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White-winged Nightjar Eleothreptus candicans
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This species has a very small known range, within which the extent and quality of its habitat is declining. Although the species may well be found to occur at other sites, it is currently known from just four locations, and it hence qualifies as Endangered.

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.

Taxonomic note
Caprimulgus candicans (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993) is transferred to the genus Eleothreptus following Cleere (2002).

Caprimulgus candicans Collar et al. (1994), Caprimulgus candicans Collar and Andrew (1988), Caprimulgus candicans SACC (2005), Caprimulgus candicans BirdLife International (2000), Caprimulgus candicans Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993), Caprimulgus candicans Stotz et al. (1996)

20 cm. Striking, ghostly nightjar. Sandy grey-brown breast and upperparts with vermiculations. Brown face and throat. Off-white moustachial stripe. Dark centre to grey crown. Male has rest of underparts and most of tail white. Central pair of rectrices pale buff. Mostly white wings tipped black, sandy grey-brown inner coverts. Females are browner with dusky barring on tawny-rufous wings and tail. Buff lower underparts. Similar spp. Female Little Nightjar Caprimulgus parvulus is more patterned, with pale throat and distinctive pale spots on wing-coverts. Voice Largely silent, males produce mechanical tuc, trrrrrut noise during display.

Distribution and population
Eleothreptus candicans is currently known from Emas National Park, south-west Goiás, Brazil (Rodrigues et al. 1999), Mbaracayú Forest Nature Reserve, Canindeyú (Lowen et al. 1996, Clay et al. 1998, Pople 2003), and Laguna Blanca, San Pedro (Anon. 2002, Guyra Paraguay 2008) Paraguay, and Beni Biological Station, Beni, Bolivia (Davis and Flores 1994, Grim and Šumbera 2006). There are historical records from Mato Grosso and São Paulo, Brazil, and even older evidence of its occurrence in Paraguay (de Azara 1805). In Mbaracayú, there is 10-38 km2 of habitat holding c.40-150 birds (Pople 2003). In the 1980s, the Emas population was assumed to number in the hundreds (if not larger), but density estimates from Mbaracayú suggest that despite the paucity of recent published records (Rodrigues et al. 1999) this may be an underestimate. In Bolivia, the sighting of an adult male in 2003 (Grim and Šumbera 2006) represents the first record at Beni since the initial male was collected in 1987 (Davis and Flores 1994).

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 1,000-2,499 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 667-1,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 600-1,700 mature individuals.

Trend justification
A population decline is suspected on the basis of large-scale destruction of cerrado habitats within its range as a whole, and ongoing degradation of habitats at known sites. However, the likely rate of decline has not been estimated.

In Paraguay, home ranges primarily comprise wet grassland and "campo cerrado", the latter with a mixture of palms Butia paraguayensis and termite mounds (Pople 2003). In Brazil, it has been recorded mainly in "campo limpo" with abundant termite mounds. When foraging, it prefers areas of younger vegetation, perhaps due to the increased insect prey they support (Rodrigues et al. 1999, Pople 2003). Known populations are apparently sedentary (Pople 2003), although there may be local movements in response to fires. Suggestions that it may be migratory in parts of its range (Cleere and Nurney 1998) are not supported by current knowledge (Rodrigues et al. 1999, Pople 2003) or the apparent source of this information (de Azara 1805). In Paraguay, the breeding season extends from September to January (Pople 2003). The breeding system, male nuptial display, nest-site, eggs and chicks have all been described recently (Clay et al. 2000, Pople 2003).

Known populations are relatively well protected, but two-thirds of the Cerrado region had been heavily or moderately altered by 1993 (Conservation International 1999), with most of the destruction having occurred since 1950 (Cavalcanti 1999). The principal threats are grazing, invasive grasses (Pople 2003, Guyra Paraguay 2008), inappropriate fire regimes (Rodrigues et al. 1999, Pople 2003) and conversion to agriculture for Eucalyptus plantations, pasture, soybeans and other exportable crops (encouraged by government land reform in Brazil) (Stotz et al. 1996, Parker and Willis 1997).

