email a friend
printable version
Mato Grosso Woodcreeper Hylexetastes brigidai
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information


Based on a model of future deforestation in the Amazon basin, although it shows some tolerance of degraded habitats, it is nevertheless suspected that the population of this species will decline rapidly over the next three generations, and it has therefore been uplisted to Vulnerable.

Taxonomic source(s)
da Silva, J. M. C.; Novaes, F. C.; Oren, D. C. 1995. A new species of the genus Hylexetastes (Dendrocolaptidae) from eastern Amazon. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 115: 200-206.

Taxonomic note
Hylexetastes brigidai, described as new to science by da Silva et al. (1995), is recognised as a species contra SACC (2006), pending the outcome of investigation into the taxonomy of this taxon by SACC.

25-30 cm. Large, brown woodcreeper. Has a large head, with a short but massive bill. Heavy legs and feet and a short tail. Conspicuous dark barring on belly and underwing-coverts. Pale grey lores, with a pale yellow chin and throat. Voice Its song is a loud, ringing series of 2-6 whistles, each around one second long and apparently disyllabic, the first note being usually lower in pitch.

Distribution and population
Hylexetastes brigidai is endemic to Pará in south-east Amazonian Brazil. It ranges from Rio Xingu in the west to Rio Tocantins and Rio Araguaia in the east. It is known, rarely, from Tapajós National Park, and is more common at Caxiuanã National Forest (del Hoyo et al. 2003).

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as poorly known, although probably uncommon to rare (del Hoyo et al. 2003).

Trend justification
This species is suspected to lose 41.1-52.8% of suitable habitat within its distribution over three generations (14 years) based on a model of Amazonian deforestation (Soares-Filho et al. 2006, Bird et al. 2011). However, given the species appears to have some degree of tolerance to habitat degradation (A. Lees in litt 2011), it is suspected to decline by 30-49% over three generations.


This species is mainly found in the "terra firme" forests (with no flooding) of lowland Amazonia, ascending to around 600 m in Serra dos Carajás. Whilst it prefers interior primary forest, it is known to occur at edges and selectively cut forest, and is tolerant of older secondary growth (del Hoyo et al. 2003).


The primary threat to this species is accelerating deforestation in the Amazon basin as land is cleared for cattle ranching and soy production, facilitated by expansion of the road network, which is projected to cause the loss of a large proportion of habitat within its restricted range (Soares-Filho et al. 2006, Bird et al. 2011, A. Lees in litt. 2011). In Santarem it occupies degraded landscapes and is reasonably common, so is likely to have some degree of tolerance (A. Lees in litt. 2011). Proposed changes to the Brazilian Forest Code reduce the percentage of land a private landowner is legally required to maintain as forest (including, critically, a reduction in the width of forest buffers alongside perennial steams) and include an amnesty for landowners who deforested before July 2008 (who would subsequently be absolved of the need to reforest illegally cleared land) (Bird et al. 2011).

Conservation Actions Underway
None is known.

Conservation Actions Proposed

Expand the protected area network to effectively protect IBAs. Effectively resource and manage existing and new protected areas, utilising emerging opportunities to finance protected area management with the joint aims of reducing carbon emissions and maximizing biodiversity conservation. Conservation on private lands, through expanding market pressures for sound land management and preventing forest clearance on lands unsuitable for agriculture, is also essential (Soares-Filho et al. 2006). Campaign against proposed changes to the Brazilian Forest Code that would lead to a decrease in the width of the areas of riverine forest protected as Permanent Preservation Areas (APPs), which function as vital corridors in fragmented landscapes.

Bird, J. P.; Buchanan, J. M.; Lees, A. C.; Clay, R. P.; Develey, P. F.; Yépez, I.; Butchart, S. H. M. 2011. Integrating spatially explicit habitat projections into extinction risk assessments: a reassessment of Amazonian avifauna incorporating projected deforestation. Diversity and Distributions: doi: 10.1111/j.1472-4642.2011.00843.x.

da Silva, J. M. C.; Novaes, F. C.; Oren, D. C. 1995. A new species of the genus Hylexetastes (Dendrocolaptidae) from eastern Amazon. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 115: 200-206.

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Christie, D. 2003. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 8: Broadbills to Tapaculos. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #

Soares-Filho, B.S.; Nepstad, D.C.; Curran, L.M.; Cerqueira, G.C.; Garcia, R. A.; Ramos, C. A.; Voll, E.; McDonald, A.; Lefebvre, P.; Schlesinger, P. 2006. Modelling conservation in the Amazon basin. Nature 440(7083): 520-523.

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
Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Khwaja, N., Symes, A.

Lees, A.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Taylor, J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Hylexetastes brigidai. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016.

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.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Dendrocolaptidae (Woodcreepers)
Species name author da Silva, Novaes & Oren, 1995
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 326,000 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species