Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Caprimulgiformes Trochilidae

Scientific Name: Phaethornis aethopygus
Species Authority: Zimmer, 1950
Common Name(s):
English Tapajos Hermit, Tapajós Hermit
Phaethornis aethopyga
Phaethornis longuemareus Stotz et al. (1996)
Phaethornis longuemareus BirdLife International (2004, 2008)
Phaethornis longuemareus Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993)
Taxonomic Source(s): del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International.
Taxonomic Notes: Phaethornis aethopygus (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) was previously listed as P. aethopyga.

Identification information: 9 cm. Small hermit hummingbird with typical medium-long decurved bill; upperparts olive-green with rufescent edging; underparts strongly rufous in males and buffy-olive tinged rufescent in females; young birds as females, but subadult males gradually developing more rufous underparts (Piacentini et al. 2009). Similar spp Told apart from similar congeners that overlap with its range by combination of strongly rufous belly and deep rufous undertail coverts in male, and strongly rufescent rump and uppertail coverts, as well as its white chin (Piacentini et al. 2009). It also has reddish rachis and rufous terminal margins to the rectrices. Another distinct plumage feature of P. aethopyga is the presence of white bases to the outer margins of the rectrices (Piacentini et al. 2009). Voice Apparently undescribed, but probably emits high-pitched chirps typical of Phaethornis species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2012-06-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S.
Contributor(s): Lees, A. & Olmos, F.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Sharpe, C J, Taylor, J. & Symes, A.
This newly recognised species is listed as Near Threatened because ongoing deforestation in its range is suspected to be driving at least a moderately rapid population decline. Further research is needed to improve our knowledge of this poorly-known species.

Previously published Red List assessments:
2012 Near Threatened (NT)
2011 Near Threatened (NT)
2010 Not Recognized (NR)
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: Phaethornis aethopygus is recognised as a valid species following a study into aspects of the population's plumage, distribution and behaviour that found strong evidence against its treatment as a hybrid (Piacentini et al. 2009). This species is endemic to Brazil, known only from the vicinity of the Teles Pires, Tapajós and Xingu rivers, south of the Amazon (Piacentini et al. 2009).

Countries occurrence:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 178000
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
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population size of this species has not been directly estimated and further research is required. It was described as common to fairly common when considered conspecific with P. longuemareus.

Trend Justification:  This species's population is suspected to be undergoing at least a moderately rapid decline owing primarily to continued forest clearance and fragmentation.

Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: Unknown Continuing decline of mature individuals: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations: No Population severely fragmented: No
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 mostly restricted to primary forest, although tolerant of areas being logged or affected by one fire event (A. Lees in litt. 2011), with one lek observed in heavily disturbed terra firme forest (Piacentini et al. 2009). It is nectivorous and, like other hummingbirds, probably supplements this diet with invertebrates such as flying insects and spiders.

Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Yes
Generation Length (years): 4.2
Movement patterns: Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Within the species's range, habitat destruction and fragmentation as a result of conversion to pasture, road construction and subsequent development and settlement, accompanied by illegal logging, are significant threats, with the Novo Progresso area currently experiencing one of the highest rates of deforestation in the Amazon (F. Olmos in litt. 2007). Current plans to pave the BR 163 Cuiabá-Santarém road are expected to bring even greater habitat destruction, opening up soya markets in the Mato Grosso for rapid transfer to Santarém, unless strong government action is taken (A. Lees in litt. 2007). Observations of P. aethopyga in disturbed habitats (Piacentini et al. 2009, A. Lees in litt. 2011) suggests that, like many hummingbird species, it tolerates some level of habitat degradation; however, forest fragmentation may lead to the loss of lekking sites, and outright forest clearance is assumed to be catastrophic.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
Some areas of forest in its range are afforded protection in designated sites such as Floresta Nacional de Altamira and Jamanxin National Park (Piacentini et al. 2009). No other targeted actions are known for this species.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Carry out surveys to obtain a population estimate and improved knowledge of the species's distribution. Monitor population trends. Monitor the extent and condition of habitat in its range. Increase the area of forest in the Teles Pires, Tapajós and Xingu watersheds that is protected.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2014. Phaethornis aethopygus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T22736463A62723914. . Downloaded on 06 October 2015.
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