Buff-throated Purpletuft Iodopleura pipra


Justification of Red List Category
This species has a very small population with fewer than 250 mature individuals in each subpopulation and is declining owing to continued habitat loss and fragmentation. For these reasons it is evaluated as Endangered.

Population justification
In the Brazilian Red List assessment for birds (MMA 2014) the population is estimated to be <2,500 mature individuals.

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

Distribution and population

Iodopleura pipra is found in north-east and south-east Brazil, in Paraíba, Pernambuco, Alagoas (A. Whittaker in litt. 1999), Bahia, Espírito Santo (E. O. Willis and Y. Oniki in litt. 1999), Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. The species's distribution may be continuous in the forested belt from mid Rio de Janeiro to southern São Paulo at Iguape and Registro. The provenance of two specimens from Demerara, Guyana is problematic but they probably originated from Brazil.


It inhabits the canopy of mainly coastal, lowland and foothill Atlantic forest, and can tolerate secondary and disturbed growth, forest under-planted with cocoa, and clearings with scattered trees. There is some evidence that the species may be associated with a single species of tall, fine-leafed leguminous tree, which is widespread and locally common, and often supports the clumps of mistletoe on which it primarily feeds. Apart from mistletoe berries, insects are consumed, being caught by upward sallying (Whittaker & Kirwan 2008). Breeding has been recorded in August (with the egg laid in mid-July), September (A. Whittaker in litt. 1999) and (in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo) October (A. Whittaker in litt. 1999, Whittaker & Kirwan 2008), with a singing male recorded in December in Espírito Santo.


Loss of Atlantic forest is the main threat, since this habitat is rapidly being cleared for agricultural and real-estate development. Possible migratory movements to adjacent montane areas in the austral summer will be disrupted by the increasing fragmentation of Atlantic forest.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
It is protected under Brazilian law. It survives in a number of protected areas: Desengano and Serra do Mar State Parks, Serra dos Órgãos National Park and Ubatuba Experimental Station (Wege and Long 1995), and was recently recorded in Augusto Ruschi Ecological Station, Forno Grande and Pedra Azul State Parks.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey suitable habitat to clarify distribution and status. Study ecological requirements and seasonal movements. Secure key sites, notably around Ubatuba in São Paulo, and Murici and Usina Serra Grande in Alagoas. Investigate the feasibility of protecting remaining forest at Boa Nova.


9.5 cm. Small, grey cotinga. Dark ashy-grey above with darker crown. Duskier long wings and short tail. Pale cinnamon-buff throat, middle chest and undertail-coverts. Rest of underparts whitish barred grey. Lilac flank tufts often concealed. Sometimes white band on rump. Black, short, stubby bill. Female similar with no tufts. Voice Very thin and metallic psí-si.


Text account compilers
Capper, D., Clay, R., Harding, M., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A., Williams, R., Wheatley, H. & Ashpole, J

Oniki, Y., Whittaker, A. & Willis, E.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Iodopleura pipra. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/10/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/10/2020.