Arrowhead Piculet Picumnus minutissimus


Justification of Red List Category

Although this species may have a restricted range, it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km² combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species has been downlisted to Least Concern.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but this species is described as 'fairly common' (Stotz et al. 1996).

Trend justification
The population trend has not been estimated directly. The only threat known for this species is forest clearance for agricultural expansion (del Hoyo et al. 2002). Tracewski et al. (2016) measured the forest loss within the species’s range between 2000 and 2012 as c. 740 km2. This roughly equates to a rate of forest loss of 1.4% over three generations (12.6 years) for this species. Due to its tolerance of secondary, converted habitats, Arrowhead Piculet may not be severely affected by deforestation. It has even been suggested that the species might benefit from forest loss as deforestation is opening up new areas of suitable habitat (O. Ottema in litt. 2018). In the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats, the species is tentatively assessed as being stable.

Distribution and population

The species occurs in the coastal lowlands of the Guianas. It is probably endemic to Suriname, where it is common (del Hoyo et al. 2002, Restall et al. 2006). Records from Guyana are scarce and inconclusive, while its status in French Guiana is unclear (Restall et al. 2006).


The species occurs across a wide range of habitats, including montane forests, mangroves and riparian vegetation, secondary forest, plantations and shrubby gardens in villages and towns (del Hoyo et al. 2002, Spaans et al. 2016, Winkler et al. 2019).


The primary threat to this species is deforestation, as land is cleared for cattle ranching and soy production, facilitated by expansion of the road network (Soares-Filho et al. 2006, Bird et al. 2011).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway

None are known.

Conservation Actions Proposed

Expand the protected area network to effectively protect IBAs. Effectively resource and manage existing and new protected areas, utilising emerging opportunities to finance protected area management with the joint aims of reducing carbon emissions and maximizing biodiversity conservation. Conservation on private lands, through expanding market pressures for sound land management and preventing forest clearance on lands unsuitable for agriculture, is also essential (Soares-Filho et al. 2006).


9-10 cm. Tiny, brown-and-white woodpecker. Mainly light brown above and white below. Black cap with white spots, and red tips to feathers in the male.


Text account compilers
Symes, A., Hermes, C., Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Khwaja, N.

Ottema, O.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Picumnus minutissimus. Downloaded from on 29/05/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 29/05/2023.