||Pale-headed Brush-finch, Pale-headed Brush Finch, Pale-headed Brush-Finch
||del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A., Fishpool, L.D.C., Boesman, P. and Kirwan, G.M. 2016. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 2: Passerines. Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.
||16 cm. Pale grey-and-white passerine. Pale brownish-grey upperparts, old males have nearly white head, females and younger males more dingy head, with ill-defined buff stripes on crown sides and behind eye, and whitish underparts. Similar spp. Buff stripes on whitish head and lack of black hindcrown and nape separates this species from similar White-headed Brush-finch A. albiceps. Voice Song typical of genus, fairly high-pitched, 2-7 different phrases given at regular intervals of 7-14 s, virtually indistinguishable from song of White-winged Brush-finch. Interaction calls of the pair include a variety of fairly high-pitched notes by the male, and a low-pitched trill by the female. Contact calls very high-pitched.
|Red List Category & Criteria:
||Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
||Freile, J., Isherwood, I., Juiña, M., Krabbe, N., Schaefer, H.M., Schmidt, V., Sornoza, P., Wege, D. & Hartmann, SH
||Bird, J., Capper, D., Harding, M., Isherwood, I., Pople, R., Sharpe, C J, Stuart, T., Symes, A., Taylor, J., Temple, H.
This species is listed as Endangered because its population is estimated at fewer than 250 mature individuals. It occupies an extremely small range and is restricted to one location, but has been increasing in numbers since 2003 thanks to intensive conservation efforts, most importantly the protection of habitat and control of a nest parasite. Its status, however, is precarious, and continued conservation efforts will be vital if it is to survive and further improve. Future changes that constrain the level of conservation work implemented so far would risk a worsening in the species's status, in which case it would quickly become eligible for uplisting to Critically Endangered.
|Previously published Red List assessments:|
- 2013 – Endangered (EN)
- 2012 – Endangered (EN)
- 2011 – Endangered (EN)
- 2010 – Critically Endangered (CR)
- 2009 – Critically Endangered (CR)
- 2008 – Critically Endangered (CR)
- 2006 – Critically Endangered (CR)
- 2004 – Critically Endangered (CR)
- 2000 – Critically Endangered (CR)
- 1996 – Critically Endangered (CR)
- 1994 – Critically Endangered (CR)
- 1988 – Threatened (T)
|Range Description:||Atlapetes pallidiceps occurs in the río Jubones drainage, in Azuay and Loja, south Ecuador. There were no records between 1969 and 1998, when intensive studies found five pairs and two presumed immatures in two habitat patches in the Yunguilla Valley, near Girón, Azuay, and a further 1-2 pairs that were suspected to be supported by habitat in small ravines in the 1 km between the two patches (Agreda et al. 1999a, 1999b). Despite repeated searches, it is unknown elsewhere within its presumed historical range (Agreda et al. 1999b). The breeding population in 2003 was conservatively estimated at 33 pairs, with 17 pairs in the Yunguilla Reserve, 4 pairs immediately adjacent to it and 12 further pairs in the next valley (Schmidt and Schaefer 2003); it has since shown a consistent increase owing to intensive conservation management, reaching an estimated total of 113 pairs in 2009 (Krabbe et al. 2010). The population may have effectively reached saturation point within the available habitat (D. Wege in litt. 2009), although this is contested and saturation may occur at between 150 and 200 occupied territories (Krabbe et al. 2011, N. Krabbe in litt. 2011). Increases beyond this may be constrained by high land prices and the difficulty of exercising cowbird control in areas the cowbirds can access from several directions. |
|♦ Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:||1||♦ Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):||Unknown|
|♦ Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):||No||♦ Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:||1|
|♦ Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):||No||♦ Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):||No|
|♦ Number of Locations:||1||♦ Continuing decline in number of locations:||No|
|♦ Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:||No||♦ Lower elevation limit (metres):||1650|
|♦ Upper elevation limit (metres):||2100|
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
|Habitat and Ecology:||Its habitat is typical of regenerating landslides and fallow fields, with the species occurring at 1,650-1,950 m (Agreda et al. 1999a, 1999b) in the transition between arid and humid areas with dense low scrub (Schmidt and Schaefer 2003), which is interspersed with small clearings and some patches of 2-3 m tall Chusquea bamboo (Krabbe 2004). Birds feed on invertebrate prey, fruits and flowers during the rainy season (M. Schaefer in litt. 2012), the rest of the year also taking a variety of fruit and seeds (Agreda et al. 1999a, Oppel et al. 2003, Krabbe 2004, M. Juiña unpubl. data). It often gleans prey from twigs of the composite bush Steiractinia sodiroi (Krabbe 2004). It is usually seen in pairs, mainly foraging on and within 2 m of the ground (Agreda et al. 1999a, Schmidt and Schaefer 2003, Krabbe 2004). Historical records are all from the edges of arid intermontane valleys, at 1,500-2,100 m (N. Krabbe in litt. 2012). Nests are placed within dense thickets of small bushes or bamboo (Schmidt and Schaefer 2003). A single clutch is raised every year, unsuccessful birds relaying (Oppel et al. 2003). Egg-laying takes place between late February and mid-April (N. Krabbe in litt. 2012), with a few relaying as late as May (Oppel et al. 2003, N. Krabbe in litt. 2012, M. Juiña unpubl. data), and young are fledged by late May (N. Krabbe in litt. 2012). Recent studies have investigated its breeding ecology and habitat usage (M. Schaefer and V. Schmidt in litt. 2002, Schmidt and Schaefer 2003). It coexists with Rufous-naped Brush-finch Atlapetes rufinucha and Stripe-headed Brush-finch Arremon torquatus, but is subordinate to the latter (Krabbe 2004, Oppel et al. 2004b, M. Schaefer in litt. 2012). |
|Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:||Unknown|
|Generation Length (years):||3.8|
|Movement patterns:||Not a Migrant|