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Black-headed Berryeater Carpornis melanocephala
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species qualifies as Vulnerable because it has a small fragmented population which is likely to be suffering a continuing rapid decline owing to the extensive loss of its lowland forest habitat.

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

Taxonomic note
Gender agreement of species name follows David and Gosselin (2002b).

Carpornis melanocephalus BirdLife International (2000), Carpornis melanocephalus Collar et al. (1994), Carpornis melanocephalus BirdLife International (2004), Carpornis melanocephalus Stotz et al. (1996), Carpornis melanocephalus Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993), Carpornis melanocephalus Collar and Andrew (1988)

21 cm. Striking, green-and-yellow cotinga with red iris. Male has black head, neck and throat. Uniformly olivaceous upperparts. Pale olive breast, becoming yellower with slight dusky barring on rest of underparts. Short dark bill. Female similar with olive on crown and sides of head. Similar spp. Female Hooded Berryeater C. cucullatus is yellower below with wing-bars and more extensive black on head. Voice Dry, hollow tzuc note followed by hollow, descending whistle fUUuu, lasting c.2 seconds.

Distribution and population
Carpornis melanocephala is found in the lowlands of east Brazil, in Alagoas (Murici); Bahi, where it has been recently recorded from four sites (J. Minns and R. Parrini in litt. 1999, E. O. Willis and Y. Oniki in litt. 1999); Espírito Santo; Rio de Janeiro, where it has been recently recorded from two sites; São Paulo, and Paraná. Its range is now fragmented, and remaining populations are largely restricted to protected areas. The population must have declined significantly, but it remains relatively common in a few areas, notably Murici, Linhares Forest Reserve, Intervales State Park (Aleixo and Galetti 1997, A. Whittaker in litt. 1999) and the Juréia-Itatins Ecological Station, São Paulo (Develey 2004).

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 2,500-9,999 mature 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 3,750-14,999 individuals, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.

Trend justification
A rapid and on-going decline is suspected on the basis of rates of deforestation and fragmentation.

This frugivore frequents the mid-storey of primary, lowland Atlantic forest. At Linhares, birds favour areas of dense vegetation with high liana and spiny-palm densities, on dry sandy soils away from water. It also occurs in tall "restinga" (coastal moist broadleaf forest) on Ilha Comprida (G. M. Kirwan in litt. 1999). Calling birds tend to be aggregated, although individual birds are at least 50 m, often more than 100 m, apart. The diet consists primarily of fruit, mainly of Myrtaceae at Intervales (Aleixo and Galetti 1997), with one bird observed eating a stick insect.

Extensive deforestation is continuing in this region and this species is now largely dependent on a few key protected areas. The harvesting of palmito palms Euterpe edulis may also be a threat (Aleixo and Galetti 1997). A widespread fire in July 1995 destroyed most of the forest at one site in Bahia (E. O. Willis and Y. Oniki in litt. 1999).

Conservation Actions Underway
It is protected under Brazilian law. It survives in a number of protected areas: Monte Pascoal and Ilha do Superagüi national parks; Córrego Grande, Sooretama and Boracéia biological reserves; Linhares Forest Reserve; Duas Bocas State Biological Reserve; Juréia-Itatins Ecological Station; Intervales, Jacupiranga and Ilha do Cardoso state parks; Sete Barras State Reserve, and Guaragueçaba Special Protection Area (Wege and Long 1995). Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey using tape-playback in areas of suitable habitat to locate additional populations. Investigate its ecological requirements. Ensure de facto protection of all reserves where it is currently known to occur. Designate Murici as a biological reserve and ensure its de facto protection.

Aleixo, A.; Galetti, M. 1997. The conservation of the avifauna in a lowland Atlantic forest in south-east Brazil. Bird Conservation International 7: 235-261.

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.

David, N.; Gosselin, M. 2002. Gender agreement of avian species names. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 122: 14-49.

Wege, D. C.; Long, A. J. 1995. Key Areas for threatened birds in the Neotropics. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

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
Clay, R., Pople, R., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A., Williams, R., Khwaja, N.

De Luca, A., Develey, P., Kirwan, G., Minns, J., Oniki, Y., Parrini, R., Whittaker, A., Willis, E.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Carpornis melanocephala. 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 - Black-headed berryeater (Carpornis melanocephala) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Cotingidae (Cotingas)
Species name author (Wied, 1820)
Population size 2500-9999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 19,000 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species