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Alagoas Tyrannulet Phylloscartes ceciliae
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This species is known from ten locations within a very small, severely fragmented and declining range, and it is suspected to have a small and rapidly declining population. It consequently qualifies as Endangered.

Taxonomic source(s)
SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #

12 cm. Small, olivaceous-green tyrannulet. Whitish supercilium and area below eye extending onto ear-coverts. Latter has dusky outline merging into dusky eye-stripe and loral area. Whitish underparts, washed dark green on flanks and pale yellowish on lower belly. Dusky wings and tail. Two pale yellowish wing-bars and fringing. Similar spp. Resembles allopatric Mottle-cheeked Tyrannulet P. ventralis. Voice Uncharacteristic peeping sequence djü, djü, sometimes sharper and faster ürürüt, ürürüt and inconspicuous tchüp. Occasionally fast sweek! sweek-a-dee-deek.

Distribution and population
Phylloscartes ceciliae is known from ten localities in Alagoas and Pernambuco states, north-east Brazil. It was discovered at Murici in 1983 and subsequently found at Pedra Talhada in 1987. Forest patches at both these sites are extremely small and severely fragmented. It has since been found at Pedra Branca, Frei Caneca/Pedra Dantas, Brejo dos Cavalos, Mato do Estado, Agua Azul and Gravatá in Pernambuco, and at Quebrângulo and Mata do Engenho Coimbra in Alagoas. At Pedra Branca, it was considered rather common, but 15 days of observations between 1996-1999 found the species on only three occasions (A. Whittaker in litt. 1999).

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 250-999 mature 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 375-1,499 individuals in total, rounded here to 350-1,500 individuals.

Trend justification
An ongoing rapid decline in the population is suspected to be taking place owing to severe habitat loss and fragmentation.

It occurs in upland humid forest at 400-550 m, often joining mixed-species flocks in the mid-storey and subcanopy, 6-15 m above ground. The diet consists of small insects taken from the surface of leaves and branches. Breeding is likely to take place from September to February. A nest was found in a rather open area in 1990.

There has been massive clearance of Atlantic forest in Alagoas, largely as a result of logging and conversion to sugarcane plantations and pastureland. Forest at Murici has been reduced from 70 km2 in the 1970s, to a mere 30 km2 of highly disturbed and fragmented habitat in 1999 (J. M. Goerck in litt. 1999). The site is severely threatened by fires spreading from adjacent plantations, and further logging with new roads were evident in January 1999 (J. M. Goerck in litt. 1999; A. Whittaker in litt. 1999).

Conservation Actions Underway
It is protected under Brazilian law and occurs in Pedra Talhada Biological Reserve, where significant areas are being reforested with native trees (A. Studer per A. Whittaker in litt. 1999). Protection at this reserve is enforced by guards and apparently welcomed by local communities (A. Studer per A. Whittaker in litt. 1999). Land at Murici remains privately-owned and a number of conservation initiatives have so far failed to halt forest loss (J. M. Goerck in litt. 1999). Recently also recorded at Reserva Privada do Patrimônio Natural Frei Caneca (630 ha) in Pernambuco (Cotinga 2003). Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey sites with any remnant patches of habitat in Alagoas (such as Usina Serra Grande) and Pernambuco. Designate Murici as a biological reserve and ensure its de facto protection. Continue the reforestation programme and de facto protection at Pedra Talhada. Designate Mata do Estado and Pedra Dantas as protected areas (S. Roda in litt. 2007).

Collar, N. J.; Gonzaga, L. P.; Krabbe, N.; Madroño Nieto, A.; Naranjo, L. G.; Parker, T. A.; Wege, D. C. 1992. Threatened birds of the Americas: the ICBP/IUCN Red Data Book. International Council for Bird Preservation, Cambridge, U.K.

Roda, S. A.; Carlos, C. J.; Rodrigues, R. C. 2003. New and noteworthy records for some endemic and threatened birds of the Atlantic forest of north-eastern Brazil. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 123: 227-236.

Further web sources of information
Detailed species account from the Threatened birds of the Americas: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 1992). Please note taxonomic treatment and IUCN Red List category may have changed since publication.

Detailed species account from the Threatened birds of the Americas: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 1992). Please note, taxonomic treatment and IUCN Red List category may have changed since publication.

Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Recuento detallado de la especie tomado del libro Aves Amenazadas de las Americas, Libro Rojo de BirdLife International (BirdLife International 1992). Nota: la taxonomoía y la categoría de la Lista Roja de la UICN pudo haber cambiado desde esta publicación.

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

Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Capper, D., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A.

Goerck, J., Roda, S., Whittaker, A.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Phylloscartes ceciliae. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016.

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 - Alagoas tyrannulet (Phylloscartes ceciliae) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Endangered
Family Tyrannidae (Tyrant-flycatchers)
Species name author Teixeira, 1987
Population size 250-999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 110 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species