Grey-breasted Sabrewing Campylopterus largipennis


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). 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). The population size is suspectd to be extremely large, and hence does not 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). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Population justification
The global population size has not been estimated directly, but this species is described as uncommon to locally very common (Abrahamczyk and Kessler 2010). Recorded population densities include 2 individuals per km2 in Peru (Terborgh et al. 1990), 7.2-13.9 individuals per km2 in French Guiana (Thiollay 1986), and 18.4 individuals per km2 in primary forest and 7.2-8.8 individuals per km2 in logged forest, both also in French Guiana (Thiollay 1992). Based on the minimum and first quartile of these densities, the estimated area of forest with at least 30% canopy cover within the range in 2010 (611,000,000 km2; Global Forest Watch 2021), and assuming forest to be 10-40% occupied, the population size is tentatively suspected to fall within the range 4,000,000 - 20,000,000 individuals, roughly equating to 3,000,000 - 13,000,000 mature individuals. Given that the species has multiple supspecies, it can be deduced that there are multiple subpopulations.

Trend justification

Remote sensing data on tree cover loss indicates that approximately 4% of tree cover with at least 30% canopy cover was lost from within the species's range over ten years to 2020 (Global Forest Watch 2021). Based on the rate of tree cover loss over the period 2016-2020 (Global Forest Watch 2021), it is projected that 6% tree cover may be lost from the species's range over the next decade. Although the species favours forest edges, it is assumed that deforestation will eventually impact on the species's population size, and so it is inferred to be declining slowly, at a rate suspected to be less than 10% per decade.

Distribution and population

Campylopterus largipennis has a large range across the Amazon basin. C. l. largipennis occurs in eastern Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, and northwest Brazil east of the Rio Negro. C. l. obscurus occurs in eastern Colombia, south through Ecuador and Peru to northern Bolivia, and east to eastern Amazonian Brazil, mainly south of the Amazon river.


It occurs in humid forest including secondary growth and plantations. It is rarely found in unbroken forest and favours clearings, stream margins and forest edge (Lopes et al. 2017). The species was recorded at a higher abundance in old logged forest and in forest with linear plantations than in primary forest in Venezuela (Mason 1996). It appears to undertake regional movements in response to the availability of flowers (Abrahamczyk and Kessler 2010).


The species's forest habitat is being slowly lost. Causes include conversion to agriculture, urbanisation, the construction of roads and hydro-electric power plants, and mining.

Conservation actions

The species occurs in a large number of protected areas across its range.


Text account compilers
Wheatley, H.

Ekstrom, J., Palmer-Newton, A., Hermes, C. & Butchart, S.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Campylopterus largipennis. Downloaded from on 03/10/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 03/10/2022.