Opal-crowned Manakin Lepidothrix iris


Justification of Red List Category

Based on a model of future deforestation in the Amazon basin it is suspected that the population of this species will decline rapidly over the next three generations, and it has therefore been uplisted to Vulnerable.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but this species is described as 'fairly common' (Stotz et al. 1996) or rare to locally fairly common (Snow and Sharpe 2016). The nominate was found to be rare in surveys in Paragominas, E Pará, whereas subspecies eucephala was frequently encountered during similar work in Santarém, W Pará, which may indicate different degrees of sensitivity to disturbance (Lees et al. 2012).

Trend justification
This species is suspected to lose 59.8-68.9% of suitable habitat within its distribution over three generations (12 years) based on a model of Amazonian deforestation (Soares-Filho et al. 2006, Bird et al. 2011). However, given the species appears to have some degree of tolerance to habitat degradation (A. Lees in litt. 2011), it is suspected to decline by 30-49% over three generations.

Distribution and population

This species occurs in two disjunct populations in east Amazonian Brazil: the Belém area of east Pará, east to north-west Maranhão and south to the Rio Xingu area, north-east Mato Grosso; and on the eastern side of the lower Rio Tapajós, west Pará (Ridgely and Tudor 1994).


The species is found in the lower growth of humid forest and mature secondary woodland, mainly or entirely in terra firme forest (with no flooding), below 200 m (Ridgely and Tudor 1994). It appears to show some tolerance of habitat degradation (A. Lees in litt. 2011). A female has been found with a fully-formed egg in her oviduct in August in east Pará, which constitutes the only available data on breeding (del Hoyo et al. 2004). A poorly known species (del Hoyo et al. 2004, Kirwan & Green 2011, Snow and Sharpe 2016).


The species is threatened by continuing deforestation (Ridgely and Tudor 1994). There have been very high rates of deforestation in Mato Grosso (23.6% of forest cleared by 1988) and Maranhão (19.2%), with large areas also being cleared in Pará (9.6%), due to road building, ranching and land speculation (Cleary 1991). The rate is projected to accelerate in the near future as land is cleared for cattle ranching and soy production, facilitated by expansion of the road network, destroying over 50% of the available habitat within its known range (Soares-Filho et al. 2006, Bird et al. 2011). Proposed changes to the Brazilian Forest Code reduce the percentage of land a private landowner is legally required to maintain as forest (including, critically, a reduction in the width of forest buffers alongside perennial steams) and include an amnesty for landowners who deforested before July 2008 (who would subsequently be absolved of the need to reforest illegally cleared land) (Bird et al. 2011).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
This species is considered Endangered at the national level in Brazil (MMA 2014). It occurs in Serra dos Carajás mosaic of conservation units (Kirwan & Green 2011), Pará, and Gurupi Biological Reserve, Maranhão (Lima et al. 2014). No targeted actions are known.

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). Campaign against proposed changes to the Brazilian Forest Code that would lead to a decrease in the width of the areas of riverine forest protected as Permanent Preservation Areas (APPs), which function as vital corridors in fragmented landscapes.


9 cm. Small, green-and-yellow manakin. Male predominantly bright grass-green, with yellow belly and undertail-coverts, whitish bill, yellow iris, and whitish crown and nape. Pale pinkish legs and yellow thighs. Female similar but with green crown and nape. Voice The male's call is a rapidly repeated chi-wir.


Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Fisher, S., Harding, M., Khwaja, N., Symes, A., Sharpe, C J

Lees, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Species factsheet: Lepidothrix iris. 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.