Peruvian East Andean foothills

Country/Territory Peru
Area 32,000 km2
Altitude 600 - 2200m
Priority urgent
Habitat loss moderate
Knowledge incomplete

General characteristics

This EBA extends along the lower eastern slopes of the East Andes in southern Peru. It covers three apparently disjunct areas: the eastern slope of the mountains in Huánuco, Pasco (including the isolated Cerros del Sira) and northern Junín departments, from the southern end of the Huallaga river south into Junín (including the Cordillera Yanachaga); the eastern slopes of the Cordillera Vilcabamba into the Urubamba valley in Cuzco department (this area extends northwards due to records of restricted-range species in the Apurímac valley); and the slopes of the Cordillera Carabaya in Cuzco (and just into Madre de Dios), and along the length of the Inambari river in Puno to near the Bolivian border. South-east of the Inambari, this EBA abuts the Lower Bolivian yungas (EBA 054) with which a number of species are shared, and at higher altitudes it is adjacent to the Upper Bolivian yungas (EBA 055) in the south, and the Peruvian high Andes (EBA 051) in the north. The altitude of this EBA is primarily centred at 600-2,200 m in the upper tropical and subtropical zones, the vegetation being humid evergreen forest.

Restricted-range species

All the restricted-range species are dependent on forest, some of the birds occurring in or restricted to secondary growth and forest edge. A wide range of altitudinal distributions is exhibited.

At least six species occur on the disjunct Cerros del Sira in the north of the EBA, with Tangara phillipsi endemic to the cerros, and Pauxi unicornis (the endemic subspecies koepckeae) present as a disjunct population from the Lower Bolivian yungas. Zimmerius cinereicapillus occurs (apparently) disjunctly with a population in north-east Ecuador in the Ecuador-Peru East Andes (EBA 044). Tangara argyrofenges is also known to have disjunct populations in the Ecuador–Peru East Andes (southern Amazonas and western San Martín in north-east Peru) and the Lower Bolivian yungas (EBA 054), but is known in the present EBA from an isolated population in eastern Junín department. Perhaps the most inexplicable distribution is that shown by the poorly known Tinamus osgoodi, represented by two distinct races confined to two areas 2,000 km apart: hershkovitzi at the head of the Magdalena valley in southern Colombia, and the nominate on the East Andean slopes in Cuzco and Madre de Dios departments of Peru (Collar et al. 1992). Recent records of T. osgoodi east of the Inambari in the Tambopata-Candamo Reserved Zone have extended the species- range to the Lower Bolivian yungas EBA. The more-widespread Rufous-lored Tyrannulet Phylloscartes flaviventris is known from two disjunct populations, in this EBA and in two EBAs in northern Venezuela (033 and 034); these almost certainly represent two distinct (restricted-range) species but are not considered as such in the present analysis. Red-and-white Antpitta Grallaria (hypoleuca) erythroleuca, confined to the higher elevations of this EBA, has recently been considered specifically distinct (Ridgely and Tudor 1994), but is not so treated here.

Species IUCN Category
Black Tinamou (Tinamus osgoodi) VU
(Pauxi unicornis) NR
Peruvian Piedtail (Phlogophilus harterti) NT
Rufous-webbed Brilliant (Heliodoxa branickii) LC
Green-and-white Hummingbird (Amazilia viridicauda) LC
Cloudforest Screech-owl (Megascops marshalli) NT
Creamy-bellied Antwren (Herpsilochmus motacilloides) NT
Cerulean-capped Manakin (Lepidothrix coeruleocapilla) LC
Yungas Manakin (Chiroxiphia boliviana) LC
Red-billed Tyrannulet (Zimmerius cinereicapilla) VU
Bolivian Tyrannulet (Zimmerius bolivianus) LC
Slaty Tanager (Creurgops dentatus) LC
Sira Tanager (Tangara phillipsi) NT
Straw-backed Tanager (Tangara argyrofenges) VU

Important Bird Areas (IBAs)
IBA Code Site Name Country
Florida y Laguna Pomacochas Peru
Santa Cruz-Ollón Peru
Segakiato Peru
Sondorillo Peru
Sur de la Cordillera de Colán Peru
UNIDA A ALTO MAYO - La Morada Peru
UNIDA A CORDILLERA AZUL - Cordillera Azul antes de unir Peru
UNIDA A PN MANU - Consuelo Peru
UNIDA A PN MANU - Manu antes de unir Peru
UNIDA A PN MANU - Pillahuata Peru
UNIDA A PN MANU - San Pedro Peru
PE076 Cordillera Yanachaga Peru
PE086 Cordillera Vilcabamba Peru
PE088 Santuario Histórico Machu Picchu Peru
PE092 Quincemil Peru
PE110 Reserva Comunal El Sira Peru
PE112 Manu Peru
PE115 Tambopata Peru

Threat and conservation

The forest in this area still remains relatively intact, especially above 900 m (Collar et al. 1992), although there are extensive areas undergoing land clearance, agricultural conversion and logging, the effects of which are being amplified by road-building and human colonization (Dinerstein . 1995).

The exceptionally poorly known Pauxi unicornis is genuinely localized and rare, and is considered threatened because of its vulnerability to hunting; there have been no records from this EBA since 1969. The widespread but threatened Golden-plumed Parakeet Leptosittaca branickii (Vulnerable) has been recorded towards the southern end of the EBA.

Reserves within the EBA which have habitat suitable for restricted-range species include Manu National Park (also a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site, 15,300 km2), embracing the northern part of the Cordillera Carabay and supporting populations of a number of threatened species (Wege and Long 1995), and the Apurímac Reserve Zone (16,700 km2) centred on the Cordillera Vilcabamba between the Apurimac and Urubamba.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Endemic Bird Areas factsheet: Peruvian East Andean foothills. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 12/07/2020.