Andean Ibis Theristicus branickii


Justification of Red List Category
This newly-split ibis is precautionarily suspected to be undergoing moderately rapid population declines owing to the effects of hunting pressure and habitat degradation. Better trend data may result in its downlisting to Least Concern in the future.

Population justification
The population size has not been estimated following recent taxonomic splits, but the species is apparently uncommon in most of its range.

Trend justification
It is likely that its population is undergoing a decline, the rate of which is unknown (Collar and Bird 2011), but is precautionarily suspected to be approaching 30% over three generations (29 years).

Distribution and population

Theristicus branickii occurs in the highlands of Ecuador, Peru, northwest Bolivia and the extreme north of Chile. Uncommon and very local throughout much of range (del Hoyo et al. 1992) but perhaps locally common in parts of the Peruvian Andes (J. Barrio in litt. 2013).


Occurs up to 4,500m in dry upland habitats including puna, typically in open grasslands near rocky outcrops that are used for roosting and breeding (Schulenberg et al. 2007). The species forages either alone, in pairs or small groups (Hancock et al. 1992).


Threats are thought to include hunting pressure and degradation and erosion of its habitat caused by livestock and pollution from mining,

Conservation actions

Conservation and research actions underway
No targeted actions are known.

Conservation and research actions proposed
Survey to obtain an accurate population estimate and monitor to establish trend. Assess threats to puna zone habitat. Search suitable unsurveyed high altitude habitat. Effectively protect significant areas of suitable habitat at key sites, in both strictly protected areas and community led multiple use areas. Develop campaigns to raise awareness and reduce hunting.


74-75cm. Large, striking buff-coloured ibis of high altitude dry habitats. Similar species. T. melanopis has paler wing coverts, more extensive black on belly and often shows a black throat wattle.


Text account compilers
Symes, A. & Taylor, J.

Barrio, J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Theristicus branickii. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 24/09/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 24/09/2020.