Bahia Antwren Herpsilochmus pileatus


Justification of Red List category
This species is confined to a relatively narrow coastal strip where it is currently known from just ten locations. Its range is thus small and fragmented, and even protected areas are under threat, and it therefore qualifies as Vulnerable.

Population justification
Population estimate = 2.6-9.6 individuals/km2 x 270 km2 (45% EOO) = 702-2,592, i.e. probably best placed in the band 1,000-2,499 as described as common in suitable habitat (density range from estimates for two congeners in the BirdLife Population Densities Spreadsheet).

Trend justification
This species's population is suspected to be declining rapidly, in line with rates of habitat loss within its range.

Distribution and population

Herpsilochmus pileatus is known from 10 localities along the coast of southern Bahia, Brazil (Whitney et al. 2000). It occurs from Baía de Todos Santos near Salvador in the north to the Trancoso area in the south (Whitney et al. 2000). It is apparently common/abundant in suitable habitat.


This species occupies forests, forest fragments, second growth, cabrucas and restinga vegetation. Forages by gleaning invertebrates from vegetation in the mid-storey and canopy. Sometimes sallies and hover-gleans (del Hoyo et al. 2003).


Coastal forests in southern Bahia have suffered tremendous reduction in size during the last few decades. Logging companies, pastures, and social pressure from native peoples and landless people movements are some of the factors that have contributed to the deforestation process. The species has a very limited range, and although common, remaining vegetation is still being destroyed. Planned large-scale tourist resort development along the coast of southern Bahia may also have a large negative impact (del Hoyo et al. 2003). Designated protected areas where the species could be safe are under threat themselves (J. F. Pacheco in litt. 2001).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
It is considered Vulnerable at the national level in Brazil (Silveira and Straube 2008, MMA 2014). Few protected areas exist for this species but Una Biological Reserve, Monte Pascoal National Park and the Porto Seguro/Florestas Rio Doce SA Forest are important (del Hoyo et al. 2003).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Secure the adequate protection of a number of sites for this species.


11 cm. Small, rather short-tailed antwren. Males are grey with black cap, thick black eyestripe and black, white-tipped wing coverts and tail feathers. Females are similar but have buffy foreheads, white streaking in the crown and dirty white underparts washed with buff in the breast. Similar spp. Males told from sympatric Black-capped Antwren H. atricapillus by large bill, much shorter tail and greyer underparts. Females have less buff in underparts (restricted largely to breast). Voice 4-7 notes separated by decreasing intervals which eventually merge into a regular series.


Text account compilers
Wege, D., Symes, A., Pople, R., Sharpe, C J, Benstead, P.

Pacheco, J., De Luca, A., Develey, P.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Herpsilochmus pileatus. Downloaded from on 23/09/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 23/09/2023.