White-mantled Barbet Capito hypoleucus


Justification of Red List Category
This species has been downlisted to Vulnerable because information on its tolerance of modified habitats implies that, within its very small range, its population is not severely fragmented. However, the species has a small population, which is declining as a result of on-going deforestation.

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 2,500-9,999 individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. This estimate is equivalent to 1,667-6,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 1,500-7,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
A moderate and on-going population decline is suspected owing to continued forest clearance, which as been estimated to be taking place at a rate of around 25% over 10-15 years within the species's range (T. Donegan in litt. 2011). The rate of decline is not thought to be more rapid than this because the species shows considerable tolerance of modified habitats.

Distribution and population

Capito hypoleucus is restricted to the north Central Andes and west slope of the East Andes, Colombia (Collar et al. 1992). The nominate subspecies is known from the north tip of the Central Andes and the Serranía de San Lucas, Bolívar and north Antioquia. Subspecies carrikeri and extinctus occur successively further south, from the Ponce valley, along the east slope of the Central Andes from Antioquia to Tolima, and on the west slope of the East Andes in Boyacá (Stiles et al. 1999) and Cundinamarca. Since 1950, it has only been recorded in the south of its range. It is fairly common at many sites along the foothills and subtropical zone of the western slope of the Eastern Andes (e.g. Serranía de las Quinchas, Reserva El Paujíl, Serranía de los Yariguíes), Central Andes (eastern and northern slope) and Serranía de San Lucas (e.g. Stiles et al. 1999, F. G. Stiles in litt. 1999, Huertas and Donegan 2006, Fundación ProAves de Colombia 2011). Birds that corresponded to subspecies carrikeri, previously known only from the type specimen, have been recorded near Pradera in the Central Andes (Cuervo et al. 2008).


It inhabits lower montane humid forest and gallery forest at c.350-2,000 m, using primary, secondary and heavily disturbed forest, and occasionally areas with a mosaic of forest, coffee plantations and pasture, but appears to prefer primary forest above 1,000 m (Laverde-R et al. 2005, Y. G. Molina-Martínez in litt. 2012, F. G. Stiles in litt. 2012). It has been observed crossing pastures for distances of c.100 m or more (F. G. Stiles in litt. 2012), but has also been observed to avoid passing through areas of pasture and crops (Y. G. Molina-Martínez in litt. 2012). Its occurrence in human-modified landscapes is thought to be dependent on the presence of primary or minimally-disturbed forest (Y. G. Molina-Martínez in litt. 2012). The species's diet consists of seeds, fruit and insects, and the species is apparently nomadic, moving in response to local fruit abundance (Stiles et al. 1999). Evidence of breeding has been collected from late April (Stiles et al. 1999) to early September.


Vast areas of forest within its range have been cleared and used for livestock-farming, arable cultivation, narcotics plantations, infrastructure development, oil extraction and mining (Cuervo and Salaman 1999, A. Cuervo in litt. 1999, L. Dávalos in litt. 1999, Dinerstein et al. 1995, Donegan and Salaman 1999, Forero 1989, P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999, Stiles et al. 1999). The northern tip of the Central Andes has been progressively settled and deforested since the 19th century, although some extensive forests survive (Forero 1989, Wege and Long 1995). The middle Magdalena valley was rapidly opened up, colonised, logged and farmed during the 1960s and 1970s, although forest regeneration has begun following land abandonment in some areas (Stiles et al. 1999). The Serranía de San Lucas was covered by primary forest until 1996, when a gold rush began, and most of the eastern slopes have since been settled, logged and converted to agriculture and coca production, with streams polluted by mining and cocaine production (Cuervo and Salaman 1999, A. Cuervo in litt. 1999, L. Dávalos in litt. 1999, Donegan and Salaman 1999, P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999). Forest loss within its range is thought to be occurring at a rate of around 25% per 10-15 years (T. Donegan in litt. 2011).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
It occurs in the Serranía de los Yariguíes National Park and the small (c.1 km2) Río Claro Nature Reserve, Antioquia.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey remaining forests across its known range and survey potential sites to acquire an improved population estimate. Monitor rates of forest loss within the species's range. Increase the area of primary forest within the species's range that is protected. Encourage the reforestation of pastures and other formerly forested areas.


19 cm. Chunky, short-necked bird with heavy yellowish-white bill with bluish tip. Scarlet forehead. Black-and-white hindcrown and mantle. Blue-black sides of head and rest of upperparts. White throat and upper breast with diffused buffy breast-band. Yellowish-white underparts, yellowish on flanks. Similar spp. Scarlet-crowned Barbet C. aurovirens lacks pale bill, scarlet forecrown, and white rear crown and mantle. Voice Deep croak repeated frequently for long durations. Hints Often heard calling from canopy and accompanies mixed-species foraging flocks.


Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Isherwood, I., Stuart, T., Symes, A., Taylor, J., Sharpe, C J

Stiles, F., Cuervo, A., Salaman, P., Donegan, T., Dávalos, L., Molina-Martínez, Y., Cortés, O.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Capito hypoleucus. Downloaded from on 24/03/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 24/03/2023.