Kaempfer's Tody-tyrant Hemitriccus kaempferi


Justification of Red List Category
This species is estimated to have a small population size found in a very small and severely fragmented range within which it is suspected to be declining owing to habitat loss and fragmentation. Analyses of forest loss suggest that the rate of population decline may not be as great as previously feared, hence the species is now listed as Vulnerable.

Population justification
The estimate of 9,000-18,500 individuals (roughly equivalent to 6,000-12,000 mature individuals) is based upon survey data (Belmonte-Lopes unpublished data) which estimated 20-40 individuals/km2 over 460 km2 (10% of the Extent of Occurrence).

Trend justification
Few remaining habitat fragments occur within protected areas. Forest loss within the species's range has been estimated at c.3.7% over 3 generations (c.11 years) (Tracewski et al. 2016). Therefore, the rate of decline in this species is suspected to be <10% over 3 generations.

Distribution and population

Hemitriccus kaempferi is now known from 11 localities in south-east Brazil (R. Belmonte-Lopes in litt. 2009): Salto Piraí (Collar et al. 1992; Clock 2004; Fitzpatrick 2004; Bencke et al. 2006; Bornschein & Reinert unpublished data) Brusque (Teixeira et al. 1991), the RPPN Volta Velha near Itapoá (Mazar Barnett et al. 2000; Naka et al. 2000; Clock 2004; Fitzpatrick 2004; Bencke et al. 2006; Ghizoni-Jr and Azevedo 2006) São Francisco do Sul municipality, Barra Velha municipality, Blumenau municipality, Piçarras/Itajuba (Piçarras municipality), Morro do Bau (Ilhota municipality), Sanepar bridge (São João river), and National Park Saint-Hilare/Langue (C. Hesse per A. B. Hennessey in litt. 2005); all in Santa Catarina; and at Guaraguaçu Ecological Station in south-east Paraná (Bencke et al. 2006; Carrano 2006; Bornschein & Reinert unpublished data; Belmonte-Lopes unpublished data). The species is apparently very rare, but has been recorded in recent years from all of the locations listed above except Brusque. Recent records have extended the known range considerably, though within its range it has never been recorded from c.80% of the area and appears to be severely fragmented (Belmonte-Lopes unpublished data).


It inhabits humid, heterogeneous, lowland evergreen Atlantic forest and secondary growth (Collar et al. 1992; Mazar Barnett et al. 2000; Belmonte-Lopes unpublished data; Bornschein & Reinert unpublished data) 4-15 m tall Belmonte-Lopes unpublished data). At APA of Guaratuba the species was also observed in forests dominated by Calophilum brasiliensis (Guanadizais) or Tabebuia cassinoides (Caxetais) (Belmonte-Lopes unpublished data; Bornschein & Reinert unpublished data). The favoured habitat appears to be narrow patches of alluvial forest along rivers at 0-50 m (R. Belmonte-Lopes in litt. 2009). It feeds predominantly in the midstorey, from 1-4 m, hover-gleaning and sallying during flights of 0.3-3.5 m and also gleaning and reaching (Belmonte-Lopes unpublished data). At some sites at APA of Guaratuba, the species forage in dense tangles of lianas, often over small rivers (Belmonte-Lopes unpublished data). It does not join mixed species flocks (Collar et al. 1992; Mazar Barnett et al. 2000; Ghizoni-Jr and Azevedo 2006; Belmonte-Lopes unpublished data); instead, pairs appear to remain in well defined territories (Collar et al. 1992; Belmonte-Lopes unpublished data). A nest under construction was found in October 1998, at a height of c.6 m above ground-level, 2-3 m inside primary forest at an elevation of 250 m (Collar et al. 1992; Mazar Barnett et al. 2000).


Deforestation has been extensive in the Atlantic forest, and lowland forest remaining in the vicinity of all sites continues to be cleared. The main threats for the species are apparently banana, rice and timber plantations and the urbanisation of the coastal plain (Belmonte-Lopes unpublished data). Potential construction of a new road system (BR 101) would lead to further fragmentation of all the remaining areas, and sea level rise is a longer-term threat (R. Belmonte-Lopes in litt. 2009).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
It is protected by Brazilian law, and is known to occur in one protected area in Paraná, at APA of Guaratuba, owned by Paraná state government and one in Santa Catarina, the privately-owned RPPN Volta Velha (15 km2). The APA of Guaratuba is the stronghold of this species in Paraná state and this area shelters the largest known population of the species (Bencke et al. 2006; Bornschein & Reinert unpublished data; Belmonte-Lopes unpublished data). Surveys of potentially suitable localities are continuing (R. Belmonte-Lopes in litt. 2009).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Slow rates of deforestation. Survey remaining patches of lowland forest in Santa Catarina and adjacent areas of Paraná to clarify distribution and status (Collar et al. 1992; Mazar Barnett et al. 2000). Resurvey forest within the vicinity of Brusque (Naka et al. 2000). Investigate ecological requirements of the species at current localities. Expand the Bracinho State Ecological Station at Santa Catarina, Reserva Particular do Patrimônio Natural de Volta Velha, APA de Guaratuba and the National Park Saint-Hilare/Lange at Paraná state to incorporate adjacent patches of the species's lowland forest habitat.


10 cm. Small, greenish flycatcher. Brownish-olive head and face. Greyish-buff loral spot and slightly pale eye-ring. Dull olive-green upperparts. Pale yellow throat. Pale greenish-yellow underparts, noticeably washed greenish-olive on breast. Dark wings and tail. Secondaries fringed greenish-yellow. Broad yellowish-cream fringes to tertials. Two obscure yellowish-buff wing-bars. Brown iris. Similar spp. Eye-ringed Tody-tyrant H. orbitatum has conspicuous whitish eye-ring. Voice Fast, strident series of up to four nasal kuít notes.


Text account compilers
Harding, M., Wheatley, H., Sharpe, C.J., Clay, R.P., Westrip, J., Symes, A., Bird, J., Williams, R.

Olmos, F., Rupp, A., Naka, L., Belmonte-Lopes, R., Hennessey, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Hemitriccus kaempferi. Downloaded from on 16/08/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 16/08/2022.