Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Cotingidae

Scientific Name: Xipholena atropurpurea
Species Authority: (Wied, 1820)
Common Name(s):
English White-winged Cotinga
Spanish Cotinga Aliblanca
Taxonomic Source(s): SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #
Identification information: 19 cm. Strikingly patterned cotinga. Male has blackish-purple body, paler on rump and crissum with short tail. White wings with black tips to primaries. Whitish iris. Female has drab grey upperparts with hint of pale eye-stripe. Darker wings fringed white. Dusky tail. Pale grey throat with darker breast mottled whitish. Greyish-white on rest of underparts. Similar spp. Female Banded Cotinga Cotinga maculata is more scaled below, lacks white edging on wing feathers, and has dark eye. Voice High-pitched, hollow tchíu notes. Also wing-whirring in flight.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Oniki, Y. & Willis, E.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Clay, R., Mazar Barnett, J., Pople, R., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A., Williams, R.
This species is Endangered because it has a very small and severely fragmented range in an area where there has been extensive habitat destruction.

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

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Xipholena atropurpurea is now virtually confined to 13 protected areas in east Brazil: Paraíba (old specimens and a few recent records), Pernambuco (a few recent records), Alagoas (recent records from two sites), Sergipe, Bahia, Espírito Santo and Rio de Janeiro (recent records from two sites). 

Countries occurrence:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 1800
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: Yes
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations: No
Upper elevation limit (metres): 900
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Teixeira and de Almeida (1997) estimated the population to number 5,110-19,546 individuals, rounded here to 5,100-19,500 individuals. This is roughly equivalent to 3,400-13,000 mature individuals. Censuses at Estação Vera Cruz (formerly CRVD Porto Seguro), Bahia, estimated a mean of 12.42 individuals / km2 and a mean population of 748 which, extrapolated to the 13 protected areas (covering an area of 992 km2), totals 12,322 individuals.

Trend Justification:  A rapid and on-going population decline is suspected based on rates of habitat loss.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: 3400-13000 Continuing decline of mature individuals: Yes
Extreme fluctuations: No Population severely fragmented: Yes
No. of subpopulations: 2-100 Continuing decline in subpopulations: Yes
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 occurs in primary lowland and adjacent foothill Atlantic forest (up to 900 m), mostly in forests near the coast. In the northern part of its range it is found in dense primary forest, more open forest and semi-deciduous forests, but also occurs in selectively logged primary and secondary forests, as well as fragmented woodlots. The diet consists of fruit, especially Moraceae, Myrtaceae and Lauraceae, taken in the forest canopy or around clearings, and some insects (larval Lepidopterans and Orthoptera). It is mostly solitary, gathering only at fruiting trees, though, in south Bahia, birds have been observed associating with C. maculata and thrush Turdus spp. Males display between November and February, and nests (placed high in the fork of a branch) have been found in October and November.

Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Yes
Generation Length (years): 4.6
Movement patterns: Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is threatened by extensive and continuing deforestation, with nearly 60% of suitable habitat disappearing in the period 1980-1997. Many of the protected areas in which it occurs are still under threat and inadequately protected, such as Monte Pascoal in Bahia. Thirteen out of 29 fruiting trees included in its diet are exploited for timber. However, the species is rarely found in bird markets, and is only opportunistically hunted. A widespread fire in July 1995 destroyed most of the forest at one site in Bahia (E. O. Willis and Y. Oniki in litt. 1999), and such instances are a potential threat to many sites.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix I and protected under Brazilian law. It is largely dependent on 13 protected areas, notably those at Pedra Talhada, Una, Monte Pascoal, Sooretama, Desengano and Linhares.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey all remnants of forest within its range. Monitor the population. Effectively protect key sites, especially the privately-owned Murici, Estação Vera Cruz and Linhares. Plant native trees in areas surrounding Sooretama and Linhares.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2012. Xipholena atropurpurea. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22700900A37976893. . Downloaded on 09 October 2015.
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