Cnipodectes superrufus 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Tyrannidae

Scientific Name: Cnipodectes superrufus
Species Authority: Lane, Servat, Valqui & Lambert, 2007
Common Name(s):
English Rufous Twistwing
Taxonomic Source(s): SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #
Identification information: A tyrannid assignable to genus Cnipodectes by a combination of relatively large size; broad, flat bill surrounded by well-developed rictal bristles; shaggy plumage texture overall; broad, squared tertials with pale inner and outer edges; and primaries twisted in their orientation, with primaries 8-6 having a modified shaft structure on the underside and a raised ridge along the inner web (Lane et al. 2007). Similar spp. It can be distinguished from all forms of C. subbrunneus by its richly saturated rufous plumage, larger size, and proportionately narrower bill (Lane et al. 2007).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable C2a(i) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Tobias, J.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Bird, J., Sharpe, C J
This newly described species is classified as Vulnerable because although widespread it occurs at low densities and is consequently suspected to have a small, patchily distributed population that is declining in line with habitat conversion within its range.

Previously published Red List assessments:
2009 Vulnerable (VU)
2008 Not Recognized (NR)
2004 Not Recognized (NR)
2000 Not Recognized (NR)
1994 Not Recognized (NR)
1988 Not Recognized (NR)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Cnipodectes superrufus has been recently described from an area of southwestern Amazonia bordering Madre de Dios, Peru, Acre, Brazil and Pando, Bolivia (Tobias et al. 2008). Its range has been estimated at c. 89,000 km2 corresponding to the area of Guadua bamboo dominated habitats; though it appears to be absent from some apparently suitable habitats (Tobias et al. 2008). Field surveys have found the species is the rarest of the bamboo specialists within the region (Tobias et al. 2008). It is a generally scarce species, and based on the extent of potentially suitable habitat it is thought possible that the global population is fewer than 10,000 mature individuals (Tobias et al. 2008). Its habitat is threatened by clearance for development projects, but Guadua may actually increase in area because it can proliferate on deforested land. However, the twistwing is usually recorded in large mature stands of bamboo and is rarely found in young Guadua regrowth, thus a decline is suspected (Tobias et al. 2008).

Countries occurrence:
Bolivia, Plurinational States of; Brazil; Peru
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 490000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO): No
Continuing decline in number of locations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations: No
Lower elevation limit (metres): 250
Upper elevation limit (metres): 410
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The precise distribution and population density of this newly described species are not known, so no accurate population estimate is available. However, while Guadua bamboo habitat is widespread within its range, it appears to show a prefence for larger patches, it is usually recorded in mature patches rather than regrowth, and it appears to be scarce throughout its range. Therefore, the species is precautionarily suspected to have a global population of
Trend Justification:  A relatively slow population decline is suspected based on ongoing development within its range. The rate of habitat conversion may increase in the future potentially impacting the species more rapidly.

Current Population Trend: Increasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: 2500-9999 Continuing decline of mature individuals: Yes
Extreme fluctuations: No Population severely fragmented: No
No. of subpopulations: 2-100 Continuing decline in subpopulations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations: No All individuals in one subpopulation: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The species is a Guadua bamboo specialist, and its apparent absence from some well-studied sites suggests that it may only occur in larger patches (Lane et al. 2007). Its density within suitable habitat is not known; it is apparently the scarcest of the bamboo specialists within its range, but comparatively little ornithological work has been conducted in the region allowing the possibility that it may be found to be relatively common (Lane et al. 2007). The species has been observed perched 1-3 m above the ground from where it sallies after arthropods. Both Cnipodectes spp. perform regular wing raises; the purpose of this behaviour is unknown (Lane et al. 2007).

Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Unknown
Generation Length (years): 3.6
Movement patterns: Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Preliminary evidence suggests that the species shows a preference for larger patches of mature Guadua bamboo. This habitat is threatened within the species range by development projects such as the Trans Oceanica Highway and the available area of mature bamboo stands is likely to decrease. The highway's construction is likely to open the region to further deforestation for cattle ranching and biofuels in the future.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
Two Peruvian sites, Pakitza and Playa Bonita are within the Manu Biosphere Zone (Lane et al. 2007). Several surveys have targeted and identified this species, improving knowledge of its global distribution.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Confirm the species's distribution by checking additional Guadua sites that may support it. Study its ecology assessing whether there is a relationship between presence and bamboo patch size/patch maturity. Map the potential impact of development projects within its range to assess future population declines and identify key sites for conservation/mitigation.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2012. Cnipodectes superrufus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22735464A38068534. . Downloaded on 29 November 2015.
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