Coeligena orina 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Caprimulgiformes Trochilidae

Scientific Name: Coeligena orina Wetmore, 1953
Common Name(s):
English Glittering Starfrontlet
Taxonomic Source(s): SACC. 2005 and updates. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #
Identification information: 14 cm. Male is very dark, almost black, with a metallic green sheen. More golden on the rump. Small, bright metallic blue gular spot. Males have a glittering green frontlet on the forehead. Similar spp. Males and females lack the bronzy or cinnamon colour of its former conspecific C. bonapartei. Shows no violet or turquoise in its body plumage.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered C2a(i) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2017-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Krabbe, N. & Salaman, P.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Bird, J., Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Harding, M., Sharpe, C.J., Symes, A., Wheatley, H.
This species has an extremely small and declining population. For this reason it qualifies as Critically Endangered.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species has a very restricted range. Known for more than 50 years only from the 1951 type specimen, C. orina was rediscovered in 2004 and is now known from a dozen additional sites in four subpopulations: Páramo de Frontino, Farallones de Citará, Jardín and Tatamá Natural National Park in north-west Colombia (Renjifo et al. 2014, del Hoyo et al. 2015).  The combined area of all potentially suitable sites is thought to be less than 25 km2. Therefore, the species's global population is unlikely to exceed 250 individuals.

Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:6200
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Number of Locations:2-5Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:NoLower elevation limit (metres):3150
Upper elevation limit (metres):3500
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The population is estimated to fall within the band 50-249 mature individuals, equating to 75-374 individuals in total, rounded here to 70-400 individuals.

Trend Justification:  An ongoing decline of 1-19% over ten years is suspected based on continuing habitat loss within the species's restricted range.

Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:50-249Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:Yes
No. of subpopulations:2-100Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No
No. of individuals in largest subpopulation:1-89

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It is apparently tied to elfin forest-timberline-páramo habitats and adjacent tall humid forest. At 3500 m it was seen feeding on insects in the Ericaceae-clad canopy of elfin forest. Stomach content analysis has shown that it feeds on parasitic wasps, spiders and dipterans; presumably in addition to nectar. Very little is known about its habits and breeding ecology.
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): Páramo de Frontino contains rich deposits of gold, zinc and copper, which have attracted the attention of mining companies. However, political instability in the region has prevented exploitation of these resources to date. The future expansion of mining remains a serious potential threat. The area is currently wholly unprotected and is suffering from continuing deforestation. Future colonisation by human settlers is likely to lead to habitat loss and degradation; a process ongoing in the nearby Las Orquídeas National Park.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
Considered Endangered at the national level in Colombia (Renjifo et al. 2014). In 2005, the Dusky Starfrontlet Bird Reserve was established by Fundacion ProAves, protecting over 5,000 acres of humid montane forest to páramo on the Páramo de Frontino (P. Salaman in litt. 2007). A research and visitor station was established in 2007 with research ongoing on the Dusky Starfrontlet (assessing population and ecological requirements) (P. Salaman in litt. 2007). There are proposals by National Parks Administration (UAESPNN) and Municipality of Urrao to extend Las Orquídeas National Park to encompass adjacent Páramo de Frontino. However, the benefit such a designation would have is questionable as the park is currently poorly protected and under great pressure from colonists.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Continue surveys to research the species's range, population size and trends. Support the proposed expansion of Las Orquídeas National Park, and the Dusky Starfrontlet Reserve in the Páramo de Frontino. Establish a management plan for Páramo de Frontino and Dusky Starfrontlet Reserve. Lobby for the adequate protection of Las Orquídeas National Park. Mobilise funds to facilitate law enforcement within the National Park and extensions to it.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:Yes
3. Shrubland -> 3.7. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical High Altitude
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:Yes
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management
5. Law & policy -> 5.4. Compliance and enforcement -> 5.4.3. Sub-national level

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Action Recovery plan:No
  Systematic monitoring scheme:No
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
  Invasive species control or prevention:No
In-Place Species Management
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:No
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:No
In-Place Education
  Subject to recent education and awareness programmes:No
  Included in international legislation:No
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.1. Housing & urban areas
♦ timing:Future ♦ scope:Majority (50-90%) ♦ severity:Rapid Declines  
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

3. Energy production & mining -> 3.2. Mining & quarrying
♦ timing:Future ♦ scope:Majority (50-90%) ♦ severity:Rapid Declines  
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.3. Unintentional effects: (subsistence/small scale) [harvest]
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Majority (50-90%) ♦ severity:Slow, Significant Declines  
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends

Bibliography [top]

Carantón, D. A.; Suárez, G. 2014. Coeligena orina Inca de Frontino, Dusky Starfrontlet. In: Renjifo, L.M., Gómez, M.F., Velásquez-Tibatá, J., Amaya-Villarreal, A.M., Kattan, G.H., Amaya-Espinel, J.D. and Burbano-Girón, J. (eds), Libro rojo de aves de Colombia, Volumen I: bosques húmedos de los Andes y la costa Pacífica, pp. 133-136. Pontificia Universidad Javeriana and Instituto Alexander von Humboldt, Bogotá D.C., Colombia.

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N., Kirwan, G.M.; Sharpe, C.J.; Boesman, P. 2015. Glittering Starfrontlet (Coeligena orina). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. and de Juana, E. (eds), Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive, Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.

IUCN. 2017. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2017-3. Available at: (Accessed: 5 December 2017).

Krabbe, N.; Flórez, P.; Suárez, G.; Castaño, J.; Arango, J. D.; Pulgarín, P. C.; Múnera, W. A.; Stiles, F. G.; Salaman, P. 2005. Rediscovery of the Dusky Starfrontlet Coeligena orina, with a description of the adult plumages and reassessment of its taxonomic status. Ornitología Colombiana 3 : 28-35.

López-Ordóñez, J.P.; Cortés-Herrera, J.O.; Paez-Ortíz, C.A.; González-Rojas, M.F. 2013. Nuevos registros y comentarios sobre la distribución de algunas especies de aves en los Andes Occidentales de Colombia. Orn. Colombiana 13: 21-36.

Pulgarín-R., P. C.; Múnera-P., W. A. 2006. New bird records from Farallones del Citará, Colombian Western Cordillera. Boletín SAO 16: 44-53.

Renjifo, L.M., Gómez, M.F., Velásquez-Tibatá, J., Amaya-Villarreal, A.M., Kattan, G.H., Amaya-Espinel, J.D. and Burbano-Girón, J. 2014. Libro rojo de aves de Colombia, Volumen I: bosques húmedos de los Andes y la costa Pacífica. Editorial Pontificia Universidad Javeriana & Instituto Alexander von Humboldt, Bogotá D.C., Colombia.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2017. Coeligena orina. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T22687828A118586657. . Downloaded on 22 September 2018.
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