White-throated Shrike-tanager Lanio leucothorax


Justification of Red List category
This species is undergoing a moderately rapid population decline, as forests within its range are lost, degraded and fragmented. It is therefore listed as Near Threatened.

Population justification
The global population is suspected to number 50,000-499,999 mature individuals (Partners in Flight 2020). The species is described as 'fairly common' (Stotz et al. 1996).

Trend justification
The species is undergoing a decline as deforestation is leading to local reductions and even extinctions (Hilty 2020, Partners in Flight 2020).
Over the past three generations (10.8 years; Bird et al. 2020) 18% of tree cover has been lost within the range (Global Forest Watch 2021, using Hansen et al. [2013] data and methods disclosed therein). Since 2016 tree cover loss has been accelerating however, to a rate equivalent to 23% over three generations (Global Forest Watch 2021, using Hansen et al. [2013] data and methods disclosed therein). The species is largely confined to the interior of humid and wet forests (Hilty 2020); therefore population declines may be steeper than forest loss alone: It is precautionarily suspected that forest degradation causes an additional 5% of habitat loss. Consequently, the population may have declined by 23% over the past three generations, with declines accelerating to 28% over three generations since 2016.

Distribution and population

The species occurs in Central America from western Honduras along the Caribbean slope through Nicaragua and Costa Rica to western Panama.


This species inhabits the interior of tall wet and humid forests in the midstory and lower canopy layer, mainly in hilly terrain (Hilty 2020). It occurs from sea level to 750 m, or locally higher to 900 m (Hilty 2020). It is often found in pairs as part of mixed-species flocks (Hilty 2020).


Due to its high dependence on intact forests, the species is threatened by the loss, degradation and fragmentation of wet and humid forests within the range (Hilty 2020). Particularly outside of protected areas deforestation is intense, which has already led to local declines and extinctions (Hilty 2020).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
The species occurs in several protected areas within its range, including Indo-Maíz Biological Reserve in Nicaragua, La Selva Biological Reserve and Braulio Carrillo, Carara, Corcovado and Chirripó/La Amistad National Parks in Costa Rica and La Amistad National Park in Panama (Hilty 2020).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Accurately quantify the population size. Investigate the impacts of forest degradation on the population size. Monitor the population trend. Monitor rates of habitat loss.
Protect suitable habitat within the range. Restore forested habitat and create dispersal corridors between forest fragments.


Text account compilers
Hermes, C.

Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J. & Miller, E.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Lanio leucothorax. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org/species/factsheet/white-throated-shrike-tanager-lanio-leucothorax on 29/11/2023.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org on 29/11/2023.