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Gorgeted Puffleg Eriocnemis isabellae
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This recently described species qualifies as Critically Endangered because it is known from a single location and has an extremely small area of occupancy within which habitat quality is continuing to decline owing to conversion for agriculture (particularly coca cultivation).

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

The male is blackish-green, with iridescent blue-green rump and blue-black tail, bluish-violet undertail, and white leg puffs, and differs from other Eriocnemis in having a bicoloured blue-violet and green gorget. Females are similar to E. nigrivestis and E. vestitus but underparts are more intensively fringed rufous with turquoise reflections on the belly centre (Cortés-Diago et al. 2007).

Distribution and population
Eriocnemis isabellae has been recently described from Cauca Department, south-west Colombia, where it occurs in a tiny area of the Serranía del Pinche (Cortés-Diago et al. 2007). Three birds (one male and two females) were mist-netted in 2005 and a total of six further males were caught in 2006 (Cortés-Diago et al. 2007). The global population has not been quantified but is presumably very small given that the area of suitable habitat is thought to be less than 10 km2, and it is suspected to be decreasing as elfin forest habitat is converted for agriculture and illegal coca plantations.

Population justification
The population has not been quantified, but it is presumably very small given that the area of suitable habitat is thought to be less than 10 km2.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be decreasing owing to habitat loss and degradation, however the rate of decline has not been quantified.

It inhabits the cloud and temperate forest zone, within which the species appears to be associated with elfin forest on steep slopes along mountain ridges (Cortés-Diago et al. 2007). Elfin forest at the type locality averages 6-8 m in height with frequent natural clearings and is found at around 2,600-2,900 m (Cortés-Diago et al. 2007).

The primary threat is the shifting of the agricultural border towards remaining primary forests, causing a loss of vegetation cover, contamination of watersheds and soil degradation (Cortés-Diago et al. 2007). Illegal coca cultivation is a major threat due to the lack of governmental presence, with 8.3 % of potentially suitable habitat reportedly damaged annually by coca cultivation. The potential completion of a road from El Estrecho in the Patía Valley to Guapi on the Pacific coast would hold serious implications for Serraníadel Pinche (Cortés-Diago et al. 2007).

Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. There is an ongoing conservation plan involving local authorities, community leaders, Ministry of Environment, The Hummingbird Conservancy, Ecohabitats foundation and local residents.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Carry out further studies to determine status and population size. Develop a Species Action Plan. Continue and extend local conservation and education initiatives. Work towards the creation of a protected area in the Serraníadel Pinche.

Related state of the world's birds case studies

Cortés-Diago, A.; Ortega, L. A.; Mazariegos-Hurtado, L.; Weller, A.-A. 2007. A new species of Eriocnemis (Trochilidae) from southwest Colombia. Ornitologia Neotropical 18(2): 161-170.

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

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
Sharpe, C J, Symes, A. & Ashpole, J

Cortés, O. & Salaman, P.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Eriocnemis isabellae. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016.

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 - Gorgeted puffleg (Eriocnemis isabellae) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Critically Endangered
Family Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
Species name author Cortes-Diago et al., 2007
Population size U mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 44 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species