Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Tyrannidae

Scientific Name: Phylloscartes roquettei
Species Authority: Snethlage, 1928
Common Name(s):
English Minas Gerais Tyrannulet
Taxonomic Source(s): SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #
Identification information: 11.5 cm. Small, olivaceous-green tyrannulet. Yellowish-ochre forehead and lores (Lopes et al. 2008). Faint yellowish wing-bars. Pale yellow underparts, and more distinct yellow throat. Slender and slightly cocked tail. Long tail, shape and posture are characteristic of the genus. Voice Fast twittery pr'r'r'r' it tit-tit-tit song and sharp peep call.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered A2c+3c+4c ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2013-11-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S.
Contributor(s): Coelho, A., De Luca, A., Diniz, M., Lopes, L., Luiz, É. & Ribon, R.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Bird, J., Butchart, S., Capper, D., Pople, R., Sharpe, C J & Symes, A.
This species is classified as Endangered because habitat loss and degradation driven by a number of processes are suspected to be causing very rapid ongoing population declines.

Previously published Red List assessments:
2012 Endangered (EN)
2009 Endangered (EN)
2008 Critically Endangered (CR)
2004 Critically Endangered (CR)
2000 Critically Endangered (CR)
1996 Endangered (EN)
1994 Endangered (EN)
1988 Threatened (T)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Phylloscartes roquettei is known from the São Francisco and Jequitinhonha valleys, in north and central Minas Gerais, east-central Brazil. The type-specimen was collected in July 1926 near Januária, now Brejo de Amparo, and birds were seen again in 1977 on both sides of the rio São Francisco (Willis and Oniki 1991). Searches in 1985, 1986 and 1987 were unsuccessful, but the species was located at Várzea da Palma, near Pirapora (c.190 km south of the type-locality) in 1993 and found to be very rare at the site in 1998, 1999, 2002 and 2005 (Raposo et al. 2002; de Vasconcelos et al. 2006; Kirwan et al. 2004). A male specimen was taken at Francisco Dumont (c.250 km south of the type-locality) in 1995 (Raposo et al. 2002). An overlooked specimen taken in 1990 at the Fazenda Cana Brava along the rio Pardo Grande has recently come to light (de Vasconcelos et al. 2008). It was recorded at the Projeto Jaíba, Mocambinho in September 1996. Recent surveys discovered the species at several new localities along the São Francisco river valley (Lopes et al. 2008) and from the Jequitinhonha river basin (Luiz et al. 2006). These new records increased the known extent of occurrence to 33,500 km2  (Lopes et al. 2008). Conjecture that the species may occur in contiguous habitat in south-west Bahia (de Vasconcelos et al. 2006) was confirmed by dos Santos et al. (2009) who describe five new localities within the state; nesting has also been documented (Albano 2009). There appears to be suitable habitat to the northeast and north-northwest of its current distribution (Marini et al. 2010). The population size has not been assessed; the only previous estimate was based on extrapolation across the known range at the time of just 50 km2, given the revised EOO the population is unlikely to be small. Similarly population trends have not been assessed, but there are a number of severe threats to cerrado habitats within the species's range that suggest a rapid decline is likely.

Countries occurrence:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 238000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO): No
Number of Locations: 7
Continuing decline in number of locations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations: No
Lower elevation limit (metres): 400
Upper elevation limit (metres): 900
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: No empirical data is available, however, despite it apparent low population density and ongoing habitat degradation and fragmentation within the species's range, an extensive area of potentially suitable habitat remains that suggests the previous population estimate of 50-250 individuals needed revision. It is instead estimated to number 2,500-9,999 individuals, equating to 1,667-6,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 1,500-7,000 mature individuals.

Trend Justification:  Threats to the cerrado are many and varied; particularly so within the species's range. For this reason a very rapid rate of decline is precautionarily suspected, but collection of empirical evidence to clarify this remains a priority,

Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: 1500-7000 Continuing decline of mature individuals: Unknown
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: The species has been recorded in dry forest, riparian forest and semi-deciduous forest within the cerrado including in secondary growth and forest fragments (Lopes et al. 2008). In the dry season of 1977, it was almost always observed in pairs, 10-20 m up in the few green trees and bushes (Willis and Oniki 1991). Birds occasionally also descended to the green cotton Gossypium bushes of a plantation (Willis and Oniki 1991). In both dry and gallery forests, it appears to prefer the upper branches of taller, emergent trees, where it sallies for insect prey (Raposo et al. 2002). Nest building has been observed in October (Kirwan et al. 2004, Albano 2009), and presumed incubation in November, with a fledgling in December (Albano 2009). It occurs at low densities and can be difficult to detect, even at known sites. Its ability to disperse is unknown; given that cerrado habitats are under threat and increasingly fragmented, it is likely that many populations are increasingly isolated.

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): Its habitat is probably the most threatened in central Brazil owing to its valuable aroeira Astronium urundeuva wood and relatively fertile soils. Charcoal-burners were fully active at the type-locality in 1986, where there was also extensive forest cutting for pasture and agricultural development. The São Francisco basin is also threatened by limestone quarrying and a large-scale irrigation project that has already resulted in the loss of large areas of forest (Raposo et al. 2002). Cattle ranching has resulted in forest clearance across large parts of the state of Minas Gerais within its range (Lopes et al. 2008). These same threats are impacting upon recently discovered locations and are exacerbated when remaining forest is highly fragmented (Lopes et al. 2008).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
It is protected under Brazilian law but no other measures have been taken. There is a record from Cavernas do Peruaçu National Park (Raposo et al. 2002). Considerable survey effort has occurred within the species range resulting in a revised conservation status assessment and improved knowledge of the species's range and requirements.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Continue survey work to improve knowledge of the species's range. Urgently protect the known area near Pirapora, as well as other suitable habitat patches. Conduct an environmental awareness campaign directed at landowners, local communities and schools. Reinforce the protection of the region's gallery forests (Raposo et al. 2002).

Citation: BirdLife International. 2013. Phylloscartes roquettei. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T22699494A49902506. . Downloaded on 10 October 2015.
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