email a friend
printable version
Yellow-billed Cotinga Carpodectes antoniae
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information
BirdLife Species Champion Become a BirdLife Preventing Extinctions Programme Supporter
For information about BirdLife Species Champions and Species Guardians visit the BirdLife Preventing Extinctions Programme.

This species has a very small range in at least seven disjunct areas. Habitat destruction may have almost extirpated the species in Panama, and the total population is probably now very small and declining rapidly. It is therefore considered Endangered.

Taxonomic source(s)
AOU. 1998. Check-list of North American birds. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.
Stotz, D. F.; Fitzpatrick, J. W.; Parker, T. A.; Moskovits, D. K. 1996. Neotropical birds: ecology and conservation. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Taxonomic note

21.5 cm. Striking white cotinga. Male has slight grey tinge to upperparts, and slightly bluish-grey crown. Bright yellow bill with black line along culmen. Female ashy-grey, but darker on forehead and crown. Blackish wings and tail, with broadly edged white wing-coverts and secondaries. Pale grey throat and breast becoming paler in vent. White eye-ring. Black bill with yellow base. Voice Dove-like cah or cow.

Distribution and population
Carpodectes antoniae occurs on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica and westernmost Panama. The northernmost records are from the mouth of the río Tárcoles and the nearby Carara Biological Reserve. About 40 km to the south, it has been recorded at Parrita and the nearby estuary of the río Palo Seco. The stronghold is probably the area of the Golfo Dulce and the Osa peninsula. The río Sierpe and its estuaries are probably the principal nesting areas, and it also occurs at Golfito, Rincón, Puerto Jimenez, and in small number at ríos Esquinas and Coto and possibly at Carara (E. Jones in litt. 2012).. In Panama, it has been recorded infrequently on the Burica Peninsula, but these non-coastal records are thought to refer to wandering individuals (Angehr 2000, 2003). In 1997, a resident population was discovered at Cerro Batipa and the adjacent David Mangroves, Chiriquí, and the species may also occur in other smaller mangrove areas nearby, such as the Playa de la Barqueta Agrícola Wildlife Refuge (Angehr 2000, 2003). There is a recent sighting from the Golfo de Montijo to the east (G. R. Angehr in litt. 2007). In the 1920s, a (now lost) specimen was apparently taken near Aguadulce, Panama, c.200 km east of the currently known range.

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 250-999 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 167-666 mature individuals, rounded here to 150-700 mature individuals.

Trend justification
There are no new data available on population trends; however, the species is suspected to be experiencing a moderately rapid and on-going decline, owing to habitat degradation.

It primarily occurs in extensive mangroves, but also lowland forest or scrub adjacent to mangroves and occasionally isolated trees in nearby clearings or pastures. Post-breeding wanderers have been found in foothill forest, and there is one record of displaying males at 760 m. The breeding season is probably March-June. It feeds on a variety of fruits, including those of the pava tree Schefflera morototoni (Angehr 2000, 2003).

Mangroves are being cut down and converted to shrimp nurseries, salt ponds, rice cultivation and ranching, and are used for charcoal production and as poles for light construction. Dyke and road construction have affected the hydrology at several sites. Lowland and foothill forests inland from mangroves have largely been removed, especially in Panama (Ridgely and Gwynne 1989, G. R. Angehr in litt. 1998). Though rates of mangrove deforestation seem to have slowed in recent years, protection of the habitat is still very minimal and ineffective (G. R. Angehr in litt. 2007). The stronghold of the species in the rio Sierpe area is threatened by tentative plans to build an international airport at the headwaters of the river (E. Jones in litt. 2012). In addition, the forest adjoining the mangroves where where the species breeds  is privately owned and so could be developed in the future. At Cerro Batipa, the forest has been cut in recent years which may have a negative effect on the population (E. Jones in litt. 2012).

Conservation Actions Underway
In Costa Rica, it occurs in Carara Biological Reserve and Golfito Wildlife Refuge, with seasonal wanderers in Corcovado National Park. In Panama, Cerro Batipa is a private reserve and the Playa de la Barqueta Agrícola Wildlife Refuge protects a small area of mangroves where the species may occur (Angehr 2000, 2003). It also almost certainly occurs in the Golfo de Montijo Wetland of International Importance protected area, since there is a recent sighting from nearby (G. R. Angehr in litt. 2007). Cutting mangroves is illegal in Costa Rica, but this law is widely ignored. Conservation Actions Proposed
Monitor populations at the known strongholds. Survey mangroves in Panama to assess the species's distribution. Monitor the population at Cerro Batipa to assess the impact of tree cutting on the population. Protect major mangroves (e.g. the estuaries of the río Sierpe and río Tárcoles, and those south of David) (Capper et al. 1998, F. G. Stiles in litt. 1999, Angehr 2000, Angehr 2003). Plant vegetation corridors between remnant forest patches in south Chiriquí, Panama (Angehr 2003).

Angehr, G. 2000. Red Data Bird: Yellow-billed Cotinga. World Birdwatch 22: 24-25.

Angehr, G. R. 2003. Directory of important bird areas in Panama. Panama Audubon Society, Balbao, Panama.

Capper, D. R.; Clay, R. P.; Lowen, J. C. 1998. Recent sightings of threatened birds around Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica. Cotinga 10: 102.

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.

Ridgely, R. S.; Gwynne, J. A. 1989. A guide to the birds of Panama with Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Honduras. Princeton University Press, Princeton.

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
Capper, D., Mahood, S., Pople, R., Sharpe, C J

Angehr, G., Stiles, E., Leavelle, K., Jones, E.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Carpodectes antoniae. 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.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Endangered
Family Cotingidae (Cotingas)
Species name author Ridgway, 1884
Population size 150-700 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 1,700 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species