Berlepsch's Canastero Asthenes berlepschi


Justification of Red List Category
This species occurs within a very small range, which is projected to contract at a moderately rapid rate due to climate change impacts. However, the population is not severely fragmented and its high tolerance of habitat modification suggests that it occurs at a high number of locations. The species is therefore considered Near Threatened.

Population justification
This is a poorly known species and no population estimates are available. It is described a common (Remsen 2020).
Based on observational records (eBird 2020), the species is assumed to form at least two subpopulations.

Trend justification
Despite its tolerance of heavily degraded habitat, the species's distribution range is projected to contract with climate change, which will likely cause the population to decline. Modelling revealed that by the year 2080, the range will contract by 91-95%, depending on dispersal scenarios (Avalos and Hernández 2015). Nevertheless, this result needs to be treated with caution due to low sample size inflating the range contraction (Avalos and Hernández 2015). Furthermore, as the species is able to persist in converted habitats without any native vegetation (Remsen 2020), the rate of decline is here tentatively placed in the band 20-29% over ten years.

Distribution and population

Asthenes berlepschi occurs within a restricted area in the semi-arid slopes of the Consata valley and its tributaries in La Paz, north-west Bolivia. Its known range is very small, but the species is suspected to occur in unsurveyed areas north of the río Consata.


Recent surveys have recorded the species in open, degraded Polylepis forest, Baccharis pentlandii scrub and completely converted habitat, with fields, large areas left fallow, shrubs and low scrub, scattered Eucalyptus trees and some soil erosion at 2,300-3,700 m (Herzog et al. 1997). It persists in small patches of vegetation near human settlements, on pastures and farmland (Remsen 2020). In December 1991, 3-4 nests were found c.500 m apart in Eucalyptus trees between agricultural fields (Mayer 1995).


Despite surviving well in highly modified habitats, it must be considered at some risk owing to its tiny range in one small montane basin, its restricted elevational distribution, and the small amount of available habitat.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
No targeted actions are known.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct wider surveys for this species in surrounding areas, particularly north of the río Consata. Quantify the population size. Monitor rates of population change. Monitor potential changes in the distribution range. Ensure the protection of key sites supporting suitable habitats within the range.


16.5 cm. A pale brown, long tailed furnariid. Upperparts dull brown, slightly greyer on nape and becoming pale rufous in rump and uppertail coverts. Dusky tail with pale rufous outer rectrices. Dusky wings with faint rufous bar at the base of primaries and rufous edging to wing coverts. Faint paler supercilium. Pale cinnamon chin patch. Pale ochraceous underparts with some weak scaling on breast; rufous-chestnut flanks and vent. Stout dark bill. Similar spp. Most similar to arequipae ssp. of Rusty-vented Canastero A. dorbignyi But has more rufous in wing coverts and tail, and a stouter bill. Voice A long and descending high-pitched trill. Hints The conspicuous stick nests in Eucalyptus trees give away its presence.


Text account compilers
Hermes, C.

Butchart, S., Gilroy, J. & Sharpe, C.J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Asthenes berlepschi. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/03/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/03/2023.