Polystictus superciliaris 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Tyrannidae

Scientific Name: Polystictus superciliaris
Species Authority: (Wied, 1831)
Common Name(s):
English Grey-backed Tachuri, Gray-backed Tachuri
Taxonomic Source(s): SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Capper, D., O'Brien, A., Symes, A., Taylor, J.
This species is listed as Least Concern as its range is known to be much larger than was once thought, and does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the IUCN criteria. Its population size and trend are also not thought to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable; however, both its population and range are still thought to be declining and it is recommended that the species be closely monitored.

Previously published Red List assessments:
2011 Least Concern (LC)
2008 Near Threatened (NT)
2004 Near Threatened (NT)
2000 Lower Risk/near threatened (LR/nt)
1994 Lower Risk/near threatened (LR/nt)
1988 Threatened (T)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Polystictus superciliaris occurs very locally in east Brazil from Morro do Chapéu in central Bahia to the Serra do Bocaina in north São Paulo (Ridgely and Tudor 1994, Parker et al. 1996, Vasconcelos 1999, Vasconcelos et al. 1999), where it is uncommon within its large range.
Countries occurrence:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 314000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Yes
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO): No
Continuing decline in number of locations: Yes
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations: No
Lower elevation limit (metres): 900
Upper elevation limit (metres): 1950
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The global population size has not been quantified, but this species is described as 'uncommon'.

Trend Justification:  The species's population is suspected to be in decline owing to habitat loss caused by conversion to cattle ranches and mining operations.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: Unknown Continuing decline of mature individuals: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations: No Population severely fragmented: No
Continuing decline in subpopulations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations: No All individuals in one subpopulation: No
No. of individuals in largest subpopulation: 100

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is resident in arid montane scrub (campo cerrado) and rocky outcrops in savannas and grassland (campo rupestre) at 900-1,950 m (Parker et al. 1996, Stattersfield et al. 1998) and has also been found in abandoned pastures.
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): Much of its range was colonised when diamonds and gold were found there in the 19th century, and small operations persist. Quartz crystals and manganese are also mined. Increasing conversion of land for cattle ranching is currently the principal threat, although it persists in partially degraded areas (WWF/IUCN 1994-1997, Stattersfield et al. 1998, Vasconcelos 1999).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
It is common in Caraça National Park and also occurs in Serra da Canastra and Serra do Cipó National Parks.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Study its ecology and its ability to persist in degraded and fragmented habitats. Survey and monitor populations to assess trends. Effectively protect large areas of suitable unaltered habitat.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2012. Polystictus superciliaris. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22699423A38658655. . Downloaded on 02 December 2015.
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