Line-fronted Canastero Asthenes urubambensis


Justification of Red List Category
This montane species is thought to have a moderately small and fragmented population, that is likely to be declining owing to ongoing habitat loss and degradation. It is therefore considered to be Near Threatened.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but this species is described as 'uncommon' (Stotz et al. 1996).

Trend justification
A moderate population decline is suspected to be occurring, owing to habitat loss and alteration within the range.

Distribution and population

Asthenes urubambensis occurs locally, and probably discontinuously, on the east slope of the Andes. The race huallagae occurs in San Martín, La Libertad, Huánuco and Pasco, north and central Peru, with the nominate race in Cuzco and Puno, south Peru, and La Paz and Cochabamba, west Bolivia (Ridgely and Tudor 1994).


This species is rare to uncommon in páramo grassland, Polylepis woodland, elfin forest and mossy slopes with scrub at 2,750-4,300 m (Ridgely and Tudor 1994, Parker et al. 1996).


Although some montane habitats in Peru are still relatively pristine (Fieldjså and Krabbe 1990), in Bolivia native habitats have been extensively degraded by livestock grazing, burning and firewood collection (Dinerstein et al. 1995). Heavy grazing by livestock and the uncontrolled use of fire also combine to prevent Polylepis regeneration, especially where cutting for timber, firewood and charcoal occurs (Fjeldså and Kessler 1996).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
A population exists in the well-protected Carrasco National Park, Bolivia (S. K. Herzog in litt. 1999).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys of suitable habitats within and surrounding the known range to determine its true distribution and abundance. Campaign for the protection of high-altitude native habitats within the range.


Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Gilroy, J., Sharpe, C J

Herzog, S.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Species factsheet: Asthenes urubambensis. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 04/12/2021. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2021) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 04/12/2021.