White-browed Antpitta Hylopezus ochroleucus


Justification of Red List Category
This species has a very large range, 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). 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). The population size has not been quantified, 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). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified. The species is described as uncommon and rare (Stotz et al. 1996, Greeney 2020), but is widely observed across suitable habitat (B. Phalan in litt. 2022).

Trend justification
Data on population trends are lacking, but this species is suspected to be undergoing a decline owing to pressures on its habitat. Within its range, tree cover is lost at a rate of 8% over three generations (10.1 years; Global Forest Watch 2022, using Hansen et al. [2013] data and methods disclosed therein). While the species appears to show some tolerance to habitat degradation (R. Parrini in litt. 1999) it disappears from small habitat fragments (Greeney 2020). Therefore, it is precautionarily assumed that population declines exceed the rate of tree cover loss; they are here placed in the band 10-19% over three generations.

Distribution and population

Hylopezus ochroleucus is scarce and local in the interior of north-eastern Brazil from Piauí and Ceará south to southern Bahia and northern Minas Gerais (Sick 1993, Whitney et al. 1995, G. Kohler in litt. 2010).


It occurs in tall, lush caatinga woodland and semi-deciduous forest at 500-1,000 m, where it frequents dense tangles and dense understory (Ridgely and Tudor 1994, D. M. Lima in litt. 2022). Even though it may persist in degraded areas (R. Parrini in litt. 1999), it is completely absent from small fragments (Greeney 2020).


Deforestation of caatinga for timber extraction and agricultural expansion (G. Kohler in litt. 2010, E. Ribeiro Luiz in litt. 2014), as well as understorey degradation by intensive grazing, must have adversely affected the species. The extent of these threats has accelerated since c.1970, with the Brazilian oil company, Petrobrás, building roads in the core of its range and opening up new areas to settlers (Stattersfield et al. 1998).

Conservation actions

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

Conservation Actions Proposed
Quantify the population size. Survey known sites in order to determine population trends and rates of range contraction. Conduct ecological studies to determine the precise habitat requirements. Investigate its levels of tolerance of secondary habitats and fragmentation. Monitor the population trend. Grant protected status to areas of suitable habitat. Manage areas of suitable habitat to prevent the encroachment of threats.


Text account compilers
Hermes, C.

Kohler, G., Lima, D.M., Luiz, É.R., O'Brien, A., Parrini, R., Phalan, B., Sharpe, C.J., Symes, A., Taylor, J. & Williams, R.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Hylopezus ochroleucus. Downloaded from on 09/06/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 09/06/2023.