Black-thighed Puffleg Eriocnemis derbyi


Justification of Red List Category
This species is thought to have a declining population and a moderately small range which is declining owing to habitat loss. It is consequently classified as Near Threatened.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but this species is described as uncommon and patchily distributed, and uncommon to locally fairly common in Ecuador.

Trend justification
A moderately rapid and on-going population decline is suspected owing to habitat loss.

Distribution and population

Eriocnemis derbyi has a disjunct range in the Central Andes of south Colombia (Nariño), and on both slopes of the Andes in extreme north-west Ecuador (Carchi) (Hilty and Brown 1986, Fjeldså and Krabbe 1990), where it is uncommon to fairly common and local.


It occurs in humid forest edge, second growth, bushy partially open pastures and ravines at 2,500-3,600 m, but usually above 2,900 m (Hilty and Brown 1986, Fjeldså and Krabbe 1990). Although tolerant of some habitat degradation and sometimes occurring in pastures and gardens, it apparently prefers borders of montane forest and low scrub at the timberline.


Within its patchy distribution, these habitats have been severely deforested over several centuries to the extent that most, if not all, forest has been cleared in many areas, primarily for agricultural expansion (Stattersfield et al. 1998).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. Occurs in Los Nevados and Puracé National Parks, Ucumarí Regional Park and Volcán Galeras Sanctuary, Colombia; and El Ángel Ecological Reserve, Guandera Biological Station and probably Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve, Ecuador (Freile and Mazariegos 2006).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Study its ecological requirements. Search for the species in new areas of potentially suitable habitat. Monitor population at existing sites. Effectively protect those protected areas where it occurs.


Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Capper, D., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Species factsheet: Eriocnemis derbyi. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 16/10/2019. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2019) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 16/10/2019.