Golden-crowned Manakin Lepidothrix vilasboasi


Justification of Red List Category
This species is listed as Vulnerable because it is presumed to have a small population, which is believed to be declining owing to increased logging resulting from a rapidly increasing human population.

Population justification
The population size is preliminarily estimated to fall into the band 10,000-19,999 individuals. This equates to 6,667-13,333 mature individuals, rounded here to 6,000-15,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
This species's population is suspected to be undergoing a moderate decline in line with rates of forest clearance for logging and cattle-ranching in its range.

Distribution and population

Lepidothrix vilasboasi was known until recently only from the type-locality at the headwaters of the rio Cururu, a right-bank tributary of the rio Tapajós, in the Serra do Cachimbo, south-west Pará, Brazil, where five specimens were taken in 1957. In 2002, a male was observed and mist-netted on the west bank of the rio Jamanxim, near Novo Progresso, c.200 km north-east of the type-locality (Olmos and Pacheco 2003), but this site has now been logged (A. Lees in litt. 2007, 2011). In 2006, two exploded leks were found in selectively logged forest 20 km from the 2002 site, and it has now also been found at two further localities on the far side of the rio Jamanxim (A. Lees in litt. 2007, 2011). It has been suggested that the species ranges between the rios Tapajós and Jamanxim, and that the southern limit of its range lies along the north edge of the Serra do Cachimbo (Olmos and Pacheco 2003), but surveys in the Serra do Cachimbo have so far only found Snow-capped Manakin L. nattereri (F. Olmos in litt. 2007). There is no evidence to suggest that it occurs sympatrically with Opal-crowned Manakin L. iris or L. nattereri (M. Cohn-Haft in litt. 1999, Olmos and Pacheco 2003).


The type-series was collected in primary terra firme forest. The first specimen was seen and collected 6 m up in a thin sapling at the edge of a stream in dense, tall forest. Stomach contents of the specimens contained fruit and insects. The male in 2002 was captured in terra firme forest adjoining a dirt road (Olmos and Pacheco 2003), and the lekking birds in 2006 were in forest which had been selectively logged around five years previously (A. Lees in litt. 2007, 2011). It may be able to survive in small fragments of habitat as the closely related L. nattereri occurs in well-preserved forest fragments as small as 50 ha.


The extent of deforestation in the vicinity of the type-locality remains unknown, but the region is being developed for cattle-ranching (Ridgely and Tudor 1994). Forest at the 2002 locality has already been destroyed and clearance is increasing rapidly in response to the increasing demand for cattle pasture from colonists (Olmos and Pacheco 2003), with the Novo Progresso area currently experiencing one of the highest rates of deforestation in the Amazon (F. Olmos in litt. 2007). Current plans to pave the BR 163 Cuiabá-Santarém road will bring even greater habitat destruction, opening up soya markets in the Mato Grosso for rapid transfer to Santarém, unless strong government action is taken (Olmos and Pacheco 2003, A. Lees in litt. 2007, 2011). However, an increase in selective logging is perhaps a more likely consequence, which would pose a lesser threat given that the species is likely to be tolerant of moderate levels of habitat disturbance and degradation (A. Lees in litt. 2007, 2011). Part of the theoretical range is included in Jamanxim National Forest, which is supposed to be logged in a sustainable way, but unsustainable clearance is also occurring here (F. Olmos in litt. 2007). An analysis of the impact of future infrastructure development on Amazonian birds predicts that loss of forest will cause Lepidothrix vilasboasi to become Critically Endangered by 2020 (Vale et al. 2009).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
The species  occurs in several large protected areas (A. Lees in litt. 2007, 2011). The type-locality is within an area of 400,000 ha at Serra do Cachimbo, belonging to the Brazilian air force, which is one of the best-conserved areas in southern Pará (Olmos and Pacheco 2003). It is considered Vulnerable at the national level in Brazil (MMA 2014).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey to establish the species's status, especially within the Mundurucânia Forest Reserve. Carry out further surveys to assess the limits of its distribution. Clarify the extent of forest destruction at, and near, the type-locality. Improve the management of Jamanxim National Forest. Increase the extent of habitat protection.


8.5 cm. Small, green-and-yellow manakin. Male predominantly bright grass-green, with yellow belly and undertail-coverts, white rump and uppertail-coverts, whitish iris, and glittering golden crown and nape. Pale pinkish legs and pale bluish bill. Female similar but crown has slight bluish tinge and rump area is green. Similar spp. Male separable from similar Snow-capped Manakin P. nattereri by crown and nape colour but female is probably indistinguishable in field except on range. Voice Male call apparently similar to closely related species, a burry prreee sometimes given in series.


Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Capper, D., Pilgrim, J., Pople, R., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A., Taylor, J.

Olmos, F., Lees, A., Cohn-Haft, M.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Lepidothrix vilasboasi. Downloaded from on 14/08/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 14/08/2020.