South-east Peruvian lowlands

Country/Territory Bolivia,Brazil,Peru
Area 260,000 km2
Altitude 0 - 800m
Priority urgent
Habitat loss moderate
Knowledge incomplete

General characteristics

This large lowland EBA is centred on south-east Peru, primarily in Madre de Dios department, but extending into northernmost Puno, and across the Bolivian border into Pando and northern La Paz departments. Records of a number of the endemics extend the EBA into Acre and south-east Amazonas states of Brazil. As the birds that identify this EBA are primarily riverine or floodplain forest-dwellers, the boundaries are more precisely defined by the river drainages involved. Most of the birds occur within the Madre de Dios drainage, including the Manu, Inambari, Tambopata and Heath rivers; other records are from the Madidi, Tahuamanu and Ortho rivers in Bolivia, the Ucayali in Peru, the Madeira in Brazil, and the Purús in both Peru and Brazil.

The forest in this region is humid lowland (rarely up to humid upper tropical) forest, comprising (the floristically diverse) tall, irregularly inundated floodplain and riverine forest and (the less diverse) interpluvial terra firme forest (T. A. Parker in litt. 1991).

Restricted-range species

The restricted-range birds of the EBA primarily occupy the tall floodplain and riverine forest, rather than the terra firme forest (Collar et al. 1992, T. A. Parker in litt. 1991), with a number apparently being undergrowth, thicket, scrub and/or bamboo specialists. Most of the species thus occur below 400 m, although records of some are from as high as c.800 m in the foothills of the East Andes, where this EBA abuts the Peruvian East Andean foothills (EBA 053).

Most of the restricted-range species are found in the core area of Madre de Dios, northern Puno (Peru), western Pando and north-west La Paz, with Grallaria eludens presently known from the Curanja river (and probably the Alto Purús) in extreme south-east Ucayali. However, a number of species are known from records that extend the boundaries of the EBA to the north-west and north-east: Picumnus subtilis and Percnostola lophotes have been noted (albeit from few records) along the Ucayali drainage in Loreto department; and Malacoptila semicincta has been recorded to the north and north-east into the lower areas of the Amazon basin (in Brazil and northernmost Bolivia). With additional information and records, some of the species in this EBA may yet prove to overlap with the Upper Amazon-Napo lowlands (EBA 066), including the Ucayali, and the Peruvian East Andean foothills (EBA 053).

Species IUCN Category
Semicollared Puffbird (Malacoptila semicincta) LC
Scarlet-hooded Barbet (Eubucco tucinkae) LC
Fine-barred Piculet (Picumnus subtilis) LC
White-lined Antbird (Myrmoborus lophotes) LC
Goeldi's Antbird (Akletos goeldii) LC
Elusive Antpitta (Grallaria eludens) LC
Masked Antpitta (Hylopezus auricularis) VU
Rufous-fronted Antthrush (Formicarius rufifrons) NT
Black-faced Cotinga (Conioptilon mcilhennyi) LC
Long-crested Pygmy-tyrant (Lophotriccus eulophotes) LC
White-cheeked Tody-flycatcher (Poecilotriccus albifacies) LC
Black-backed Tody-flycatcher (Poecilotriccus pulchellus) LC
Selva Cacique (Cacicus koepckeae) NT

Important Bird Areas (IBAs)
IBA Code Site Name Country
Paratori Peru
BO022 Cercanías de Riberalta Bolivia
BO030 Yungas Inferiores de Madidi Bolivia
BO041 Reserva Nacional Amazónica Manuripi Heath Bolivia
BO044 Tahuamanu Bolivia
BR059 Tabocais Brazil
BR060 Parque Nacional da Serra do Divisor Brazil
BR061 Alto Juruá Brazil
PE086 Cordillera Vilcabamba Peru
PE111 Alto Purus Peru
PE112 Manu Peru
PE113 Los Amigos Peru
PE114 Reserva Amazónica Peru
PE115 Tambopata Peru
PE116 Bahuaja-Sonene Peru

Threat and conservation

The forest in this region has been subject to selective logging, and is being opened up for development schemes, oil/gas extraction and mining, each of which brings with it the associated road-building and human colonization, resulting in yet further degradation (Collar et al. 1992, Dinerstein et al. 1995). However, the EBA as a whole remains relatively intact due primarily to the inaccessibility of major portions of it.

Two of the restricted-range species in this EBA are currently considered threatened, both being restricted to the core area and inhabiting floodplain forest. Cacicus koepckeae is known with certainty only from the type-locality (Balta, on a tributary of the Alto Purús), andFormicarius rufifrons is apparently confined to river-edge habitat along tributaries of the Madre de Dios (Collar et al. 1992, Kratter 1995). While too little is known about C. koepckeae to identify specific threats, it seems probable that it may be vulnerable to the proposed development of this area. F. rufifrons is certainly at risk due to its preference for the very river-edge vegetation that is first to be destroyed and fragmented by human colonization (Kratter 1995). The widespread and threatened Wattled Curassow Crax globulosa (classified as Vulnerable) also occurs in this EBA.

Four Key Areas-Balta, Manu, the Colorado river mouth and Tambopata-Candamo-were identified for the conservation of the threatened species mentioned above (Wege and Long 1995). Of these, Manu National Park (and Biosphere Reserve) and the Tambopata-Candamo Reserve Zone are both formally protected and cover a total of c.30,000 km2, although their integrity is by no means assured (Collar et al. 1992). The Madidi National Park in Bolivia also harbours populations of species from this and other EBAs (A. H. Perry in litt. 1994).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Endemic Bird Areas factsheet: South-east Peruvian lowlands. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/01/2023.