Araripe Manakin Antilophia bokermanni


Justification of Red List Category
This recently described species is only known from one location. It has a very small known range, within which its extremely small population is subject to continuing pressure from agriculture and the development of recreational facilities. It is consequently listed as Critically Endangered.

Population justification
In 2006, population size was estimated at 800 individuals based on two consecutive years of auditive censuses. A census at the end of 2010, which visited 93% of the known water springs, represents the most comprehensive survey of the species ever, and resulted in an estimate of 779 individuals (Aquasis in litt. 2011). It is placed in the band 250-999 individuals to account for uncertainty; this equates to 167-666 mature individuals, rounded here to 150-700 mature individuals. Following detailed survey work, Aquasis (2014) estimates that there are as many as 279 adult males in the population.

Trend justification
The species is assumed to be declining as forested habitat within its range is lost and the moist forest at springs that the species favours is being cleared to grow crops. Habitat quality is deteriorating due to deforestation, degradation of water resources and forest fires. In 2015, a fire destroyed 30ha of moist forest habitat, where suitable nesting habitat was found (W.A.G. Silva in litt. 2016).

Distribution and population

This species was described in 1998 and has been recorded from three municipalities (Crato, Barbalha and Missao Velha), all on the north-eastern slope of the Chapada do Araripe, south Ceará, Brazil (Coelho and Silva 1998, Aquasis 2006). Surveys conducted in 2005-2006 and 2010 have led to a population estimate of c. 800 individuals, which is higher than previously thought (Aquasis 2006, Aquasis in litt. 2011), within a remaining area of suitable habitat estimated at 28 km2 (Aquasis 2006). The breeding area is estimated at 10 km2 (Aquasis 2014). A total of 46 nests were located in 2004-2007 (Aquasis in litt. 2010). The discovery of the species at a new locality on the top of the Araripe plateau, in January 2012, suggests that its population size and distribution may be slightly greater than previously estimated (Aquasis 2012).


It inhabits the lower and middle strata of tall, second growth forest (especially where there is an abundance of vines), edge and adjacent clearings, preferring more humid areas of moist forest near springs and streams (Coelho and Silva 1998, J. Mazar Barnett and G. M. Kirwan in litt. 2000). It reportedly feeds on small fruits of Clidemia biserrata (Gaiotti et al. 2017), Cordia spp. (Coelho and Silva 1998) and Cecropia spp. Recently studies have already identified 21 other plant species (Linhares in litt. 2007, Aquasis in litt. 2010), but also arthropods (beetles, spiders and ants; Gaiotti et al. 2017) as part of its diet. It typically occurs in pairs and breeds in November-April (Aquasis 2006); immature males have been found in March and January (J. Mazar Barnett and G. M. Kirwan in litt. 2000, J. Minns in litt. 2000). Vocal activity among males is thought to peak between 10h00 and 14h00, and be at its highest during September and October, when rainfall is at its lowest; breeding follows during the wet season when c.76% of tree species bordering gallery forests occupied by Araripe Manakin are fruiting (Girão and Souto 2005, K. V. Linhares in litt. 2007). Until recently, all nests discovered had been in vegetation overhanging watercourses (K. V. Linhares in litt. 2007, Linhares et al. 2010), but the recent discovery of a new location in dense forest away from running water suggests this species may not be as reliant on springs and streams as was previously thought (Aquasis 2012). Surveys in 2004-2007 recorded nests in 11 plant species belonging to eight families, most frequently Melastomataceae, Rubiaceae and Piperaceae (Linhares et al. 2010). Most of the plants used were shrubs (c.36%) or trees (c.46%), although few trees were in their adult phase (Linhares et al. 2010). A clutch of two eggs was observed being incubated solely by the female, while the male vocally defended the territory (Albano and Girão 2009). Despite the ongoing loss and fragmentation of the habitat, there is no evidence of genetic substructuring, and the genetic diversity seems to be fairly high (Rêgo et al. 2010).


Lowlands adjacent to the Chapada have been largely cleared for agriculture (especially banana, maize, beans and tomatoes), cattle raising and the construction of homes (Aquasis 2006). There are several recreational facilities along the slopes of the Chapada do Araripe. These include large open parks and swimming pools, which have involved deforestation in their development, particularly in areas where there is spring water. A large recreational water-park was built at the type-locality in 2000 (Aquasis 2006), but a small patch of habitat is being conserved there, and the species persists despite the disturbance (A. B. Hennessey in litt. 2005). Fires in 2004-2005 largely destroyed an area of forest known to contain seven active nests of the species. Another fire in September 2010 affected the same area, as well as other areas where the species is known to occur (Aquasis in litt. 2010). The springs that supply the streams which support the moist forest habitat of the species have shown an average reduction of 75% in their outflow over the past hundred years, possibly due to deforestation on the slopes and plateau of the Chapada do Araripe, posing a long-term threat to the species's remaining habitat. Diversion, channelling and piping of the springs and streams are also reducing the area of available gallery forest habitat (Aquasis 2006). The species is not known to be trapped either by wildlife traders or by the local population for pets (Aquasis 2006).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
In December 2014 two reserves were established for the species. A 140 acre area, the Oasis Araripe Reserve, was acquired by Aquasis (a local NGO) with support from the American Bird Conservancy (Anon. 2015), whilst a neighbouring land owner designated 27 acres as a fully protected area (Anon. 2014). The 140 acre area borders the Araripe National Forest and is connected to the Sitio Fundão State Park (230 acres, fully protected and managed by the state government) (Anon. 2014). In 2016, the reserve was expanded by an additional 170 acres (American Bird Conservancy 2016). Aquasis are in discussions with other landowners concerning the protection of 50-60 ha areas within the species's range (Aquasis 2014, Panela 2015). Aquasis, working in partnership with the American Bird Conservancy, have also conducted a programme of reforestation in the Chapado do Araripe with more than 4,500 native tree seedlings planted as of December 2014 (Panela 2015). Plans are in place to plant 5,000 saplings of 15 native tree species in the newly acquired Oasis Araripe Reserve in 2015 (Anon. 2015). The type-locality is within the Chapada do Araripe Environmental Protection Area, which is adjacent to Araripe National Forest, but both are designated sustainable use and consequently fail to prevent exploitation or disturbance of habitat (Aquasis 2006). The owner of the land adjacent to the type-locality decided to protect the remaining forest following the discovery of this species (A. G. Coelho in litt. 1997, Coelho and Silva 1998, J. Mazar Barnett and G. M. Kirwan in litt. 2000). Progress is ongoing to develop a network of protected areas in the Araripe Plateau area: the Araçá Private Reserve was created in October 2014 and is likely to become a Private Reserve of Natural Heritage (RPPN) (Aquasis 2014).

