Rio de Janeiro Antbird Cercomacra brasiliana


Justification of Red List Category
This species is classified as Near Threatened because it is thought to have a moderately small population, which probably exists in small sub-populations, and is inferred to be in decline owing to on-going habitat loss.

Population justification
The global population size has not been formally quantified, but this species is described as 'rare' (Stotz et al. 1996), thus the population is preliminarily placed in the band for 10,000-19,999 mature individuals, assumed to equate to c.15,000-30,000 individuals in total. Given the species's patchy distribution, it is assumed that there are multiple sub-populations numbering no more than 1,000 mature individuals each.

Trend justification
Data on population trends are lacking, but the species is thought to be in decline owing to continued habitat loss and degradation within its range.

Distribution and population

Cercomacra brasiliana is known from a few localities in south-eastern Brazil, from central Bahia, south through extreme eastern Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo to southern Rio de Janeiro. It is is generally rare and local in occurrence (Sick 1993, Ridgely and Tudor 1994), evidently being locally common and patchy in distribution, with absence from apparently suitable areas (G. Serpa in litt. 2013).


In common with congeners, this species favours thick undergrowth, such as caatinga tangles and bamboo thickets (Ridgely and Tudor 1994, A. Foster in litt. 2013), within forest and edge habitats up to 950 m. It also appears to prefer vegetation in proximity to streams or damp ground (A. Foster in litt. 2013).


Although presumably threatened by deforestation (Ridgely and Tudor 1994), this species's apparent tolerance of secondary habitats (Sick 1993) may reduce the impact of habitat degradation and fragmentation, and where the species occurs it does appear to show resilience to forest fragmentation (G. Serpa in litt. 2013). The very few known locations for this species remain under pressure and lack protection (G. Serpa in litt. 2013). The expansion of agriculture and clearance for drainage are potential causes of habitat loss for this species (A. Foster in litt. 2013).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
No targeted conservation actions are known for this species.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Repeat surveys of known sites to determine rates of range contraction and population trends. Conduct surveys of suitable habitats within and surrounding the species's known range to determine its true distribution and abundance. Conduct further studies to determine whether this species can genuinely tolerate secondary or disturbed habitats. Protect areas occupied by the species.


Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Gilroy, J., Symes, A. & Taylor, J.

Foster, A. & Serpa, G.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Species factsheet: Cercomacra brasiliana. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 24/05/2019. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2019) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 24/05/2019.