Conservation Actions Underway
It is protected under Paraguayan law where it is considered Endangered at a national level (H. del Castillo in litt. 2012). It occurs in Emas National Park, Mbaracayú Forest Nature Reserve and Beni Biological Station, and is protected under Brazilian law. Attempts are being made to secure the purchase of Laguna Blanca (J. L. Cartes in litt. 2007). A three-year study of its breeding biology, ranging behaviour and habitat use in Paraguay was completed in 2001 (Pople 2003). Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey areas of suitable cerrado habitat in Brazil, north-east Paraguay and Bolivia. Utilise the survey techniques developed in Paraguay to estimate the population in Emas. Establish fire management regimes at protected sites, to create and maintain mosaics of vegetation ages, and prevent uncontrollable, destructive wildfires during the breeding season (Pople 2003). Monitor and control the spread of invasive grass species. Secure further private protected areas within the Cerrado de Laguna Blanca IBA (H. del Castillo in litt. 2012).

Anon. 2002. A new population of the White-winged Nightjar Caprimulgus candicans. World Birdwatch 24(3): 5.

Cavalcanti, R. B. 1999. Bird species richness and conservation in the Cerrado region of central Brazil. Studies in Avian Biology 19: 244-249.

Clay, R. P.; Capper, D. R.; Mazar Barnett, J.; Burfield, I. J.; Esquivel, E. Z.; Fariña, R.; Kennedy, C. P.; Perrens, M.; Pople, R. G. 1998. White-winged Nightjars Caprimulgus candicans and cerrado conservation: the key findings of project Aguará Ñu 1997. Cotinga: 52-56.

Clay, R. P.; Lanús, B. L.; Tobias, J. A.; Lowen, J. C.; Barnett, J. M. 2000. The display of the White-winged Nightjar. Journal of Field Ornithology 71: 619-626.

Cleere, N.; Nurney, D. 1998. Nightjars: a guide to nightjars and related nightbirds. Pica Press, Robertsbridge, U.K.

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.

Conservation International. 1999. Açoes prioritárias para a conservaçao da biodiversidade do Cerrado e Pantanal.

Davis, S. E.; Flores, E. 1994. First record of White-winged Nightjar Caprimulgus candicans for Bolivia. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 114: 127-128.

de Azara, F. 1802-1805. Apuntamientos para la historia natural de los páxaros del Paraguay y río de la Plata. Imprenta de la Viuda de Ibarra, Madrid.

Grim, T. and Sumbera, R. 2006. A new record of the endangered white-winged nightjar (Eleothreptus candicans) from Beni, Bolivia. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 118(1): 109-112.

Lowen, J. C.; Bartrina, L.; Clay, R. P.; Tobias, J. A. 1996. Biological surveys and conservation priorities in eastern Paraguay (the final reports of Projects Canopy '92 and Yacutinga '95). CSB Conservation, Cambridge, U.K.

Parker, T. A.; Willis, E. O. 1997. Notes on three tiny grassland flycatchers, with comments on the disappearance of South American fire-diversified savannas. Ornithological Monographs 48: 549-555.

Pople, R. G. 2003. The ecology and conservation of the White-winged Nightjar Caprimulgus candicans (Eleothreptus candicans). Thesis. Ph.D., University of Cambridge.

Rodrigues, F. H. G.; Hass, A.; Marini-Filho, O. J.; Guimarães, M. M.; Bagno, M. A. 1999. A new record of White-winged Nightjar Caprimulgus candicans in Emas National Park, Goiás, Brazil. Cotinga 11: 83-85.

Stotz, D. F.; Fitzpatrick, J. W.; Parker, T. A.; Moskovits, D. K. 1996. Neotropical birds: ecology and conservation. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

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
Capper, D., Pople, R., Sharpe, C J

Cartes, J., Grim, T., Hennessey, A., del Castillo, H.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Eleothreptus candicans. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016.

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 - White-winged nightjar (Eleothreptus candicans) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Endangered
Family Caprimulgidae (Nightjars)
Species name author (Pelzeln, 1867)
Population size 600-1700 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 3,100 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species