Marcapata Spinetail Cranioleuca marcapatae


Justification of Red List Category

Although this species may have a restricted range, it is not believed to 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). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to 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 quantified, but the species is described as 'uncommon to fairly common' (Schulenberg et al. 2007).

Trend justification
The population trend has not been estimated directly. The only threat known to the species is forest loss; however, deforestation over the past ten years has been negligible within the range (<1%; Global Forest Watch 2020). There is currently no evidence that the species is undergoing a decline (Schulenberg and Johnson 2020). The species is tentatively assessed as stable.

Distribution and population

Cranioleuca marcapatae is endemic to Cuzco, Peru, where it occurs in the Cordilleras of Vilcanota and Carabaya and in the Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary.


This species occurs in the understory of humid montane and elfin forest from 2,400-3,500 m. It is often found in Chusquea bamboo. It feeds on arthropods. A nest thought to be of this species was oval in shape, made from moss, bark and twigs and suspended from the edge of a branch 9 m from the ground. Fledglings have been recorded in December, April and May (del Hoyo et al. 2003, Remsen and Sharpe 2016).


The only potential threat known to the Marcapata Spinetail is habitat loss, as the species is feared to be susceptible to forest fragmentation and edge effects. However, forests within the range remain largely unaffected by logging, fragmentation and human encroachment (Global Forest Watch 2020, Schulenberg and Johnson 2020).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
The species occurs in Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary and Manu Biosphere Reserve (Remsen and Sharpe 2016).

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).


Text account compilers
Hermes, C.

Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Khwaja, N., Sharpe, C.J., Symes, A. & Taylor, J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Species factsheet: Cranioleuca marcapatae. Downloaded from on 16/10/2021. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2021) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 16/10/2021.