearby Las Orquídeas National Park.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
In 2005, the Dusky Starfrontlet Bird Reserve was established by Fundacion ProAves, protecting over 5,000 acres of humid montane forest to páramo on the Páramo de Frontino (P. Salaman in litt. 2007). A research and visitor station was established in 2007 with research ongoing on the Dusky Starfrontlet (assessing population and ecological requirements) (P. Salaman in litt. 2007). There are proposals by National Parks Administration (UAESPNN) and Municipality of Urrao to extend Las Orquídeas National Park to encompass adjacent Páramo de Frontino. However, the benefit such a designation would have is questionable as the park is currently poorly protected and under great pressure from illegal colonists.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Continue surveys to research the species's range, population size and trends. Support the proposed expansion of Las Orquídeas National Park, and the Dusky Starfrontlet Reserve in the Páramo de Frontino. Establish a management plan for Páramo de Frontino and Dusky Starfrontlet Reserve. Lobby for the adequate protection of Las Orquídeas National Park. Mobilise funds to facilitate law enforcement within the National Park and extensions to it.

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Coeligena orina. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 31 August 2015.
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