Wire-crested Thorntail Discosura popelairii


Justification of Red List Category

Based on a model of future deforestation in the Amazon basin, it is suspected that the population of this species will decline by 25-30% over the next three generations, and it has therefore been uplisted to Near Threatened (almost qualifies as threatened under criterion A3c).

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 27.9-28.3% of suitable habitat within its distribution over three generations (12 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

Discosura popelairii is a generally rare species of north-west South America. The northernmost part of its distribution is east Colombia, where it is considered rare and local. In east Ecuador the species is generally uncommon, but recorded regularly at Panacocha (del Hoyo et al. 1999, Restall et al. 2006). Its range extends as far as north-east Peru (del Hoyo et al. 1999).


This species occurs in humid forest and edges at 500-1,500 m (Züchner and Kirwan 2013). Does not appear tolerant of secondary habitats (del Hoyo et al. 1999).


he 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 (Soares-Filho et al. 2006, 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).


7-12 cm. Medium-sized, mainly emerald hummingbird. Characteristic features include long, hair-like crest, black underparts and long, steel blue tail in males.


Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Khwaja, N., Symes, A. & Ashpole, J

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Species factsheet: Discosura popelairii. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/10/2021. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2021) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/10/2021.