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Chilean Woodstar Eulidia yarrellii
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This species is classified as Endangered because it has a very small range, with all viable populations apparently confined to remnant habitat patches in two desert river valleys (Collar et al. 1992). These valleys are heavily cultivated, and the extent, area and quality of suitable habitat (and therefore the population) are likely to be declining.

Taxonomic source(s)
SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at:
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.
Stotz, D. F.; Fitzpatrick, J. W.; Parker, T. A.; Moskovits, D. K. 1996. Neotropical birds: ecology and conservation. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

8 cm. Small hummingbird with short black bill. Iridescent olive-green upperparts. Male has violet-red throat. Rest of underparts white. Strongly forked tail. Short, green central rectrices. Longer outer rectrices blackish. Female white tinged buff below, tail unforked, and rectrices tipped white.

Distribution and population
Eulidia yarrellii is only known to breed regularly in the Azapa and Vitor valleys, Arica department, extreme north Chile (Estades 2007). Surveys since 2003 have failed to find it in the Lluta valley where it had previously been recorded in small numbers (Estades 2007). Stragglers have been found north to Tacna and possibly Moquegua departments, south Peru, and there is a historical record as far south as north Antofagasta province, but there are no recent records for Peru (Estades 2007). It was described as very common in the first half of the 20th century, with over 100 seen feeding together. More recent surveys have found the species to be scarce to locally common (Howell and Webb 1995), but it is unclear whether this reflects a serious decline or previous observers finding suitable flowering trees. In 2003 the Azapa valley held around 75 % of the total population, which was estimated at around 1,500 individuals (Estades 2007), while in 2007 the total population was estimated at around 1,200 individuals (55% in Azapa and 45% in Vitor) (C. Estades in litt. 2007).

Population justification
Estades (in litt. 2007) estimated the population to number 650 individuals in Azapa, and 550 in Vitor. This totals 1,200 individuals, roughly equivalent to 800 mature individuals. Previously, Estades et al. (2007) had calculated a Chilean population of 1,539 individuals in September 2003.

Trend justification
A slow and on-going population decline is suspected owing to habitat loss and degradation.

It inhabits small remnant patches of native scrub in desert river valleys up to 750 m, but birds are occasionally reported above 2,000 m and once as high as 3,000 m (J. Fjeldså in litt. 1999, Estades 2007). It is postulated that it migrates altitudinally, and may require fairly continuous vegetation along rivers to undertake such movements (Howell and Webb 1995). Estades et al. (2007) observed woodstars feeding on the flowers of native trees like the "chañar" (Geoffroea decorticans) and "pimiento" (Schinus molle), as well as ornamentals like Lantana camara, Pelargonium spp. and Bougainvillea sp., and crop plants such as alfalfa (Medicago sativa), garlic, onion (Allium spp.), and tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum). They noted that the favoured species have entomophyllous flowers rather than typical ornithophyllous flowers (Estades et al. 2007). It has often been reported feeding in gardens, particularly on Lantana and Hibiscus flowers (Fjeldså and Krabbe 1990), but it is comparatively rare in such habitats (Howell and Webb 1995). It uses fruit groves for feeding (Citrus spp) and nesting (olive trees) (C. Estades in litt. 2007). Despite the large numbers formerly seen feeding in flowering trees, it is usually a solitary feeder. Active nests have been found in April, May, late August and September and there appear to be two annual peaks in breeding activity (Estades 2007, Estades et al. 2007).

Remaining native habitat in the heavily cultivated Azapa and Vitor valleys is confined to small patches, and the indigenous plants favoured by the species may be severely threatened. Although it has adapted to use introduced plants the presence of certain native species may still be a limiting factor (Estades 2007). The 'chañar' tree (Geoffroea decorticans) may be an important food resource but is often destroyed by farmers who consider it invasive and believe it attracts mice (Estades 2007). Pesticides began to be heavily used in the Azapa valley in the 1960s in order to control the Mediterranean Fruit fly and other crop pests but the Peruvian Sheartail has not suffered similar declines, suggesting that this may not be the primary cause of its decline (Estades 2007). Competition with Peruvian Sheartail Thaumastura cora has been suggested as a potential threat, although this has not been proven (Estades et al. 2007, C. Estades in litt. 2007, S. N. G. Howell in litt. 2007).

Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. All exports of hummingbirds from Peru and Chile are controlled. A ten-year species recovery plan was approved in 2004 and included plans for a public awareness campaign, a study of competition with the woodstar and Peruvian Sheartail, a permanent population monitoring programme, restoration of natural vegetation in the Azupa and Lluta valleys, incorporation of its conservation into the agenda of the local Good Agricultural Practices committee, and a study of the feasibility of an ex-situ conservation project and reintroduction into suitable areas within the historical range (Estades 2007, Estades et al. 2007). Conservation Actions Proposed
Research genetic structure of populations. Begin a habitat restoration program in the Lluta, Vitor and Azapa valleys. Conduct an education campaign to emphasize the importance of native plants, and encourage the planting of appropriate trees and bushes. Continue population monitoring as detailed in species recovery plan. Limit the amount of pesticides used in Azapa and Vitor valleys.

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.

Estades, C.F., Aguirre, J., Escobar, M.A.H., Tomasevic, J.A., Vukasovic, M.A. and Tala, C. 2007. Conservation status of the Chilean woodstar Eulidia yarrellii. Bird Conservation International 17(2): 163-175.

Fjeldså, J.; Krabbe, N. 1990. Birds of the high Andes. Apollo Books, Copenhagen.

Howell, S.N. G.; Webb, S. in prep.. A guide to the birds of Chile.

Further web sources of information
Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) species/site profile. This species has been identified as an AZE trigger due to its IUCN Red List status and limited range.

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.

Recuento detallado de la especie tomado del libro Aves Amenazadas de las Americas, Libro Rojo de BirdLife International (BirdLife International 1992). Nota: la taxonomo

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

Estades, C., Fjeldså, J., Howell, S.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Eulidia yarrellii. Downloaded from on 12/07/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 12/07/2014.

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 - Chilean woodstar (Eulidia yarrellii) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Endangered
Family Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
Species name author (Bourcier, 1847)
Population size 800 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 2,200 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species