Foothill Elaenia Myiopagis olallai


Justification of Red List Category
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km² combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified. Data from Sucumbíos (Ecuador) suggest that the species is uncommon.

Trend justification
The species's population is thought to be in decline owing principally to ongoing deforestation, but the  population trend has not been estimated directly. Tracewski et al. (2016) measured the forest loss within this species’s range between 2000 and 2012 as c.80 km2. This roughly equates to a rate of forest loss of 1.6% over three generations (10.8 years) for this species, with the assumption that habitat loss has continued at the same rate to the present day. For a highly forest-dependent species like Foothill Elaenia, population changes may be proportional to forest cover change. Therefore, the species is suspected to decline at <10% over three generations.

Distribution and population

Myiopagis olallai occurs in a highly disjunct range in the northern Andes. The species is restricted to a few sites of occurrence in the Central Cordillera in Colombia, the Sierra de Perijá, the eastern slopes of the Andes in Colombia and Ecuador (Napo, Sucumbíos, Pastaza and Zamora-Chinchipe), as well as in southern central Peru (Pasco, Apurímac, Cusco) (Coopmans and Krabbe 2000, W.-P. Vellinga in litt. 2010, Cuervo et al. 2014, Fitzpatrick 2018). Many records and reported sightings of the species remain unconfirmed.


Foothill Elaenia occurs at elevations between 890 and 1,500 m. It inhabits the interior and edges of very humid to wet primary submontane forest (Coopmans and Krabbe 2000). There is not much known about the ecological requirements of the species (Fitzpatrick 2018).


The species’s population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat loss. On the eastern slope of the Ecuadorian Andes, forest clearance and less intensive habitat destruction and fragmentation may already have resulted in the loss of around half of the original forest cover in the species’s range (D. F. Cisneros-Heredia in litt. 2010). It is reported that unspecified development projects, which have already received approval, are likely to increase the future rate of forest loss in Ecuador (D. F. Cisneros-Heredia in litt. 2010). Even within protected areas, forests within the species’s altitudinal range are under imminent threat of illegal logging (Fitzpatrick 2018). However, the species’s preferred areas in superwet forest are to date only under moderate risk of logging (Fitzpatrick 2018).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway

The species occurs in several protected areas, including Sumaco-Galeras, Podocarpus and Sangay National Parks in Ecuador (del Hoyo et al. 2004, J. F. Freile in litt. 2009), and Yanachaga-Chemillén National Park in Peru (W.-P. Vellinga in litt. 2010). It is listed as NT at the national level in Ecuador (Freile et al. 2018).

Conservation Actions Proposed

Survey areas of potentially suitable habitat. Study its ecology and ability to persist in degraded and fragmented habitats. Quantify rates of habitat loss within its potential range. As a precaution, protect significant areas of suitable forest, in both strictly protected areas and community led multiple use areas.


Text account compilers
Symes, A., Taylor, J., Hermes, C., Wege, D., O'Brien, A., Harding, M., Sharpe, C.J., Wheatley, H.

Cisneros-Heredia, D.F., Freile, J., Lane, D., Miller, E., Schulenberg, T. & Vellinga, W.-P.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Myiopagis olallai. Downloaded from on 29/11/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 29/11/2022.