email a friend
printable version
VU
Puna Thistletail Asthenes helleri

Justification

Based on a model of future deforestation, it is suspected that the population of this species will decline rapidly over the next three generations, and it has therefore been uplisted to Vulnerable.

Taxonomic source(s)
SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #http://www.museum.lsu.edu/~Remsen/SACCBaseline.html#.

Taxonomic note
Use of the genus Asthenes follows SACC (2010).

Synonym(s)
Schizoeaca helleri Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993), Schizoeaca helleri Stotz et al. (1996), Schizoeaca helleri BirdLife International (2004, 2008)

Identification
17-18 cm. Smallish, brown-and-grey ovenbird. Typical thistletail. Crown and upperparts, including wings, are a dull rufescent brown. The tail is paler, long and deeply forked. The underparts, including throat, are greyish. Voice A series of spluttering notes, first increasing in volume then fading at the end.

Distribution and population
Asthenes helleri has a restricted range in the Andes of western South America, described as uncommon to fairly common throughout. In Peru it is limited to the areas of Cuzco and Puno, and is present in the Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary. Its distribution also touches into extreme north La Paz, Bolivia (del Hoyo et al. 2003).

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but this species is described as 'fairly common' (Stotz et al. (1996).

Trend justification
This species is suspected to lose 31-31.3% of suitable habitat within its distribution over three generations (11 years) based on a model of Amazonian deforestation (Soares-Filho et al. 2006, Bird et al. 2011). Given the susceptibility of the species to fragmentation and/or edge effects, it is therefore suspected to decline by ≥30% over three generations.

Ecology
Above the timberline, this species occurs in "páramo" (high tropical montane grassland) and elfin forest; below, it prefers dense undergrowth at the edge of cloud-forest. It is found between 2,800-3,600 m elevation. Its diet consists of arthropods, taken from understorey foliage (del Hoyo et al. 2003).

Threats

The primary threat to this species is accelerating deforestation; it is thought likely to be particularly susceptible to fragmentation and edge effects (Soares-Filho et al. 2006, Bird et al. 2011, A. Lees in litt. 2011). It has probably always had a small population, and has also been declining as a result of grazing and burning in its Andean timberline habitat (del Hoyo et al. 2003).


Conservation Actions Underway
None is known.

Conservation Actions Proposed

Expand the protected area network to effectively protect IBAs. Effectively resource and manage existing and new protected areas, utilising emerging opportunities to finance protected area management with the joint aims of reducing carbon emissions and maximizing biodiversity conservation. Conservation on private lands, through expanding market pressures for sound land management and preventing forest clearance on lands unsuitable for agriculture, is also essential (Soares-Filho et al. 2006).

References
Bird, J. P.; Buchanan, J. M.; Lees, A. C.; Clay, R. P.; Develey, P. F.; Yépez, I.; Butchart, S. H. M. 2011. Integrating spatially explicit habitat projections into extinction risk assessments: a reassessment of Amazonian avifauna incorporating projected deforestation. Diversity and Distributions: doi: 10.1111/j.1472-4642.2011.00843.x.

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Christie, D. 2003. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 8: Broadbills to Tapaculos. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Soares-Filho, B.S.; Nepstad, D.C.; Curran, L.M.; Cerqueira, G.C.; Garcia, R. A.; Ramos, C. A.; Voll, E.; McDonald, A.; Lefebvre, P.; Schlesinger, P. 2006. Modelling conservation in the Amazon basin. Nature 440(7083): 520-523.

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., Ekstrom, J., Khwaja, N., Symes, A.

Contributors
Lees, A.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Taylor, J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Asthenes helleri. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/12/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/12/2014.

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 Vulnerable
Family Furnariidae (Ovenbirds)
Species name author (Chapman, 1923)
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 43,400 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species