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Kinglet Calyptura Calyptura cristata
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This species qualifies as Critically Endangered because its tiny population, known from just one locality in the 1990s following over 100 years without a confirmed record, is likely to be continuing to decline owing to extensive habitat loss and fragmentation within its tiny range.

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

8 cm. Minute, yellowish cotinga. Bright yellowish-olive above. Yellow forehead and rump. Very short tail and dusky wings, the latter with two white wing-bars and tip to tertials. Bright yellow below with olive wash on breast. Long red feathers of the mid-crown, surrounded by black, often raised to form crest. Voice Sharp notes have been reported.

Distribution and population
Calyptura cristata has apparently declined to near-extinction within a very restricted range to the north of Rio de Janeiro city, Brazil. From the evidence of skins and one sight record, it was not uncommon, even in secondary habitat, in the mid-19th century. However, although there have been several rumours and unverified reports, the species was unrecorded during the 20th century until two birds were observed in the Serra dos órgãos on several days in October 1996 (Pacheco and Fonseca 2001). There have been no reliable records of the species since 1996 despite searches in the Reserva Ecologica Guapiaçu, the Teresopolis area, the foothills of the Serra do Mar, Ubatuba and between Nova Friburgo and Soumidoura in September to November 2006, which investigated several unconfirmed reports (F. Olmos in litt. 2003;  Lambert 2007, Lambert and Kirwan 2010). A specimen of this species, collected somewhere in the state of São Paulo between May 1819 and April 1820, was discovered in the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin, in 2007 and extends the area over which the species is known to have at least formerly occurred (Stopiglia et al. 2009).

Population justification
The single known remaining population, rediscovered in 1996 after more than 100 years, is assumed to be tiny (fewer than 50 individuals and mature individuals).

Trend justification
The species is suspected to be declining at an unknown rate, owing to ongoing forest loss within its historic range. The degree to which it can tolerate secondary growth and its ecological requirements are poorly known.

It is apparently restricted to foothill forest, but tolerates secondary habitats, and the 1996 birds were in secondary growth (Lambert 2007). However, secondary growth supports far fewer epiphytic plants and bromeliads (which retain quantities of suspended water that significantly alter the microclimate within a forest); hence large areas of secondary forest may be unsuitable for the species (Lambert 2007). Seasonal altitudinal movements are suspected, which might explain the lack of post-1996 records in the Serra dos órgãos. This tiny, inconspicuous species is probably easily overlooked, perching in the canopy where it actively explores clumps of bromeliads, apparently avoiding treetops. It has been recorded eating fruit, seeds and insects, though the 1996 sightings suggest that it may specialise on mistletoe (C. E. Carvalho verbally 1998).

Deforestation appears to have brought this species to the brink of extinction - historically driven by gold and diamond mining and the creation of coffee plantations in areas where the species was initially collected (Lambert 2007). If it is an altitudinal migrant, the lack of remaining forest below 1,000 m is likely to be a particular threat. Development within forest around the edges of the Serra dos órgãos National Park, particularly at the site of the 1996 rediscovery, is concerning (C. E. Carvalho verbally 1998). The harvesting of bromeliads, mistletoes and orchids from the forest of the region may further threaten the species by reducing food supply, but also by altering habitat structure and microclimate (Lambert 2007).

Conservation and Research Actions Underway
It is protected by Brazilian law. The sightings in 1996 were on the edge of the Serra dos órgãos National Park. Some areas of apparently suitable habitat are protected within the park, and there are adjacent tracts of forest to elevations of c. 50 m. Suitable habitat also occurs within the Reserva Ecologica Guapiaçu (Lambert 2007).
Conservation and Research Actions Proposed
Develop and follow a standardised survey protocol involving focal watches at suitable fruiting trees, focusing particularly in suitable habitat in the Serra dos órgãos including the Reserva Ecologica Guapiaçu, and in the Serra do Mar near Ubatuba (Ridgely and Tudor 1994; Lambert 2007). Protect all remaining low-altitude forest in the vicinity of the rediscovery site. Continue to search for extant populations in the state of São Paulo.

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.

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

Lambert, F. 2007. Some notes on Kinglet Calyptura.

Lambert, F.; Kirwan, G. M. 2010. The twice-vanishing 'pardalote': what future for the Kinglet Calyptura? Neotropical Birding: 4-17.

Pacheco, J. F.; Fonseca, P. S. M. Da. 2001. The remarkable rediscovery of the Kinglet Calyptura Calyptura cristata. Cotinga 16: 48-51.

Ridgely, R. S.; Tudor, G. 1994. The birds of South America. University of Texas Press, Austin, Texas.

Stopiglia, R.; Strakes, L. C.; Raposo, M. A. 2009. Kinglet Calyptura Calyptura cristata (Vieillot, 1818): documented record for the state of São Paulo and taxonomic status of the name Pipra tyrannulus Wagler, 1830. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 129(3): 185-188.

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)

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
Bird, J., Capper, D., Clay, R., Mahood, S., Pople, R., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A. & Williams, R.

Lambert, F. & Olmos, F.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Calyptura cristata. 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.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Kinglet calyptura (Calyptura cristata) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Critically Endangered
Family Cotingidae (Cotingas)
Species name author (Vieillot, 1818)
Population size 1-49 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 3 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species