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Chestnut-capped Piha Lipaugus weberi
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This species has been uplisted to Critically Endangered. It has a very small population and remaining forest continues to be degraded and destroyed, therefore its population is likely to be declining.

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

24 cm. Adults have uniform grey plumage, apart from a chestnut-brown crown and cinnamon undertail coverts. The bill is black, and there is an obvious complete yellow orbital ring. Juveniles show rufous fringes to the flight feathers and greater coverts. Similar spp. Most closely resembles Dusky Piha L. fuscocinereus, although the latter species is larger, has a grey crown, and lacks the yellow orbital ring. Voice A loud piercing sreeck.

Distribution and population
This species is confined to a small area of forest (c. 800 km2) on the northern slope of the Central Andes in Colombia (Cuervo et al. 2001), it had been known from just five locations (Renjifo et al. 2002) however it is now known from 16 sites (Cuervo et al. 2008, Cuervo 2014). The area lies between the Porce and Nechí river valleys, where it is presently known from four localities in the Municipality of Anorí (Cuervo et al. 2001). The species was considered to be locally common at the known localities in Anorí, especially between 1,600 and 1,750 m  (Cuervo et al. 2001, Renjifo et al. 2002). It is much less common near Amalfi, presumably because the forests in this area have been subjected to exploitation for a longer period of time (Renjifo et al. 2002).

Population justification
The population size has not been quantified however estimates range from fewer than 2,500 individuals (del Hoyo et al. 2004) to fewer than 250 individuals (Cuervo 2014). It is precautionarily placed in the band 50-249 individuals.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in moderate decline owing to on-going habitat destruction. According to Cuervo (2014) a combination of rapid deforestation and fragmentation suggests the population could decrease by 30% in ten years.

It inhabits primary pre-montane, wet forest between 1,500 and 1,820 m (Cuervo et al. 2001). It has been seen at forest borders and in secondary vegetation near mountain gorges, but not usually within secondary forest (Cuervo et al. 2001, Renjifo et al. 2002). Birds occur singly within the midstorey to lower canopy, and are sometimes observed in mixed-species flocks in the higher levels of the canopy (Renjifo et al. 2002). It feeds on small to medium-sized berries and, occasionally, large invertebrates (Cuervo et al. 2001).

The Central Andes have undergone almost complete ecological change - surviving forested areas are now highly fragmented and isolated. Pre-montane forest cover is estimated to be 3-4% of its original extent (Cuervo et al. 2001). The species is presumed to have been extirpated from a large part of its range (Renjifo et al. 2002), with almost 9% of habitat lost between 2000 and 2010 (Cuervo 2014). Forest loss is driven by mining and agriculture, in particular coffee, plantain and cattle (Cuervo et al. 2001, Renjifo et al. 2002). Moreover, current high rates of colonization will increase deforestation in the area. Construction of several major hydro-electric dams within the species's range threatens remaining habitat as does the development of road networks and gold mining and exploration (Fundación ProAves 2011). High acidity and poor soil drainage reduce vegetation succession and accentuate problems of soil erosion (Renjifo et al. 2002). Afforestation with exotic species is an increasing problem in the area (Cuervo et al. 2001). It can only tolerate habitat fragmentation if the remaining fragments are large (> 70 ha) and interconnected (Cuervo et al. 2008). A recent paper modelled the effects of climate change on this and other species in Colombia and predicted that the climatically suitable range of this species would disappear by the year 2050 (Velásquez-Tibatá et al. 2012).

