Chaetocercus bombus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Chaetocercus bombus
Species Authority: Gould, 1871
Common Name(s):
English Little Woodstar
Spanish Colibrí Abejorro, Estrellita Chica
Acestrura bombus BirdLife International (2000)
Acestrura bombus BirdLife International (2004)
Acestrura bombus Collar and Andrew (1988)
Acestrura bombus Collar et al. (1994)
Acestrura bombus Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993)
Acestrura bombus Stotz et al. (1996)
Taxonomic Notes:

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable 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): Freile, J. & Marks, T.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Harding, M., Isherwood, I., Pilgrim, J., Sharpe, C J, Stuart, T., Symes, A.
This species has a large range, but it is severely fragmented, and only a fraction is likely to be occupied. It qualifies as Vulnerable because the dearth of recent records suggests that the population may now be small, comprised of very small subpopulations, and declining significantly owing to rapid rates of deforestation.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Chaetocercus bombus has historically been recorded from central Peru (seven departments from La Libertad and Huánaco in the south), on both slopes of the Andes north through Andean and west-central lowland Ecuador (14 provinces) to south-west Colombia (Nariño), where it was recently discovered and is thought to be seasonal (Salaman and Mazariegos 1998). It was once common, but has declined significantly, and very few have been recorded in recent years (Fjeldså and Krabbe 1990), although several were reported recently from northern Peru (T. Marks in litt. 2003). During the 1990s, it was considered uncommon in Machalilla National Park, Manabí, Ecuador (Parker and Carr 1992), and common in the newly established Loma Alta Ecological Reserve (7.5 km2), Guayas, Ecuador (Becker and López Lanús 1997), but recent reports relate to single individuals (e.g. at least one at Dos Mangas Communal Reserve, Guayas in 2005 [Ágreda 2007]) and it is not known to be present regularly or in large numbers anywhere in the country (Gurney 2006).

Colombia; Ecuador; Peru
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population is estimated to number 2,500-9,999 mature individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. This estimate is equivalent to 3,750-14,999 individuals, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is found between sea-level and 3,050 m, in humid evergreen forest and, more commonly, in the transitional zone between dry and wet forests. It appears to make seasonal or occasional movements, perhaps in response to continental rainfall patterns or El Niño Southern Oscillation events(Salaman and Mazariegos 1998).

Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Below 900 m, the rate of deforestation in western Ecuador over the period 1958-1988 was 57% per decade (Dodson and Gentry 1991). High levels of habitat loss are continuing, at least in unprotected areas, and will soon remove almost all remaining lowland forest if effective action is not taken urgently. In higher parts of the species's range, rates of habitat destruction are not as great, but logging and conversion of land for agriculture and plantations are causing loss and degradation of forest (Dodson and Gentry 1991, Dinerstein et al. 1995).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. It occurs in Río Ñambí Community Nature Reserve (Nariño), Río Palenque Reserve (Pichincha), Loma Alta Ecological Reserve, Podocarpus National Park (J. F. Freile in litt. 2000) and Machalilla National Park. Machalilla is the largest of the four, but lacks effective protection.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Search for the species, especially in parts of its range where habitat remains but where there are few recent records (Peru, central Ecuador, east Andean slopes throughout).

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