email a friend
printable version
Campo Miner Geositta poeciloptera
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

This species is now thought to be undergoing a rapid population decline as a result of the destruction and conversion of cerrado habitats for human use. It has therefore been uplisted to Vulnerable.

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

Geobates poecilopterus Stotz et al. (1996), Geobates poecilopterus Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993), Geobates poecilopterus BirdLife International (2004), Geobates poecilopterus BirdLife International (2000)

Size: 12.5 cm. Summary: A short-tailed and often tame yet inconspicuous terrestrial bird. Id: Mainly fawn brown with buff supercilium and white throat. Wings dusky with rufous secondaries and band in primaries, especially noticeable in flight; pinkish-chestnut underwing coverts. Tail rufous (except central feathers which are dusky) with broad black subterminal band. Similar: No other miner occurs sympatrically; the larger Rufous Hornero Furnarius rufus (20 cm) is browner and more uniform and lacks a supercillium, rufous in the wing and band in the tail. Hints: Often frequents short grass and recently burnt areas. Voice: Male sings while hovering c. 50 m above the ground giving a repeated semi-musical "zhliip" or "zh-zh-zh-leép".

Distribution and population
Geositta poeciloptera occurs within interior south-central Brazil (from São Paulo, where it is now considered extinct, north to Minas Gerais, Goiás and Mato Grosso), north-east Bolivia (north-east Santa Cruz in the Serranía de Huanchaca), and a specimen was collected in Paraguay in 1938 (J. M. Bates in litt. 1999, Ridgely and Tudor 1994, Sick 1993). Although it may be locally common in places such as Serra da Canastra National Park after late dry-season fires, it is generally uncommon and has declined as large areas of cerrado are converted for agriculture, cattle-ranching and plantations .

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but this species is described as 'uncommon and patchily distributed'.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to have declined rapidly owing to continued habitat destruction and degradation within its range.

It is rare to temporarily relatively common in open campo cerrado, where there are at most a few scattered trees, mainly at 500-1,200 m (Ridgely and Tudor 1994). It is often most numerous on recently burnt terrain, even where the ground is still smoking (Ridgely and Tudor 1994, de Vasconcelos et al. 2004), and has disappeared from some areas of São Paulo owing to a lack of fires in the cerrado (Willis and Oniki 1993).

There has been extensive conversion of cerrado habitats to mechanised agriculture, cattle ranching and plantations of non-native tree species (da Silva 1995, Parker and Willis 1997). Two thirds of cerrado habitats had been moderately or extensively altered by 1993 (Conservation International 1999), with most destruction having occurred since 1950 (Cavalcanti 1999). Suppression of fires on cerrado caused the disappearance of this species from some areas of São Paulo. Open cerrados on flat ground (such as plateau tops) are prime sites for conversion so this species may have suffered particularly badly. It does not adapt to artificial grasslands/pastures and is not found in frequently-burned savannas (L. E. Lopes in litt. 2009).

Conservation Actions Underway
It has been recorded recently in Brasília, Chapada dos Veadeiros, Serra da Canastra and Emas National Parks (I. P de Faria in litt. 2009). Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys of suitable habitats within and surrounding the known range, particularly in Paraguay, to determine its true distribution and abundance. Promote the conservation of remaining primary cerrado habitats.

Cavalcanti, R. B. 1999. Bird species richness and conservation in the Cerrado region of central Brazil. Studies in Avian Biology 19: 244-249.

Conservation International. 1999. Açoes prioritárias para a conservaçao da biodiversidade do Cerrado e Pantanal.

da Silva, J. M. C. 1995. Birds of the Cerrado Region, South America. Steenstrupia 21: 69-92.

Parker, T. A.; Willis, E. O. 1997. Notes on three tiny grassland flycatchers, with comments on the disappearance of South American fire-diversified savannas. Ornithological Monographs 48: 549-555.

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.

Vasconcelos, M. F. de; D'Angelo Neto, S.; Maldonado-Coelho, M. 2004. New noteworthy occurrences of the Wied's Tyrant-manakin (Neopelma aurifrons) in Brazil. Ornitologia Neotropical 15: 547-548.

Willis, E. O.; Oniki, Y. 1993. New and reconfirmed birds from the state of São Paulo, Brazil, with notes on disappearing species. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 113: 23-34.

Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

View photos and videos and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Capper, D., Gilroy, J., Mahood, S., O'Brien, A., Pilgrim, J., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A.

Bates, J., Clay, R., Lopes, L., Olmos, F., Paula de Faria, I.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Geositta poeciloptera. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016.

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 - Campo miner (Geositta poeciloptera) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Furnariidae (Ovenbirds)
Species name author (Wied, 1830)
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Increasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 1,350,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species