Yellow-headed Manakin Chloropipo flavicapilla


Justification of Red List Category
This species has been uplisted to Vulnerable owing to its small population which is suspected to be declining moderately rapidly due to habitat loss.

Population justification
The population is preliminarily estimated to number at least 10,000 individuals, roughly equating to 6,700 mature individuals. This requires confirmation. Fieldwork in Cañón del río Barbas y Bremen IBA calculated a density of 0.013 individuals/ha (O. H. Marín-Gómez in litt. 2012).

Trend justification
A moderately rapid and on-going decline is suspected owing to habitat loss. The level of habitat fragmentation within the species’s range has been described as severe (O. Cortes in litt. 2009). Fieldwork confirms that the species is in decline and that it may be disappearing from some localities (Castaño-Villa and Patiño-Zabala 2008, O. Cortes in litt. 2009). It has also been noted that the species occupies an altitudinal range in which the rate of deforestation is high (O. Cortes in litt. 2009).

Distribution and population

The species is locally distributed in south-west Colombia, where it is known from both slopes of the West Andes, in Cauca and Valle del Cauca, the west slope of the north Central Andes in Antioquia, and at the head of the río Magdalena valley in Huila (Ridgely and Tudor 1994). It also occurs on the east slope of the Andes in west Napo and, at least formerly, Tungurahua, Ecuador (Ridgely and Tudor 1994). It is patchily distributed and rare to uncommon in suitable habitat (Ridgely and Tudor 1994). There are relatively few recent records, though it is very inconspicuous and perhaps overlooked (Ridgely and Tudor 1994).


It is confined to the lower growth of montane forest and mature secondary woodland (Ridgely and Tudor 1994) from 1,200 to 2,400 m. It is found 1-8 m up in vegetation, occasionally associating with mixed-species flocks (Hilty and Brown 1986). It feeds on fruits including those of the Palicourea genus (Snow et al. 2015).


Much of its range is within prime agricultural land, some of which has already been cleared, and the rest is probably threatened (Ridgely and Tudor 1994).

Conservation actions

Conservation and Research Actions Underway
It occurs in at least eight protected areas (Kirwan and Green 2011), including Los Nevados and Farallones de Cali National Parks in Colombia, and Sumaco Napo-Galeras National Park in Ecuador

Conservation and Research Actions Proposed
Effectively protect and manage protected areas where the species occurs. Monitor population at strongholds and search for the species in potentially suitable habitat at new sites.  Research sub-population structure, rate of decline and threats. Study its ecology and its ability to persist in degraded and fragmented habitats. Use GIS habitat loss data to produce estimate of declines.


12-13 cm manakin. Male has golden-yellow crown and nape. Upperparts bright olive. Face, throat and breast paler and yellower, belly pale yellow. Under­wing-coverts white. Iris pale orange-red. Upper mandible blackish, lower mandible paler bluish-grey. Legs grey. Female similar to male but less yellow and with duller head and breast. Juvenile similar to female but duller (Snow et al. 2015). Voice Not recorded but apparently generally silent (Snow et al. 2015).


Text account compilers
Isherwood, I., O'Brien, A., Pilgrim, J., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A., Ashpole, J

Cortés, O., Marín, O.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Chloropipo flavicapilla. Downloaded from on 26/11/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 26/11/2022.