Tooth-billed Wren Odontorchilus cinereus


Justification of Red List Category

Based on a model of future deforestation in the Amazon basin, and the species’s susceptibility to habitat fragmentation and disturbance, it is suspected that its population will decline by 25-30% over the next three generations, and it has therefore been uplisted to Near Threatened.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but this species is described as 'uncommon' (Stotz et al. 1996).

Trend justification
This species is suspected to lose 23.5-26.6% of suitable habitat within its distribution over three generations (11 years) based on a model of Amazonian deforestation (Soares-Filho et al. 2006, Bird et al. 2011). It is therefore suspected to decline by a rate approaching 30% over three generations.

Distribution and population

Central Brazil (south of the Amazon in eastern Amazonas and Pará, south to eastern Rondônia and central Mato Grosso) and eastern Bolivia.


Tropical lowland forest from near sea level to 500m, presumed to eat invertebrates. Forages in upper canopy and often associates with mixed-flocks.
Female in breeding condition on 1st September in Bolivia, no other breeding information known.


The primary threat to this species is accelerating deforestation in the Amazon basin as land is cleared for cattle ranching and soy production, facilitated by expansion of the road network; it is patchily distributed and strongly susceptible to degradation and fragmentation due to its reliance on primary forest (Soares-Filho et al. 2006, Bird et al. 2011, A. Lees in litt. 2011). Proposed changes to the Brazilian Forest Code reduce the percentage of land a private landowner is legally required to maintain as forest (including, critically, a reduction in the width of forest buffers alongside perennial steams) and include an amnesty for landowners who deforested before July 2008 (who would subsequently be absolved of the need to reforest illegally cleared land) (Bird et al. 2011).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
None is known.

Conservation Actions Proposed

Expand the protected area network to effectively protect IBAs. Effectively resource and manage existing and new protected areas, utilising emerging opportunities to finance protected area management with the joint aims of reducing carbon emissions and maximizing biodiversity conservation. Conservation on private lands, through expanding market pressures for sound land management and preventing forest clearance on lands unsuitable for agriculture, is also essential (Soares-Filho et al. 2006). Campaign against proposed changes to the Brazilian Forest Code that would lead to a decrease in the width of the areas of riverine forest protected as Permanent Preservation Areas (APPs), which function as vital corridors in fragmented landscapes.


12cm, 11g. Pale grey-brown crown, weak white supercillium and white streaking on greyish ear coverts. Mantle and upperwings mid-grey. Long tail often held slightly cocked, pale grey with about 6 black cross bars along it's length. Whitish underparts.
Similar spp.
Previously considered conspecific with Grey-mantled Wren Odontorchilus branickii, but the latter has darker and more heavily streaked crown and face and typically has more bars along the length of the tail. Also differs in habitat and vocalisations. Voice Loud series of notes on the same pitch, slower and more separate than the trill of O. branickii. Call is a high-pitched swee.


Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Odontorchilus cinereus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/09/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/09/2020.