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Chestnut-capped Piha Lipaugus weberi
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This species has a very small and severely fragmented range and population. Remaining forest continues to be degraded and destroyed, and its range and population are therefore likely to be declining. It consequently qualifies as Endangered.

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
Lipaugus weberi 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), where it is known from at least five locations (Renjifo et al. 2002), although this is likely to increase with the consideration of survey results published by Cuervo et al. (2008). 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 is 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 is estimated to number fewer than 2,500 individuals (del Hoyo et al. 2004), and so is placed in the band 1,000-2,499 individuals. This equates to 667-1,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 600-1,700 mature individuals.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in moderate decline owing to on-going habitat destruction.

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), and the species is presumed to have been extirpated from a large part of its range (Renjifo et al. 2002). 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. 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).

Conservation Actions Underway
However, 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 FundaciónProAves as the Arrierito Antioqueño Bird Reserve in 2006 (Anon 2006/2007). Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct 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).

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

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

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.

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.

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

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.

Cortes, O., Cuervo, A., Donegan, T., Salaman, P.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2015) Species factsheet: Lipaugus weberi. Downloaded from on 10/10/2015. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2015) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 10/10/2015.

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)

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Endangered
Family Cotingidae (Cotingas)
Species name author Cuervo, Salaman, Donegan & Ochoa, 2001
Population size 600-1700 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 42 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species