Tanager Finch Oreothraupis arremonops


Justification of Red List Category
Now following the use of a Minimum Convex Polygon species's EOO is very large and hence does not 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). The population size may be small, but it is not believed to 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). 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). For these reasons the species is now evaluated as Least Concern.

Population justification
The species is described as very rare and local. Its 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
A slow and on-going population decline is inferred from habitat loss. A study of forest loss data from 2000-2012 found that forest cover declined across the species's range at a rate equivalent to 1.8% over three generations (Tracweski et al. 2016).

Distribution and population

Oreothraupis arremonops has a patchy distribution on the Pacific slope of the West Andes of Colombia (Antioquia, Valle del Cauca, Cauca, Nariño, Risaralda [Echeverry-Galvis and Córdoba-Córdoba 2007]) and north-west Ecuador (Pichincha and Imbabura). In Ecuador, there are modern records from the Tandayapa area, Pichincha, and Cotacachi-Cayapas National Park, Imbabura (M. S. Gregory in litt. 2001), Los Cedros Protected Forest and Mindo (Freile and Santander 2005, Ridgely and Greenfield 2006, Athanas and Greenfield 2016). The population in Munchique National Park, Cauca, is estimated to number 1,000 mature individuals, probably the global stronghold (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999). Its apparent rarity may in part result from the inaccessibility of its very wet, often steep-sloped environment (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999).


This poorly-known species inhabits thick undergrowth in primary humid forest (mostly dense, wet, mossy cloud-forest) between 1,200 and 2,800 m altitude. In Cauca, it is most frequently observed between 2,300 and 2,500 m. It has been observed in areas with abundant Clusia spp., Persea sp. and Weinmannia pubescens (Renjifo et al. 2002, Echeverry-Galvis and Córdoba-Córdoba 2007), as well as areas with Palicourea, Asplundia, Besleria, and Allopectus (J. P. López per M. A. Echeverry-Galvis in litt. 2012). It forages mainly in dense understory in groups of no more than six individuals (M. A. Echeverry-Galvis in litt. 2012). Juveniles with adults have been seen in June in Cauca, August in Risaralda (Echeverry-Galvis and Cordoba-Cordoba 2007), and November and December in Pichincha (Lowen et al. 2000, Lowen and Benitez undated), where a nest with one egg has been found (also in November) (Greeney et al. 1998). The nest-site was in fairly disturbed forest (Greeney et al. 1998).


Unplanned colonisation following the completion of roads, notably the Cali-Buenaventura and Pasto-Tumaco highways, and extensive logging concessions have been the primary causes of habitat loss (Salaman 1994, Wege and Long 1995, Salaman and Stiles 1996). A study of forest loss data from 2000-2012 found that forest cover declined across the species's range at a rate equivalent to 1.8% over three generations (Tracweski et al. 2016). Montane forests are less threatened than those in the lowland Chocó region, but habitat loss is occurring, particularly below 2,000 m altitude (Dinerstein et al. 1995, Wege and Long 1995, Salaman and Stiles 1996). Munchique is affected by human settlement, and part of the cloud-forest was illegally burnt during exceptionally dry weather in 1997 to make the land grazeable, but this is apparently only rarely a threat (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
The species occurs in several National Parks throughout its range (Munchique, Cotacachi-Cayapas, Farallones de Cali and Tatamá), as well as in Tambito and La Planada Nature Reserves, Colombia, and Mindo-Nambillo Protection Forest, Ecuador (Wege and Long 1995, M. A. Echeverry-Galvis in litt. 2012). Formerly listed as Vulnerable at the national level in Colombia (Renjifo et al. 2002), it is now considered Least Concern (Renjifo et al. 2014).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey poorly-known cloud-forests, notably in Farallones de Cali National Park (Wege and Long 1995, P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999). Study its ecological requirements, population density and conservation status (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999, Lowen et al. 2000, M. S. Gregory in litt. 2001). Fund, support and enforce better protection of national parks, especially Munchique (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999), and, in tandem, compensation of local people. Establish a monitoring program for the population in Risaralda, involving community based groups interested in bird conservation (Echeverry-Galvis and Cordoba-Cordoba 2007). Study basic life-history in Munchique and Tatama, including juvenile dispersal, diet, and breeding season (M. A. Echeverry-Galvis in litt. 2012).


20 cm. Handsome, large, finch-like bird with boldly striped head. Black head and upper throat, with broad silver-grey coronal stripe and eye-stripe reaching to nape. Ferruginous body, brighter on breast. Grey belly and centre of lower breast. Blackish tail. Juvenile duller, with faint head pattern, brownish body with ferruginous back, black wings and tail. Voice Song is high-pitched series of sharp, thin tsip notes. Foraging call sharp tsip and thinner sink. Soft frog-like whistle wert.


Text account compilers
Isherwood, I., Sharpe, C.J., Pople, R., Stuart, T., Symes, A., Wheatley, H.

Echeverry-Galvis, M., Gregory, M., Salaman, P.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Species factsheet: Oreothraupis arremonops. Downloaded from on 23/10/2021. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2021) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 23/10/2021.