NT
Tawny Piculet Picumnus fulvescens



Justification

Justification of Red List Category
This species is classified as Near Threatened because, although it is known to tolerate some habitat disturbance, it is suspected to be declining moderately rapidly. However, further research is needed regarding the impact of habitat degradation on this species.

Population justification
This is a poorly known species and no population estimates are available. It is considered scarce.

Trend justification
The species is suspected to be declining at a moderately rapid rate, owing to on-going deforestation in the region.

Distribution and population

Picumnus fulvescens was, until recently, considered to have a disjunct range in the Atlantic forest and Caatinga of north-east Brazil. Recent surveys, however, found it at four new widely distributed sites: Vale do Catimbau, Pernambuco (SNE 2002); Ubajara National Park, Ceara (A. Renaudier in litt. 2005); Fazenda Tamanduá, Paraíba (Neves et al. 1999); and Usina Serra Grande, Alagoas (Silveira et al. 2003). The new records suggest that its distribution is not as disjunct as first thought. Observations made at Murici (J. M. Barnett in litt. 2003) and Usina Serra Grande suggest that, in the Atlantic Forest region, this piculet uses drier second-growth forest and may be colonizing regenerating cleared areas. The species has been recorded in low secondary caatinga, and seems to be adaptable to human disturbance (as other Picumnus). Its occurrence in southern Piauí seems marginal, as its possible competitor, the Spotted Piculet P. pygmaeus is common there (F. Olmos in litt. 2003). The number of localities (13) and extent of occurrence, are now estimated to exceed the B criterion at the Vulnerable level. Similarly the rate of population decline is now not thought to be so rapid, and the species has been reclassified as Near Threatened, and indeed may warrant downlisting to Least Concern. It is scarce, with most records pertaining to one or two birds (Olmos 1993, Wege and Long 1995, F. Brammer in litt. 1998, J. Minns in litt. 1998, A. Whittaker in litt. 1999). It inhabits deciduous, semi-deciduous and secondary forest, and is regularly observed in degraded secondary scrub, from the lowlands to c.950 m (Parker et al. 1996, G. M. Kirwan in litt. 1999, A. Whittaker in litt. 1999). There has been massive deforestation in Alagoas and Pernambuco, largely as a result of logging and conversion to sugarcane plantations and pastureland. The extent of forest at Murici has been reduced from 70 km2 in the 1970s to 30 km2 of highly disturbed and fragmented habitat in 1999 (J. M. Goerck in litt. 1999). In January 1999, new logging roads were evident and such forest fragments are severely threatened by fires spreading from adjacent plantations (J. M. Goerck in litt. 1999, A. Whittaker in litt. 1999). The species has not been relocated around Serra da Capivara National Park, and significant areas outside the park have been degraded by cattle raising and wood collection to fuel the local brick factories (F. Olmos in litt. 2003), a problem widespread in northeastern Brazil. Potentially suitable habitat in the Caatinga has been reduced through agricultural expansion, grazing and burning. It occurs in Pedra Talhada, Guaribas and Serra Negra Biological Reserves, Seridó Ecological Station, Tapacurá Ecological Station, Serra da Capivara National Park and Araripe National Forest (Wege and Long 1995, F. Brammer in litt. 1998). At Pedra Talhada, significant areas are being reforested with native trees (A. Studer per A. Whittaker in litt. 1999). Protection at this reserve is enforced by guards and apparently welcomed by local communities (A. Studer per A. Whittaker in litt. 1999). Vale do Catimbau is expected to become a National Park soon.

Ecology

It inhabits deciduous, semi-deciduous and secondary forest, and is regularly observed in degraded secondary scrub, from the lowlands to c.950 m (Parker et al. 1996, G. M. Kirwan in litt. 1999, A. Whittaker in litt. 1999).

Threats

There has been massive deforestation in Alagoas and Pernambuco, largely as a result of logging and conversion to sugarcane plantations and pastureland. The extent of forest at Murici has been reduced from 70 km2 in the 1970s to 30 km2 of highly disturbed and fragmented habitat in 1999 (J. M. Goerck in litt. 1999). In January 1999, new logging roads were evident and such forest fragments are severely threatened by fires spreading from adjacent plantations (J. M. Goerck in litt. 1999, A. Whittaker in litt. 1999). Potentially suitable habitat in the Caatinga has been reduced through agricultural expansion, grazing and burning, but the species's distribution in the region (and consequently potential threats) is poorly known.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
It occurs in Pedra Talhada and Serra Negra Biological Reserves, Tapacurá Ecological Station, Serra da Capivara National Park and Araripe National Forest (Wege and Long 1995, F. Brammer in litt. 1998). At Pedra Talhada, significant areas are being reforested with native trees (A. Studer per A. Whittaker in litt. 1999). Protection at this reserve is enforced by guards and apparently welcomed by local communities (A. Studer per A. Whittaker in litt. 1999).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey sites in east Pernambuco to ascertain its current status. Survey potentially suitable habitat in the caatinga. Designate a biological reserve at Murici and ensure its de facto protection (J. M. Goerck in litt. 1999). Continue conservation efforts at Pedra Talhada. Resolve the confusing taxonomic relationship between the saturatus subspecies and P. limae.

Identification

10 cm. Tiny, fulvous-brown and black woodpecker. Rich fulvous-brown underparts, with faint pale streaks on breast. Brown upperparts and wings. Black crown, dotted white. Brown ear-coverts. Male presumed to have some red on forehead and/or crown. Voice Descending series of calls driée driée driée ...

Acknowledgements

Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Capper, D., Mahood, S., Sharpe, C J, Williams, R.

Contributors
Whittaker, A., Renaudier, A., da Silva, M., Minns, J., de Melo Dantas, S., Olmos, F., Kirwan, G., Goerck, J., Barnett, J., Studer, A., Brammer, F., Sagot-Martin, F.


Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Picumnus fulvescens. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/06/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/06/2022.