email a friend
printable version
Rio de Janeiro Antbird Cercomacra brasiliana
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

This species is classified as Near Threatened because it is thought to have a moderately small population, which probably exists in small sub-populations, and is inferred to be in decline owing to on-going habitat loss.

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

Distribution and population
Cercomacra brasiliana is known from a few localities in south-eastern Brazil, from central Bahia, south through extreme eastern Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo to southern Rio de Janeiro. It is is generally rare and local in occurrence (Sick 1993, Ridgely and Tudor 1994), evidently being locally common and patchy in distribution, with absence from apparently suitable areas (G. Serpa in litt. 2013).

Population justification
The global population size has not been formally quantified, but this species is described as 'rare' (Stotz et al. 1996), thus the population is preliminarily placed in the band for 10,000-19,999 mature individuals, assumed to equate to c.15,000-30,000 individuals in total. Given the species's patchy distribution, it is assumed that there are multiple sub-populations numbering no more than 1,000 mature individuals each.

Trend justification
Data on population trends are lacking, but the species is thought to be in decline owing to continued habitat loss and degradation within its range.

In common with congeners, this species favours thick undergrowth, such as caatinga tangles and bamboo thickets (Ridgely and Tudor 1994, A. Foster in litt. 2013), within forest and edge habitats up to 950 m. It also appears to prefer vegetation in proximity to streams or damp ground (A. Foster in litt. 2013).

Although presumably threatened by deforestation (Ridgely and Tudor 1994), this species's apparent tolerance of secondary habitats (Sick 1993) may reduce the impact of habitat degradation and fragmentation, and where the species occurs it does appear to show resilience to forest fragmentation (G. Serpa in litt. 2013). The very few known locations for this species remain under pressure and lack protection (G. Serpa in litt. 2013). The expansion of agriculture and clearance for drainage are potential causes of habitat loss for this species (A. Foster in litt. 2013).

Conservation Actions Underway
No targeted conservation actions are known for this species.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Repeat surveys of known sites to determine rates of range contraction and population trends. Conduct surveys of suitable habitats within and surrounding the species's known range to determine its true distribution and abundance. Conduct further studies to determine whether this species can genuinely tolerate secondary or disturbed habitats. Protect areas occupied by the species.

IUCN. 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2012.1). Available at: (Accessed: 19 June 2012).

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

Sick, H. 1993. Birds in Brazil: a natural history. Princeton University Press, Princeton.

Stotz, D. F.; Fitzpatrick, J. W.; Parker, T. A.; Moskovits, D. K. 1996. Neotropical birds: ecology and conservation. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Further web sources of information
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
Butchart, S., Gilroy, J., Symes, A. & Taylor, J.

Foster, A. & Serpa, G.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Cercomacra brasiliana. 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.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Near Threatened
Family Thamnophilidae (Antbirds)
Species name author Hellmayr, 1905
Population size 10000-19999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 114,000 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species