Pale-headed Brush-finch Atlapetes pallidiceps


Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A., Fishpool, L.D.C., Boesman, P. and Kirwan, G.M. 2016. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 2: Passerines. Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.
SACC. 2005 and updates. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #http://www.museum.lsu.edu/~Remsen/SACCBaseline.htm#.

IUCN Red list criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- D D1+2

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2020 Endangered D
2016 Endangered D
2012 Endangered D
2011 Endangered D1
2010 Critically Endangered B1a+b(i,ii,iii); B2a+b(i,ii,iii)
2009 Critically Endangered B1a+b(i,ii,iii); B2a+b(i,ii,iii)
2008 Critically Endangered
2006 Critically Endangered
2004 Critically Endangered
2000 Critically Endangered
1996 Critically Endangered
1994 Critically Endangered
1988 Threatened
Species attributes

Migratory status not a migrant Forest dependency Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type Land-mass type - continent
Average mass -

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 36 medium
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 36
Number of locations -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 160-226 good observed 2020
Population trend Stable good observed -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) - - -
Number of subpopulations 1 - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation 100 - - -

Population justification: Since 2009, 80-113 territories have been recorded in each year (D. Wege in litt. 2009; H. M. Schaefer in litt. 2020). The total population hence numbers 160-226 mature individuals. This is roughly equivalent to 240-340 individuals in total.

Trend justification: The number of occupied territories has been surveyed annually since 1999. 12-22 territories were counted in 1999, 15-27 territories in 2000, 35-37 territories in 2001, 20-35 territories in 2002, 30-34 territories in 2003, 42-45 territories in 2004, 50-52 territories in 2005, 59-61 territories in 2006 and 81-83 territories in 2007 (N. Krabbe in litt. 2007). In 2008, there were an estimated 110-120 occupied territories (M. Juiña in litt. 2008), and in 2009 the number of occupied territories was estimated at 113 (Krabbe et al. 2011). Counts of singing males found 99 in 2011, 107 in 2012 and 112 in 2013 (S. Hartmann in litt. 2014). In 2018 and 2019, 75 and 83 territories were counted respectively, albeit with lower observation effort as compared to previous years, so that the population is currently estimated at c.100 pairs (H. M. Schaefer in litt. 2020). An extremely rapid increase has occurred between 2003 and 2009, but the species has now reached carrying capacity within the Yunguilla Reserve (Hartmann et al. 2017; H. M. Schaefer in litt. 2020). Increases beyond the current population size are limited by habitat availability (H. M. Schaefer in litt. 2020).

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Ecuador N Extant Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Ecuador Yunguilla Reserve

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Pastureland suitable resident
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical Dry major resident
Altitude 1650 - 2100 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Climate change & severe weather Droughts Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Unknown Unknown
Species mortality
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - Molothrus bonariensis Timing Scope Severity Impact
Past, Unlikely to Return Whole (>90%) Rapid Declines Past Impact
Reduced reproductive success
Natural system modifications Fire & fire suppression - Increase in fire frequency/intensity Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Species mortality

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Atlapetes pallidiceps. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 07/10/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 07/10/2022.