EN
Ash-breasted Tit-tyrant Anairetes alpinus



Justification

Justification of Red List Category
This species has a very small population and is confined to a habitat which is severely fragmented and undergoing a continuing decline in extent, area, and quality. It is consequently listed as Endangered.

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 250-999 individuals (G. Servat in litt. 1999, G. Engblom in litt. 2000). This equates to 167-666 mature individuals, rounded here to 150-700 mature individuals.

Trend justification
This species's population is suspected to be experiencing a moderate and ongoing decline, in line with habitat loss and degradation within its range.

Distribution and population

Anairetes alpinus occurs locally in the high Andes of Peru and Bolivia. Subspecies alpinus occurs in the cordilleras Central and Occidental (La Libertad [G. Engblom in litt. 2000], Ancash and Lima), Peru. Subspecies bolivianus occurs in the Cordillera Oriental (Apurímac and Cuzco), Peru, and the Cordillera Real (La Paz), Bolivia (Fjeldså and Kessler 1996, Maynard and Waterton 1998, G. Servat in litt. 1999, Vogel and Hennessey 2002, I. Gómez in litt. 2003, 2007). Confirmation is required for a report near Laraos (Lima), Peru (G. Servat in litt. 1999). It is relatively common in the Runtacocha highland, Apurímac, and the Cordillera Vilcabamba, Cuzco (Fjeldså and Kessler 1996), with the population at Abra Málaga estimated as c.20-30 birds (Engblom et al. 2002). In Bolivia it is locally common at the north end of the Cordillera Real in the Cordillera Apolobamba, and the total Bolivian population was estimated at 150-300 birds in 2007 (I. Gómez in litt. 2003, 2007), and just 150 birds in 2009 (Gómez 2009). The total population is perhaps in the mid- or upper hundreds, but estimates vary, and there have been several recent discoveries that have extended the known range of this species (G. Engblom in litt. 2000; Fjeldså and Kessler 1996, Maynard and Waterton 1998, G. Servat in litt. 1999, Vogel and Hennessey 2002).

Ecology

It inhabits semi-humid, mixed Polylepis-Gynoxys woodland at 3,700-4,500 m. In the Runtacocha highland stronghold, Polylepis woodland is mature and has several strata that may provide a richer supply of insects. In Bolivia it is known only from Polylepis pepei forests (I. Gómez in litt. 2003, 2007). It typically moves in pairs or groups of three individuals, sometimes with other species, searching for invertebrates on the outermost branches (Engblom et al. 2002). Immatures have been collected in March and July, a pair feeding young were recorded in December and in the Cordillera Apolobamba an active nest was found in November (I. Gómez in litt. 2003, 2007). Territory size has been estimated at between 1 and 2 ha, and the species does not appear to persist in forest fragments smaller than 1 ha (I. Gómez in litt. 2003, 2007).

Threats

The main threats are heavy grazing (especially in Ancash) and the uncontrolled use of fire, which combine to prevent Polylepis regeneration (Fjeldså and Kessler 1996, G. Servat in litt. 1999, Engblom et al. 2002), especially where cutting for timber, firewood and charcoal also occurs (Fjeldså and Kessler 1996). The change from camelid to sheep- and cattle-farming, erosion and soil degradation caused by agricultural intensification and afforestation, especially where exotic tree species (e.g. Eucalyptus) are planted (Fjeldså and Kessler 1996), are further contributory factors. The extent of Polylepis woodland in Cuzco halved during the 1980s, and over 90% of the forests in which the species has been recorded in Bolivia show human disturbance (Gómez 2009).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
It is very rare in the actively managed Huascarán National Park (Wege and Long 1995, G. Servat in litt. 1999, Byers 2000). Public awareness campaigns in Cuzco, Peru, have been locally successful (Fjeldså and Kessler 1996). Small numbers have been found within Río Abiseo National Park, La Libertad, and Cotapata National Park, La Paz (A. B. Hennessey in litt. 1999, G. Engblom in litt. 2000, Vogel and Hennessey 2002). The Madidi and Apolobamba National Parks protect part of the Cordillera Apolobamba, probably the most important area for the species in Bolivia (I. Gómez in litt. 2003, 2007).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Determine its distribution in Bolivia (A. B. Hennessey in litt. 1999; I. Gomez in litt. 2003, 2007), the Cordillera Vilcanota, Cuzco (G. Servat in litt. 1999, G. Engblom in litt. 2000) and Laraos, south Lima (G. Servat in litt. 1999). Continue management of Huascarán National Park. Protect Polylepis habitat in the Cordillera Vilcanota, Peru and Cordillera Real, Bolivia (G. Servat in litt. 1999, I. Gómez in litt. 2003, 2007) Improve land-use management by segregating agricultural, grazing and forest areas (Fjeldså and Kessler 1996). Encourage local people to develop land-use management and restoration schemes (Fjeldså and Kessler 1996). Conduct studies to ascertain its precise ecological requirements, habitat requirements, population and distribution (I. Gómez in litt. 2003, 2007).

Identification

13 cm. Plain, grey-and-white, tyrannulet. Dark grey above, inconspicuously streaked blackish on mantle. Long and narrow, black bifurcated crest, exposing white in crown. Dark wings with two bold white wing-bars and edgings. Long black tail with white outer rectrices. Ashy-grey below, with centre of belly yellowish-white in nominate, white in bolivianus. Similar spp. Other Anairetes spp. are heavily streaked below. Unstreaked Tit-tyrant Uromyias agraphia has plain crest, pale eyebrow and brown upperparts. Voice Call is soft, rolling series of nasal, repeated crriu notes.

Acknowledgements

Text account compilers
Capper, D., Isherwood, I., Pilgrim, J., Pople, R., Sharpe, C J, Stuart, T., Symes, A.

Contributors
Hennessey, A., Engblom, G., Servat, G., Gomez, I.


Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Species factsheet: Anairetes alpinus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 18/11/2019. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2019) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 18/11/2019.