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Five-colored Barbet Capito quinticolor
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This species has is listed as Vulnerable because its population is suspected to have undergone a rapid decline over the past three generations (26 years) owing to habitat loss, and this decline is predicted to continue. There is a real risk that declines will exceed 50% over the next 26 years or three generations, however more information is needed on deforestation rates within its Colombian range, and on its ability to persist in forest fragments.

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.
SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #

Distribution and population
Capito quinticolor is known from c.15 sites in the lowlands and foothills up to 575 m in Colombia (central Chocó south to Nariño) and north Ecuador (Esmeraldas). It is generally considered uncommon and local (Parker et al. 1996), but is fairly common at two locations in the lower foothills of Esmeraldas and Nariño (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999, 2008, R. Strewe in litt. 1999, Ridgely and Greenfield 2001), one of which is selectively logged (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999, 2008).

Population justification
Based on an estimate of 5,000 mature individuals in 2,400 km2 in Ecuador in 2001, extrapolated over an estimated range of 40,700 km2 (O. Jahn in litt. 2009), the total population is estimated to number 85,000-250,000 individuals

Trend justification
In Ecuador habitat loss has been taking place at a rate of 3.8% per year in the past decade (O. Jahn in litt. 2009), principally for oil palms. The rate of forest loss in the lowland Chocó region of Colombia has until recently been lower, but is presently accelerating at an extraordinary rate, as oil palm plantations, timber extraction, industrial-scale river dredging for gold, and coca production are stimulating immigration and colonisation to the region. The population is consequently suspected to have declined rapidly over the past three generations/26 years.

It inhabits wet lowland forest, forest borders and tall secondary growth, foraging for fruits and insects, almost exclusively in the canopy of large trees (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999, 2008).

Extensive areas of lowland forest remain in Colombia, however the rate of forest loss in the lowland Chocó region of Colombia is presently accelerating at an extraordinary rate, as oil palm plantations (biofuel speculation), timber extraction (Pacific rim exportation), industrial-scale river dredging for gold, and coca production is stimulating immigration and colonisation to the region. Areas in Nariño where the species was frequently seen have in recent years been completely cleared (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999, 2008). In Ecuador, only a few hundred square kilometres of habitat at suitable elevation within the species range are included within the protected area network (Jahn et al. 2000), and habitat loss has been taking place at a rate of 3.8% per year in the past decade (O. Jahn in litt. 2009). The principal driver has been conversion for oil palm plantations, and rising demand for biofuels means that pressure on remaining forests is likely to increase (O. Jahn in litt. 2009). It tends to reach unnaturally high population densities in remaining (secondary) forest fragments in areas where large-scale deforestation has occurred, but it is not known how quickly these will revert to more normal densities, and it is uncertain if the barbet can persist in forest fragments in the long-term or if it will eventually disappear from them altogether (O. Jahn in litt. 2009).

Conservation Actions Underway
Potentially suitable habitat is present in Cotacachi-Cayapas National Park and Awá Ethnographic Reserve, Ecuador, but the species has not yet been found in either (and effective protection at these sites is uncertain). It has been recorded in Cooperativa Tesoro Esmeraldeño, sector Cristóbal Colón, Esmeraldas, Ecuador a forest protected by a community cooperative (J. Freile in litt. 2012).
Conservation 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. Study its ecology and particularly its ability to persist in degraded and fragmented habitats.

Jahn, O.; Robbins, M. B.; Valenzuela, P. M.; Coopmans, P.; Ridgely, R. S.; Schuchmann, K.-L. 2000. Status, ecology, and vocalizations of the Five-coloured Barbet Capito quinticolor in Ecuador, with notes on the Orange-fronted barbet C. squamatus. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 120: 16-21.

Parker, T. A.; Stotz, D. F.; Fitzpatrick, J. W. 1996. Ecological and distributional databases. In: Stotz, D.F.; Fitzpatrick, J.W.; Parker, T.A.; Moskovits, D.K. (ed.), Neotropical bird ecology and conservation, pp. 113-436. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Ridgely, R. S.; Greenfield, P. J. 2001. The birds of Ecuador: status, distribution and taxonomy. Cornell University Press and Christopher Helm, Ithaca and London.

WWF/IUCN. 1994-1997. Centres of plant diversity. A guide and strategy for their conservation. IUCN, Cambridge, UK.

Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Capper, D., Isherwood, I., Sharpe, C J, Stuart, T., Symes, A., Wege, D., Williams, R.

Freile, J., Jahn, O., Salaman, P., Strewe, R., Sharpe, C J

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Capito quinticolor. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Five-coloured barbet (Capito quinticolor) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Capitonidae (New World Barbets)
Species name author Elliot, 1865
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 40,700 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species