Justification of Red List Category
This species has is listed as Vulnerable because its population is suspected to have undergone a rapid decline over the past three generations (26 years) owing to habitat loss, and this decline is predicted to continue. There is a real risk that declines will exceed 50% over the next 26 years or three generations, however more information is needed on deforestation rates within its Colombian range, and on its ability to persist in forest fragments.
Based on an estimate of 5,000 mature individuals in 2,400 km2 in Ecuador in 2001, extrapolated over an estimated range of 40,700 km2 (O. Jahn in litt. 2009), the total population is estimated to number 85,000-250,000 individuals
In Ecuador habitat loss has been taking place at a rate of 3.8% per year in the past decade (O. Jahn in litt. 2009), principally for oil palms. The rate of forest loss in the lowland Chocó region of Colombia has until recently been lower, but is presently accelerating at an extraordinary rate, as oil palm plantations, timber extraction, industrial-scale river dredging for gold, and coca production are stimulating immigration and colonisation to the region. The population is consequently suspected to have declined rapidly over the past three generations/26 years.
Capito quinticolor is known from c.15 sites in the lowlands and foothills up to 575 m in Colombia (central Chocó south to Nariño) and north Ecuador (Esmeraldas). It is generally considered uncommon and local (Parker et al. 1996), but is fairly common at two locations in the lower foothills of Esmeraldas and Nariño (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999, 2008, R. Strewe in litt. 1999, Ridgely and Greenfield 2001), one of which is selectively logged (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999, 2008).
It inhabits wet lowland forest, forest borders and tall secondary growth, foraging for fruits and insects, almost exclusively in the canopy of large trees (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999, 2008).
Extensive areas of lowland forest remain in Colombia, however the rate of forest loss in the lowland Chocó region of Colombia is presently accelerating at an extraordinary rate, as oil palm plantations (biofuel speculation), timber extraction (Pacific rim exportation), industrial-scale river dredging for gold, and coca production is stimulating immigration and colonisation to the region. Areas in Nariño where the species was frequently seen have in recent years been completely cleared (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999, 2008). In Ecuador, only a few hundred square kilometres of habitat at suitable elevation within the species range are included within the protected area network (Jahn et al. 2000), and habitat loss has been taking place at a rate of 3.8% per year in the past decade (O. Jahn in litt. 2009). The principal driver has been conversion for oil palm plantations, and rising demand for biofuels means that pressure on remaining forests is likely to increase (O. Jahn in litt. 2009). It tends to reach unnaturally high population densities in remaining (secondary) forest fragments in areas where large-scale deforestation has occurred, but it is not known how quickly these will revert to more normal densities, and it is uncertain if the barbet can persist in forest fragments in the long-term or if it will eventually disappear from them altogether (O. Jahn in litt. 2009).
Conservation Actions Underway
Potentially suitable habitat is present in Cotacachi-Cayapas National Park and Awá Ethnographic Reserve, Ecuador, but the species has not yet been found in either (and effective protection at these sites is uncertain). It has been recorded in Cooperativa Tesoro Esmeraldeño, sector Cristóbal Colón, Esmeraldas, Ecuador a forest protected by a community cooperative (J. Freile in litt. 2012).
Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Capper, D., Isherwood, I., Sharpe, C J, Stuart, T., Symes, A., Wege, D., Williams, R.
Salaman, P., Strewe, R., Jahn, O., Sharpe, C J, Freile, J.
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Capito quinticolor. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/11/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/11/2020.