The Conservation Leadership Programme (CLP) has supported the Conservation of the Araripe Manakin Project in the Chapada do Araripe region since 2004, conducted by Aquasis. In 2007, the project was granted a new award after several years of intensive research into the species's ecological requirements and conservation status, and the development of a conservation plan for the Araripe Manakin; the project team is now focusing on establishing a fully protected area in the Chapada do Araripe that encompasses the remaining moist forest habitat and other areas deemed suitable for habitat restoration (Aquasis 2006, Aquasis in litt. 2010). This process is on-going, and collaborations have been established with several local stakeholders to address various aspects of sustaining long-term conservation actions, including raising awareness and initiating habitat restoration (Aquasis in litt. 2010). Ministry of Environment representatives made a preliminary visit to the site in October 2011 (Aquasis in litt. 2012). The CLP was supporting the Araripe Manakin conservation project again in 2010, with the main objectives of establishing a visitor centre, facilitating and monitoring the process of establishing a fully protected area in the Chapada do Araripe, and encouraging and supporting the formation of local birdwatching groups (Aquasis in litt. 2010).

The Araripe Manakin Conservation Project Visitor Center is now established and efforts are ongoing to develop new exhibits and educational campaigns (Aquasis 2014). In addition to the local fire service and a specially trained fire brigade that responds to fires in conservation areas, a new fire brigade was being established in the municipality of Crato during 2010 to further increase the response capacity (Aquasis in litt. 2010). The species conservation plan for the species was revised in April 2010, together with ICMBio (a Brazilian environmental organisation), and the federal government is expected to publish a decree recognising its legality (Aquasis in litt. 2010). Activities are now underway for the development of an update to the National Action Plan (Aquasis 2014). With support from BirdLife International's Preventing Extinctions Programme the most thorough census yet of the species's known population began in 2012 (Aquasis 2014). Surveys were carried out at sites around Crato in 2013/2014, with more surveys in the municipalities of Barbalha and Missão Velha planned for 2014/2015 (Aquasis 2014). This work has identified new sites where the species is present and areas to target in future surveys but because the methods used are different to previous surveys, assessing population trends is not yet possible (Aquasis 2014). The survey data have been made available to protected area managers in order to inform management decisions (Aquasis 2014). Aquasis (2012, 2014) is involved in a number of local environmental discussion forums.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey similar habitats throughout north-east Brazil during September and October between 10h00 and 14h00 when male calling activity is at its peak (Coelho and Silva 1998, Girão and Souto 2005, J. Mazar Barnett and G. M. Kirwan in litt. 2000) to locate additional populations. Formally protect remaining habitat as a national wildlife refuge or national park. In 2010, Aquasis led a group of stakeholders in a formal request for the creation of a strict protected area along the slopes of Chapada do Araripe. After a brief field visit in 2011 by government officials, no further action was taken by environmental authorities, and by early 2016 the process was still pending at the Brazilian Ministry of Environment (Aquasis in litt. 2016). Provide incentives for landowners to establish a network of private reserves as a buffer zone (Coelho and Silva 1998). Work with environmental and water management authorities to protect springs and streams along the slopes of the Chapada, and their associated gallery forests (Aquasis 2006). Conduct awareness campaigns in the Araripe region to engender pride in biodiversity and water resources, using the species as a symbol for the conservation of the entire Chapada (Aquasis 2006). Promote and facilitate research on humid forest ecosystem services, as well as species composition and ecology, in order to support future conservation actions related to habitat recovery and restoration (Aquasis 2006, Aquasis in litt. 2010). Minimise or eliminate disturbance and clearance of vegetation along watercourses during the species's nesting season (Linhares et al. 2010). Promote habitat recovery and continue working together with governmental environmental agencies and key stakeholders to create a fully protected area that will encompass all the remaining habitat of the species (A. Campos in litt. 2016).


15.5 cm. Strikingly patterned, black, white and red manakin. Male is white with black wings (except for wing-coverts) and tail. Bright crimson red mid-back, nape, crown and frontal tuft of feathers. Reddish iris. Female is olivaceous-green with paler belly and reduced frontal tuft. Voice Quite similar to Helmeted Manakin A. galeata, a musical and warbled uí-guru, guru-uí, guru-uí with variations, and wreee pur calls.


Text account compilers
Sharpe, C.J., Symes, A., Taylor, J., Bird, J., Hermes, C., Khwaja, N., Mahood, S., Butchart, S., Ashpole, J, Mazar Barnett, J., Pople, R.

Coelho, A., Pinto, T., Girao, W., Minns, J., Campos, A., Linhares, K., Albano, C., Mazar Barnett, J., Hennessey, A., Kirwan, G., Mobley, J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Antilophia bokermanni. Downloaded from on 22/01/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 22/01/2022.