Pale-billed Antpitta Grallaria carrikeri


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). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not 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 species is described as uncommon to locally fairly common (Stotz et al. 1996, Schulenberg et al. 2007, B. Winger in litt. 2012). Assuming that the species occurs at the same density as a congener, Variegated Antpitta G. varia (3 mature individuals/km2; Santini et al. 2018), the population may number c. 90,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
The population trend for this species has not been directly estimated. Tree cover within the range has been lost at a rate of 3% over the past three generations (15 years; Global Forest Watch 2020). The species is strictly forest-dependent; it is therefore conceivable that the rate of population decline exceeds the rate of forest loss. It is here tentatively suspected that the species is declining at up to 10% over three generations.

Distribution and population

Grallaria carrikeri is endemic to Peru, where it occurs on the east side of the Andes, south and east of the río Marañón, from central Amazonas to southern La Libertad (del Hoyo et al. 2003, Schulenberg et al. 2007). It may be more abundant in the Cordillera Central than it is in the Cordillera Colán (B. Winger in litt. 2012).


The species inhabits the floor and undergrowth of humid montane forest with dense stands of Chusquea bamboo, in elevations of 2,300-3,100 m (del Hoyo et al. 2003, Schulenberg et al. 2007, F. Angulo in litt. 2012, B. Winger in litt. 2012). It prefers areas with a broken canopy and dense epiphytic growth (Schulenberg and Kirwan 2020). The species feeds on a variety of arthropods, especially caterpillars and beetles, and nestlings are frequently fed earthworms (del Hoyo et al. 2003). Observations suggest that breeding takes place during the drier part of the year.


Due to its strict forest dependence, the species is sensitive to the loss, conversion and degradation of its forest habitat. Deforestation has been widespread in the northern central Andes of Peru, as forests are cleared for timber extraction and the establishment of plantations or cattle pastures (Barnes et al. 1995, Davies et al. 1997, Kessler and Herzog 1998). However, most of this activity concentrated in lower areas outside of the species’s range, with higher altitudes only partly affected (García-Moreno et al. 1997, D. Lebbin in litt. 2012). Forest clearance has been particularly rapid on the Cordillera de Colán since the late 1970s (Barnes et al. 1995, Kessler and Herzog 1998). Some areas of cloudforest in its range may be impacted by the widespread practice of burning páramo to maintain pastureland (e.g. Kessler and Herzog 1998). The elevations inhabited by the species on the east slope of the Cordillera Central are currently impacted primarily by clearance for cattle ranching and the associated disturbance (F. Angulo in litt. 2012, B. Winger in litt. 2012). Habitat loss outside protected areas is increasing rapidly (F. Angulo in litt. 2012).

Conservation actions

Conservation actions underway
This species has been recorded in Río Abiseo National Park (del Hoyo et al. 2003). It may also occur in the upper portions of the Abra Patricia-Alto Nieva Private Conservation Area (D. Lebbin in litt. 2012, O. Janni in litt. 2012). The species has been recorded in Corosha District, Amazonas, where work has been underway to establish a community reserve (O. Janni in litt. 2012). Los Chilchos Private Conservation Area was recently created, covering over 46,000 ha (SERNANP 2012). Since 2012, American Bird Conservancy and ECOAN have worked with the communities of Pomacochas, Chido and San Lorenzo to create a potential protected area in the upper Rio Chido to protect remnant cloud forests inhabited by this species, and this resulted in SERNANP's recognition of the Arroyo Negro Private Conservation Area spanning 156 ha in January 2019; ECOAN continues to work with regional authorities in Amazonas, Peru, to establish the Vilava Condorpuna Shipago Regional Conservation Area with a proposed area of more than 30,000 ha (D. Lebbin in litt. 2020).

Conservation actions proposed
Conduct surveys across its potential range, including the Abra Patricia-Alto Nieva Private Conservation Area, to improve knowledge of the species's distribution, population size and current level of habitat protection. Monitor rates of habitat loss and degradation within the species's range. Investigate the ecology and life-history traits (Schulenberg and Kirwan 2020). Increase the area of suitable habitat that is protected, particularly between the Leimebamba-Los Chilchos trail and Río Abiseo National Park, an area within the species's range where it may be at its most abundant (B. Winger in litt. 2012). Complete the establishment of the Vilava Condorpuna Shipago RCA in Amazonas, Peru (D. Lebbin in litt. 2020). Raise awareness of this species amongst local communities.


Text account compilers
Hermes, C.

Angulo Pratolongo, F., Ashpole, J, Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Janni, O., Lebbin, D., Taylor, J. & Winger, B.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Species factsheet: Grallaria carrikeri. Downloaded from on 28/10/2021. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2021) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 28/10/2021.