Buff-breasted Tody-tyrant Hemitriccus mirandae


Justification of Red List Category
A combination of an ongoing and rapid decline in habitat, a small population and a small, disjunct and severely fragmented range qualify this species as Vulnerable.

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 2,500-9,999 individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. This estimate is equivalent to 1,667-6,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 1,500-7,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
This species is suspected to be declining as habitat within its small range is lost and deteriorates.

Distribution and population

Hemitriccus mirandae has an apparently disjunct range in north-east Brazil. It is known from Serra da Ibiapaba and Serra do Baturité in Ceará, Areia in Paraíba (Teixeira et al. 1993), Garanhuns, Tapacurá and Lagoa do Ouro in Pernambuco (Teixeira et al. 1993) and Pedra Talhada and Murici (T. Mark in litt. 2003) in Alagoas. It has been described as very common over an extensive range (Teixeira et al. 1993) but it has also been considered fairly common in Serra do Baturité, uncommon at Pedra Talhada (A. Whittaker in litt. 1999) and there are few documented records from elsewhere within its highly fragmented range.


It occurs mainly in dense, tall vine-tangles within seasonally dry, semi-deciduous woodlands. These are concentrated on isolated serras at elevations of 600-900 m (Parker et al. 1996). It has also been observed in the understorey of rather humid forest and dry forest with many tall Orbignya palms, and is apparently adapted to secondary formations such as degraded capoeira. It forages at 1.5-10 m above ground, most often at 2-5 m, actively scanning for arthropod prey.


There has been massive deforestation within its disjunct and fragmented range. Only 1% of original forest remains in Serra do Baturité, largely as a result of clearing for sun coffee since the early 1970s (R. Otoch per F. Olmos in litt. 1999), and the situation is similar in Serra da Ibiapaba. Remaining habitat is threatened by the construction of holiday homes, and fires (R. Otoch per F. Olmos in litt. 1999). Only 2% of original forest cover remains in Alagoas and Pernambuco and 6% in Paraíba (Brown and Brown 1992), with most forest replaced by sugarcane plantations. Remnant patches are highly fragmented and threatened by fires spreading from adjacent plantations. However, the rate of deforestation seems to be slowing down: An analysis of forest loss over time indicated only minor rates of deforestation within the species's range, equivalent to 2.9% over three generations (11 years) (Tracewski et al. 2016). The species has been recorded in secondary forest, but seems to prefer intact, undisturbed forest; so it is likely vulnerable to habitat degradation. The remaining areas of forest within the range are highly fragmented.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
The species was formerly considered Endangered at the national level (Silveira and Straube 2008), but is now designated Vulnerable under Brazilian legislation (MMA 2014). Significant areas are being reforested with native trees at Pedra Talhada Biological Reserve, where protection is enforced by guards and apparently welcomed by local communities (A. Studer per A. Whittaker in litt. 1999). The effectiveness of the Serra do Baturité Environmental Protection Area is unclear, but local hotels protect some habitat (A. Whittaker in litt. 1999). It may also persist in Tapacurá Ecological Station.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey Tapacurá, upland areas in Ceará and other potential sites to ascertain the species's presence and status. Ensure the de facto protection of remaining habitat in the Serra do Baturité. Protect habitat in the Serra da Ibiapaba, and at Areia, Garanhuns and Lagoa do Ouro. Continue conservation efforts at Pedra Talhada.


10 cm. Small flycatcher. Uniform olivaceous upperparts. Duskier wings and tail fringed yellowish-olive. Broad creamy-white tertial edgings. Pale, buffy, creamy-white occular area, cheeks and underparts. Whiter on belly and yellowish on crissum. Cinnamon iris. Voice Call consists of groups of 3 notes, a short squeaky chweet chweet chweet.


Text account compilers
Harding, M., Benstead, P., Capper, D., Hermes, C., Pople, R., Sharpe, C.J., Symes, A., Westrip, J.

Whittaker, A., Studer, A., Otoch, R., Olmos, F., Mark, T.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Species factsheet: Hemitriccus mirandae. Downloaded from on 22/04/2019. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2019) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 22/04/2019.