Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Tyrannidae

Scientific Name: Anairetes alpinus
Species Authority: (Carriker, 1933)
Common Name(s):
English Ash-breasted Tit-tyrant, Ash-breasted Tit-Tyrant
Taxonomic Source(s): SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #
Identification information: 13 cm. Plain, grey-and-white, tyrannulet. Dark grey above, inconspicuously streaked blackish on mantle. Long and narrow, black bifurcated crest, exposing white in crown. Dark wings with two bold white wing-bars and edgings. Long black tail with white outer rectrices. Ashy-grey below, with centre of belly yellowish-white in nominate, white in bolivianus. Similar spp. Other Anairetes spp. are heavily streaked below. Unstreaked Tit-tyrant Uromyias agraphia has plain crest, pale eyebrow and brown upperparts. Voice Call is soft, rolling series of nasal, repeated crriu notes.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered C2a(i) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Symes, A. & Butchart, S.
Contributor(s): Engblom, G., Gomez, I., Hennessey, A. & Servat, G.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Capper, D., Isherwood, I., Pilgrim, J., Pople, R., Sharpe, C J, Stuart, T., Symes, A.
This species has a very small population and is confined to a habitat which is severely fragmented and undergoing a continuing decline in extent, area, and quality. It is consequently listed as Endangered.

Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Endangered (EN)
2006 Endangered (EN)
2004 Endangered (EN)
2000 Endangered (EN)
1996 Endangered (EN)
1994 Endangered (EN)
1988 Threatened (T)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Anairetes alpinus occurs locally in the high Andes of Peru and Bolivia. Subspecies alpinus occurs in the cordilleras Central and Occidental (La Libertad [G. Engblom in litt. 2000], Ancash and Lima), Peru. Subspecies bolivianus occurs in the Cordillera Oriental (Apurímac and Cuzco), Peru, and the Cordillera Real (La Paz), Bolivia (Fjeldså and Kessler 1996, Maynard and Waterton 1998, G. Servat in litt. 1999, Vogel and Hennessey 2002, I. Gomez in litt. 2003, 2007). Confirmation is required for a report near Laraos (Lima), Peru (G. Servat in litt. 1999). It is relatively common in the Runtacocha highland, Apurímac, and the Cordillera Vilcabamba, Cuzco (Fjeldså and Kessler 1996), with the population at Abra Málaga estimated as c.20-30 birds (Engblom et al. 2002). In Bolivia it is locally common at the north end of the Cordillera Real in the Cordillera Apolobamba, and the total Bolivian population was estimated at 150-300 birds in 2007 (I. Gomez in litt. 2003, 2007). The total population is perhaps in the mid- or upper hundreds, but estimates vary, and there have been several recent discoveries that have extended the known range of this species (G. Engblom in litt. 2000; Fjeldså and Kessler 1996, Maynard and Waterton 1998, G. Servat in litt. 1999, Vogel and Hennessey 2002).

Countries occurrence:
Bolivia, Plurinational States of; Peru
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 11900
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Yes
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO): No
Number of Locations: 11-100
Continuing decline in number of locations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations: No
Lower elevation limit (metres): 3700
Upper elevation limit (metres): 4500
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population is estimated to number 250-999 individuals (G. Servat in litt. 1999, G. Engblom in litt. 2000). This equates to 167-666 mature individuals, rounded here to 150-700 mature individuals.

Trend Justification:  This species's population is suspected to be experiencing a moderate and ongoing decline, in line with habitat loss and degradation within its range.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: 150-700 Continuing decline of mature individuals: Yes
Extreme fluctuations: No Population severely fragmented: Yes
No. of subpopulations: 2-100 Continuing decline in subpopulations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations: No All individuals in one subpopulation: No
No. of individuals in largest subpopulation: 1-89

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It inhabits semi-humid, mixed Polylepis-Gynoxys woodland at 3,700-4,500 m. In the Runtacocha highland stronghold, Polylepis woodland is mature and has several strata that may provide a richer supply of insects. In Bolivia it is known only from Polylepis pepei forests (I. Gomez in litt. 2003, 2007). It typically moves in pairs or groups of three individuals, sometimes with other species, searching for invertebrates on the outermost branches (Engblom et al. 2002). Immatures have been collected in March and July, a pair feeding young were recorded in December and in the Cordillera Apolobamba an active nest was found in November (I. Gomez in litt. 2003, 2007). Territory size has been estimated at between 1 and 2 ha, and the species does not appear to persist in forest fragments smaller than 1 ha (I. Gomez in litt. 2003, 2007).

Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Yes
Generation Length (years): 3.6
Movement patterns: Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The main threats are heavy grazing (especially in Ancash) and the uncontrolled use of fire, which combine to prevent Polylepis regeneration (Fjeldså and Kessler 1996, G. Servat in litt. 1999, Engblom et al. 2002), especially where cutting for timber, firewood and charcoal also occurs (Fjeldså and Kessler 1996). The change from camelid to sheep- and cattle-farming, erosion and soil degradation caused by agricultural intensification and afforestation, especially where exotic tree species (e.g. Eucalyptus) are planted (Fjeldså and Kessler 1996), are further contributory factors. The extent of Polylepis woodland in Cuzco halved during the 1980s.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
It is very rare in the actively managed Huascarán National Park (Wege and Long 1995, G. Servat in litt. 1999, Byers 2000). Public awareness campaigns in Cuzco, Peru, have been locally successful (Fjeldså and Kessler 1996). Small numbers have been found within Río Abiseo National Park, La Libertad, and Cotapata National Park, La Paz (A. B. Hennessey in litt. 1999, G. Engblom in litt. 2000, Vogel and Hennessey 2002). The Madidi and Apolobamba National Parks protect part of the Cordillera Apolobamba, probably the most important area for the species in Bolivia (I. Gomez in litt. 2003, 2007).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Determine its distribution in Bolivia (A. B. Hennessey in litt. 1999; I. Gomez in litt. 2003, 2007), the Cordillera Vilcanota, Cuzco (G. Servat in litt. 1999, G. Engblom in litt. 2000) and Laraos, south Lima (G. Servat in litt. 1999). Continue management of Huascarán National Park. Protect Polylepis habitat in the Cordillera Vilcanota, Peru and Cordillera Real, Bolivia (G. Servat in litt. 1999, I. Gomez in litt. 2003, 2007) Improve land-use management by segregating agricultural, grazing and forest areas (Fjeldså and Kessler 1996). Encourage local people to develop land-use management and restoration schemes (Fjeldså and Kessler 1996). Conduct studies to ascertain its precise ecological requirements, habitat requirements, population and distribution (I. Gomez in litt. 2003, 2007).

Citation: BirdLife International. 2012. Anairetes alpinus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22699383A38042424. . Downloaded on 13 October 2015.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided