Ochraceous Attila Attila torridus


Justification of Red List category
This species's habitat has diminished rapidly since c.1960, and deforestation is continuing apace (Collar et al. 1992). The range and population are now small and severely fragmented. It therefore qualifies as Vulnerable.

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 2,500-9,999 mature individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. This estimate is equivalent to 3,750-14,999 individuals, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.

Trend justification
This species's population is suspected to be declining rapidly, in line with rates of habitat loss within its range.

Distribution and population

Attila torridus is known mainly from west Ecuador in Esmeraldas, Pichincha, Manabí, Los Ríos, Guayas, Cañar, El Oro and Loja (Wege and Long 1995). In Tumbes, Peru, there are several records from the Northwest Peru Biosphere Reserve. The only record for Colombia is a single individual in Nariño, in 1958 (Webster and Rowlett 1998, C. Bushell in litt. 1999). There is a concentration of known localities on the west slope of the Cordillera de Celica, Loja (Wege and Long 1995). It is rare or uncommon in all but a few areas, and numbers have decreased considerably.


It inhabits humid and semi-humid forest, also secondary forest and occasionally cocao plantations, from sea-level to 1,000 m, occasionally as high as 2,400 m (Ridgely and Greenfield 2001). Some seasonal movements are thought to occur, but the nature of these remains unclear. The diet consists of fruit and arthropods, especially spiders, although vertebrates (frogs and lizards) made up nearly half of the food fed to nestlings (Greeney 2006). Breeding is thought to occur in the wet season, between January and March, and a nest has been found in February (Greeney 2006).


Below 900 m, only 4.4% of the original forest cover remains in west Ecuador, with most of this destruction since c.1960 (Dodson and Gentry 1991). High levels of habitat loss are continuing, at least in unprotected areas of both Ecuador and Peru, and will soon remove almost all remaining lowland forest if effective action is not taken urgently. In higher parts of the species's range, rates of habitat destruction are not as great, but logging, conversion of land for agriculture and plantations continue (Dodson and Gentry 1991). Disturbance and degradation of remaining forest patches through heavy grazing by goats and cattle also poses a threat, particularly in deciduous forests. Even some of the protected areas are affected by illegal settling and deforestation, as well as livestock-grazing and habitat clearance by people with land-rights.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
It occurs in two large protected areas, Machalilla National Park, Ecuador, and Northwest Peru Biosphere Reserve, Peru, and two smaller reserves, Río Palenque Scientific Centre and Jauneche Biological Research Station, Ecuador. Historical specimens have been taken in the area now protected as Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve, and there are possible records from other reserves in north-west Ecuador (K. S. Berg in litt. 1999).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey to assess its population and distribution. Determine its status in the Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve. Strengthen habitat protection in the Northwest Peru Biosphere Reserve and Machalilla National Park. Protect the Cordillera de Celica.


20.5 cm. Large, yellowish-cinnamon flycatcher. Pale ochraceous above with yellowish rump and ochraceous-yellow underparts, black greater-coverts and primaries. Similar spp. Rufous Mourner Rhytipterna holerythra is much more rufous. Voice Distinctive whoeeeer, sometimes shortened to wheerk or lengthened with additional notes.


Text account compilers
Isherwood, I., Pople, R., Sharpe, C J, Stuart, T., Symes, A.

Berg, K., Bushell, C.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Attila torridus. Downloaded from on 11/12/2023.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 11/12/2023.