Black-billed Flycatcher Aphanotriccus audax


Justification of Red List category
This species is classified as Near Threatened because it is suspected to be undergoing a moderately rapid decline owing to rapid and severe deforestation throughout much of its range. Improved knowledge, however, means that the species does not qualify because of its range size, as this no longer approaches the threshold for Vulnerable. The on-going and serious threats affecting the species necessitate urgent research into its ecology and status, which may in turn lead to it being uplisted in the future.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but this species is described as 'uncommon'.

Trend justification
It is estimated that at least 50% of the species's range in Panama has been deforested during the last 30 years (G. R. Angehr in litt. 2011), whilst in Colombia, where the majority of its range is found, the species's population is suspected to have undergone a rapid decline during the last three generations, i.e. 30% over 11 years (Fundación ProAves in press), owing to severe habitat loss and fragmentation. The overall rate of decline is thus suspected to have been 20-29% over the last three generations. The factors driving rapid deforestation in its range, such as the expansion of agriculture, plantations and mining, are expected to continue (G. R. Angehr in litt. 2011; Fundación ProAves in press).

Distribution and population

Aphanotriccus audax is restricted to east Panama (Panamá and Darién) and north Colombia (from north Antioquia to Guajira) (Hilty and Brown 1986; Ridgely and Gwynne 1989), where it is uncommon to locally common and perhaps overlooked. It appears to require intact, primary closed-canopy forest (Stotz et al. 1996). In Colombia, the species is suspected to have declined by c.30% over the last 11 years (three generations) (Stotz et al. 1996).


It inhabits humid forest undergrowth and mid-storey near streams and swampy areas, in lowlands and foothills at 100-600 m (Hilty and Brown 1986; Ridgely and Gwynne 1989; Fundación ProAves in press).


The species is probably in decline owing to habitat destruction and conversion to agriculture following road-building (Alvarez-Cordero et al. 1994). Deforestation in the Caribbean lowlands of Colombia has been severe (T. Donegan in litt. 2010). Lowland forest in other areas of Colombia is being rapidly cleared for agriculture, but also for palm oil plantations in Chocó department and gold mining in Serranía de San Lucas (T. Donegan in litt. 2010). It is estimated that at least half of the species's known range in Panama has been deforested within the last 30 years and this is continuing rapidly (G. R. Angehr in litt. 2011). The factors driving severe deforestation throughout much of its range are expected to cause future declines in the species's population (Fundación ProAves in press).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
It occurs in Darién National Park, Panama.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys to obtain an estimate of the species's population size. Carry out surveys at regular intervals to monitor population trends. Monitor rates of habitat loss within its range. Increase the area of suitable habitat that has protected status.


Text account compilers
Isherwood, I., O'Brien, A., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A., Taylor, J.

Donegan, T., Angehr, G.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Aphanotriccus audax. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org/species/factsheet/black-billed-flycatcher-aphanotriccus-audax on 07/12/2023.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org on 07/12/2023.