Habia atrimaxillaris


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Habia atrimaxillaris
Species Authority: (Dwight & Griscom, 1924)
Common Name(s):
English Black-cheeked Ant-tanager, Black-cheeked Ant Tanager, Black-cheeked Ant-Tanager
Taxonomic Notes: The genera Piranga, Habia and Chlorothraupis were formerly placed in Thraupidae but have been moved to Cardinalidae following AOU (2009).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(i,ii,iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2013-11-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S.
Contributor(s): Stiles, F.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Isherwood, I., Mahood, S., Pople, R. & Sharpe, C J
This species is classified as Endangered because of its small range which is mostly confined to two protected areas. The large reduction in habitat indicates that there are ongoing declines in range and population area.

2012 Endangered

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Habia atrimaxillaris has a highly restricted range on the Osa Peninsula and around the Golfo Dulce in south-west Costa Rica. This range has approximately halved since 1960, and it has become increasingly scarce in the fragmented habitat outside Corcovado National Park and Golfito Faunal Refuge. However, populations appear stable in these protected areas (G. Stiles in litt. 1999), and it remains common in Corcovado (Capper et al. 1998).

Costa Rica
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population is estimated to number 10,000-19,999 individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. This estimate is equivalent to 6,667-13,333 mature individuals, rounded here to 6,000-15,000 mature individuals.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It inhabits the understorey of dense lowland forest, advanced secondary growth, streamside woodland, and occasionally selectively logged forest, palm trees and beach-front scrub (Capper et al. 1998, Slud 1964, Stiles and Skutch 1989). It occurs in pairs or small family groups, sometimes accompanying mixed-species flocks (Stiles and Skutch 1989). It feeds primarily on insects and probably other arthropods, but also on melastome berries (Slud 1964, Stiles and Skutch 1989).Breeding takes place from mid-January to May and nesting at a mature secondary forest site is described by Sandoval and Gallo (2009).

Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The vast majority of the forest to the north and east of the Golfo Dulce has been logged (G. Stiles in litt. 1999), and habitat loss is continuing outside protected areas.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
Corcovado National Park is a very important site for this species (Wege and Long 1995, Capper et al. 1998). The Golfito Faunal Refuge also holds a significant population (G. Stiles in litt. 1999), but the habitat is disturbed and fragmented (Wege and Long 1995).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey the Golfito Faunal Reserve to determine the status of this species (Wege and Long 1995).  Protect any remaining habitat outside existing protected areas.  Establish a captive breeding population to support future reintroduction and supplementation efforts.

Citation: BirdLife International 2013. Habia atrimaxillaris. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 29 August 2015.
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