Ochre-breasted Pipit Anthus nattereri


Justification of Red List Category
This species is Vulnerable owing to the extensive and ongoing reduction in suitable habitat, especially within its Brazilian range, and it is likely to have suffered a concomitant rapid population decline.  It was formerly considered Endangered, but recent surveys in Argentina and Paraguay have found the species to be more common and widespread than previously thought.

Population justification
The population size is preliminarily estimated to fall into the band 10,000-19,999 individuals.  This equates to 6,667-13,333 mature individuals, rounded here to 6,000-15,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
Despite the lack of quantitative data on trends or recent population estimates, the continuing threats posed to occupied habitats suggest that rapid population declines are likely to be occurring.

Distribution and population

Anthus nattereri occurs in south-east Brazil (Minas Gerais, São Paulo, Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul), south Paraguay (Paraguarí, Misiones, Itapúa, Caazapá, Ñeembucu and one record from Presidente Hayes), north Argentina (Corrientes) south to 28°34’S (Codesido and Fraga 2009) and, since 2004, north and central Uruguay (Azpiroz & Menéndez 2008).  It was widespread in Brazil, but has declined dramatically with recent sightings from Serra da Canastra, Alfenas and Poços de Caldas (Minas Gerais), and near Itirapina (São Paulo) (T. A. de Melo Júnior in litt. 1998), with a possible record from Lages (Santa Catarina).  In Paraguay, surveys in 1995-1998 discovered important populations at Yabebyry (Misiones), Isla Yacyretá, Ñu Guazú (both Itapúa) and Tapytá (Caazapá) (Clay et al. 1998, R. P. Clay in litt. 1999, Lowen et al. 1996), with singing males at a further 10 sites (R. P. Clay in litt. 1999).  These sites, with San Juan Bautista (Corrientes) and Serra da Canastra, may now represent the species's strongholds.  It has however recently been found at three new localities in Paraguay: Estancia Lago Ypoa (Paraguarí), Estancia Guazú Cuá (Ñeembucu) (Codesido and Fraga 2009), and Estancia Barrerito (Paraguarí) (H. Del Castillo in litt. 2012).


It primarily inhabits dry grasslands, occasionally wandering into inundated areas.  Displaying males have been found in new (but not more mature) Eucalyptus plantations (R. P. Clay in litt. 1999).  It appears to tolerate (and may actually prefer) short grass regenerating after grassland burns or lightly grazed pastureland (Coutinho 1982, Lowen et al. 1996, Fraga 2001, Codesido and Fraga 2009).  However, it cannot tolerate annual burning of grasslands (Parker and Willis 1997).  Breeding is probably biannual, and has been reported in October in Argentina (Fraga 2001).


By 1993, two-thirds of the Cerrado region had been heavily or moderately altered, mostly since 1950 (Conservation International 1999).  In Brazil, intensive grazing, invasive grasses, annual burning and conversion to Eucalyptus, soybeans and exportable crops (encouraged by government land reform) have had a severe impact (Parker and Willis 1997).  Argentine and Paraguayan grasslands are similarly threatened, especially by conversion to Eucalyptus and flooding caused by the Yacyretá dam (Pearman and Abadie 1995, Lowen et al. 1996).  Conversion of grasslands to ricefields and increasing fire frequency are also considered serious threats in Paraguay (Lesterhuis and del Castillo. in litt. 2007).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
It is protected by law in Brazil and Paraguay,  where it is considered respectively Vulnerable and Endangered at the national level (Silveira and Straube 2008, H. Del Castillo in litt. 2012, MMA 2014).  It occurs in Serra da Canastra National Park (Brazil) (T. A. de Melo Júnior in litt. 1998), San Juan Poriahú Private Reserve (Argentina) (Fraga 2001) and the nominally protected Yabebyry, Isla Yacyretá, San Rafael National Park and Tapytá (Paraguay) (Lowen et al. 1996, Clay et al. 1998, R. P. Clay in litt. 1999).  The preference for burnt areas in Brazil means that it disappears from strictly protected reserves such as Itirapina (Parker and Willis 1997).  A study of the ecology of this species is under way at Isla Yacyreta (Paraguay) (Lesterhuis, A.J. & del Castillo, H. in litt. 2007).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey historical Brazilian localities (with knowledge of its voice), especially Carazinho and São Francisco de Paula in Rio Grande do Sul.  Monitor populations under different management schemes, with particular reference to fire regimes and grazing intensities.  Create a reserve network to protect Paraguayan and Argentine populations.  Ensure the protection of grasslands within San Rafael National Park, Paraguay. Remove incentives for afforesting grasslands.  Conduct further studies of distribution, abundance and trends in Paraguay.


14 cm.  Bright, boldly streaked pipit.  Ochre-yellow in fresh plumage but faded when worn.  Upperparts broadly streaked black.  Broad breast-band of bold streaks, which reappear on sides of abdomen.  Similar spp.  Yellowish Pipit A. lutescens is smaller, barely tinged yellow and less boldly marked above.  Hellmayr's Pipit A. hellmayri has fine breast streaking.  Voice  Long series of warbled phrases in display flight, ending with repeated series of nasal iieeeerrrr as the bird drops near-vertically.  Hints  Best located by distinctive voice and display.


Text account compilers
Sharpe, C J, Gilroy, J., Pople, R.

del Castillo, H., de Melo Júnior, T., Clay, R.P., Lesterhuis, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Anthus nattereri. Downloaded from on 07/08/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 07/08/2020.