Conservation and Research Actions Underway
The species is classified as Critically Endangered in Colombia and listed as 8th in the top ten most threatened species in Colombia (Cuervo 2014, Fundación ProAves 2014, D. Lebbin in litt. 2015). La Reserva Natural La Forzosa, a fragment of pristine forest of 4.5 km2 between 1,500 and 1,820 m, has been designated following an ornithological exploration of the area (Cuervo et al. 2001, Renjifo et al. 2002). 1,310 acres of forest were purchased by the American Bird Conservancy to be managed by Fundación ProAves as the Arrierito Antioqueño Bird Reserve in 2006 (Anon 2006/2007). It is also found in La Serrana and Caracolí-Guayabito reserves (Cuervo 2014).

 and Research Actions ProposedConduct detailed surveys to determine the extent of its distribution, population status, and genetic variation and exchange between the Amalfi and Anorí populations (Renjifo et al. 2002). Develop a management plan for the species. Pursue the protection of remaining pre-montane forest fragments in the region, particularly those persisting in the Riachón river valley in Amalfi (Renjifo et al. 2002). Control exploitation of palms and other forest resources. Encourage the local government to acquire land between 1,200 and 1,600 m for future protected areas. Encourage alternative technologies for the use of the land, and campaign to prevent the conversion of forests to pastures (Renjifo et al. 2002). There remains some large intact and potentially suitable subtropical forest areas in eastern and southeastern Antioquia. Conservation efforts in these areas may prove more practical and probably reveal healthy populations of this and other threatened species (Salaman in litt. 2003). Protect Bosque El Guayabito from deforestation (Fundación ProAves in litt. 2012). Connect fragmented habitats where the species is known to occur (Snow and Sharpe 2015).

Anon. 2006/2007. New reserve protects Colombian rarity. Bird Conservation: 6.

Cuervo, A. M.; Salaman, P. G. W.; Donegan, T. M.; Ochoa, J. M. 2001. A new species of piha (Cotingidae: Lipaugus) from the Cordillera Central of Colombia. Ibis 143: 353-368.

Cuervo, A.M. 2014. Lipaugus weberi Arriero Antioqueño, Chestnut-capped Piha. In: Renjifo, L.M., Gómez, M.F., Velásquez-Tibatá, J., Amaya-Villarreal, A.M., Kattan, G.H., Amaya-Espinel, J.D. and Burbano-Girón, J. (eds), Libro rojo de aves de Colombia, Volumen I: bosques húmedos de los Andes y la costa Pacífica, pp. 268-270. Pontificia Universidad Javeriana and Instituto Alexander von Humboldt, Bogotá D.C., Colombia.

Cuervo, A.M., Pulgarín, P.C., Calderón-F.D., Ochoa-Quintero, J.M., Delgado-V.C.A., Palacio, A., Botero, J.M. and Múnera, W.A. 2008. Avifauna of the northern Cordillera Central of the Andes, Colombia. Ornitología Neotropical 19(4): 495-515.

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Christie, D. 2004. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 9: Cotingas to Pipits and Wagtails. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Fundación ProAves. 2011. Notes on the status of various threatened birds species occurring in Colombia. Conservación Colombiana 15(October): 22-28.

Fundación ProAves. 2014. El estado de las aves en Colombia 2014: Prioridades de conservación de la avifauna colombiana. Conservación Colombiana 20.

IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. Available at: (Accessed: 19 November 2015).

Renjifo, L. M.; Franco-Maya, A. M.; Amaya-Espinel, J. D.; Kattan, G. H.; López-Lanús, B. 2002. Libro rojo de aves de Colombia. Instituto de Investigación de Recursos Biológicos Alexander von Humboldt y Ministerio del Medio Ambiente, Bogotá, Colombia.

Snow, D. and Sharpe, C.J. 2015. Chestnut-capped Piha (Lipaugus weberi). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. and de Juana, E. (eds), Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive, Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.

Velásquez-Tibatá, J., Salaman, P. and Graham, C.H. 2012. Effects of climate change on species distribution, community structure, and conservation of birds in protected areas in Colombia. Regional Environmental Change 13(2): 235-248.

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.

Click here for more information about the Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE)

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., O'Brien, A., Symes, A., Taylor, J., Wege, D. & Ashpole, J

Cortés, O., Cuervo, A., Donegan, T., Salaman, P., Lebbin, D. & Fundación ProAves

IUCN Red List evaluators
Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Lipaugus weberi. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016.

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 - Chestnut-capped piha (Lipaugus weberi) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Critically Endangered
Family Cotingidae (Cotingas)
Species name author Cuervo, Salaman, Donegan & Ochoa, 2001
Population size 50-249 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 5,778 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species