Asthenes helleri


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Asthenes helleri
Species Authority: (Chapman, 1923)
Common Name(s):
English Puna Thistletail
Schizoeaca helleri BirdLife International (2004, 2008)
Schizoeaca helleri Stotz et al. (1996)
Schizoeaca helleri Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993)
Taxonomic Notes: Use of the genus Asthenes follows SACC (2010).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A3c ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Taylor, J. & Butchart, S.
Contributor(s): Lees, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Khwaja, N., Symes, A.

Based on a model of future deforestation, it is suspected that the population of this species will decline rapidly over the next three generations, and it has therefore been uplisted to Vulnerable.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Asthenes helleri has a restricted range in the Andes of western South America, described as uncommon to fairly common throughout. In Peru it is limited to the areas of Cuzco and Puno, and is present in the Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary. Its distribution also touches into extreme north La Paz, Bolivia (del Hoyo et al. 2003).
Bolivia, Plurinational States of; Peru
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 'fairly common' (Stotz et al. (1996).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Above the timberline, this species occurs in "páramo" (high tropical montane grassland) and elfin forest; below, it prefers dense undergrowth at the edge of cloud-forest. It is found between 2,800-3,600 m elevation. Its diet consists of arthropods, taken from understorey foliage (del Hoyo et al. 2003).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

The primary threat to this species is accelerating deforestation; it is thought likely to be particularly susceptible to fragmentation and edge effects (Soares-Filho et al. 2006, Bird et al. 2011, A. Lees in litt. 2011). It has probably always had a small population, and has also been declining as a result of grazing and burning in its Andean timberline habitat (del Hoyo et al. 2003).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

Conservation Actions Underway
None is known.

Conservation Actions Proposed

Expand the protected area network to effectively protect IBAs. Effectively resource and manage existing and new protected areas, utilising emerging opportunities to finance protected area management with the joint aims of reducing carbon emissions and maximizing biodiversity conservation. Conservation on private lands, through expanding market pressures for sound land management and preventing forest clearance on lands unsuitable for agriculture, is also essential (Soares-Filho et al. 2006).

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Asthenes helleri. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 01 September 2015.
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