Guianan Antwarbler Hypocnemis cantator


Justification of Red List Category

Based on a model of future deforestation in the Amazon basin, it is suspected that the population of this species will decline by 25-30% over the next three generations, and it has therefore been uplisted to Near Threatened.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as fairly common to common (del Hoyo et al. 2003).

Trend justification
This population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Distribution and population

Hypocnemis cantator occurs in the Guyana Shield of northern South America, and is generally fairly common. It is distribution just reaches extreme east-central Venezuela, where it is found in north-western Bolívar (del Hoyo et al. 2003). It ranges from there through Suriname, Guyana and French Guiana, being especially frequent in the latter two, to north-east Amazonian Brazil, where it ranges from the lower Rio Negro eastwards to Amapá (del Hoyo et al. 2003, Restall et al. 2006).


This is an understorey and middle storey species of forest edges in terra firme forest (with no flooding), transitional forest and várzea (seasonally flooded forest), as well as some tall secondary woodland. It prefers lowlands, ranging up to 1,300 m in Guyana (del Hoyo et al. 2003).


The primary threat to this species is accelerating deforestation in the Amazon basin as land is cleared for cattle ranching and soy production, facilitated by expansion of the road network (Soares-Filho et al. 2006, Bird et al. 2011). It is thought likely to be particularly susceptible to forest fragmentation (A. Lees in litt. 2011). Proposed changes to the Brazilian Forest Code reduce the percentage of land a private landowner is legally required to maintain as forest (including, critically, a reduction in the width of forest buffers alongside perennial steams) and include an amnesty for landowners who deforested before July 2008 (who would subsequently be absolved of the need to reforest illegally cleared land) (Bird et al. 2011).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
None is known.

Conservation Actions Proposed

Expand the protected area network to effectively protect IBAs. Effectively resource and manage existing and new protected areas, utilising emerging opportunities to finance protected area management with the joint aims of reducing carbon emissions and maximizing biodiversity conservation. Conservation on private lands, through expanding market pressures for sound land management and preventing forest clearance on lands unsuitable for agriculture, is also essential (Soares-Filho et al. 2006). Campaign against proposed changes to the Brazilian Forest Code that would lead to a decrease in the width of the areas of riverine forest protected as Permanent Preservation Areas (APPs), which function as vital corridors in fragmented landscapes.


11-12 cm. Medium-sized, brown antbird. Male has pale grey upperparts, black crown with white streaks and white supercilia, and a white throat and breast. Wings, tail, belly and rump brown. Female more uniform brown but also has white throat, breast and supercilia.


Text account compilers
Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Species factsheet: Hypocnemis cantator. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/08/2019. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2019) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/08/2019.