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Russet-mantled Softtail Thripophaga berlepschi
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species is now known from over ten locations, but all its subpopulations are small and its habitat continues to decline (Collar et al. 1992), so it consequently qualifies as Vulnerable.

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

18 cm. Rufous-brown furnariid. Most of upperparts and breast rufous, becoming olivaceous-brown on belly and rump, and with greyish-buff crown and chin. Bluish-horn bill and hazel to orange iris. Similar spp. Most closely resembles Maracapata Spinetail Cranioleuca maracapatae and Light-crowned Spinetail C. albiceps, but range overlaps with neither species. Voice Usually begins with a low churring, speeding up into a descending 'cheecheecheecheecheechiddididrrrrrr'. Duetting or delivery by several individuals is common. Response to playback is a repeated descending even trill, speeding up at end of delivery, repeated every three seconds 'chee chee chee chee chee chedd-d-d-drrr' (Remsen 2003).

Distribution and population
Thripophaga berlepschi is rare and locally distributed in the Andes of north Peru, from east Piura, through west Amazonas and San Martín, to south-east La Libertad. It has been recorded on Cerro Chinguela (Piura), La Peca Nueva, Leimebamba, Atuén, Lluy, San Cristóbal and near Florida-Pomacichas (Amazonas), La Montañita and Río Abiseo National Park (San Martín) and Mashua (La Libertad) (Davies et al. 1997, Clements and Shany 2001, Begazo et al. 2001, G. Engblom in litt. 2001), and is probably also present in the northern Cordillera de Col (Dauphinéet al. 2005) and possibly at Abra Patricia. There are large areas of unsurveyed forest at Leimebamba which may hold the species (H. Lloyd in litt. 2007).

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 1,000-2,499 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 667-1,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 600-1,700 mature individuals.

Trend justification
This species's population is suspected to be declining slowly, in line with rates of habitat loss within its range.

It inhabits montane and elfin forest, often just below the treeline, at elevations of 3,050 to 3,400 m, locally as low as 2,500 m (Fjeldså and Krabbe 1990, Ridgely and Tudor 1994, J. Hornbuckle in litt. 1999). It appears to persist in small forest fragments but the minimum size needed is not known (H. Lloyd in litt. 2007). Pairs and small groups are sometimes seen accompanying mixed-species flocks in the understorey (Ridgely and Tudor 1994), subcanopy and canopy (Fjeldså and Krabbe 1990, Davies et al. 1997). Immatures and juveniles have been seen in July and September, and breeding probably takes place during the dry season (June-September).

Timberline habitats in the Andes have been diminishing since the arrival of humans thousands of years ago, primarily through the use of fire (Kessler and Herzog 1998). During the colonial period, sustainable land-use systems established by Pre-Columbian cultures were largely replaced with unsustainable agricultural techniques, including widespread burning (Kessler and Herzog 1998). Regular burning of páramo grassland adjacent to elfin forest, to promote the growth of fresh shoots for livestock, has lowered the treeline by several hundred metres, and continues to destroy large areas of this species's habitat (Kessler and Herzog 1998). Small and fragmented remnant elfin forests are additionally threatened by clearance for agriculture and grazing, with an alarmingly high rate of conversion to cash-crops in the (until relatively recently pristine) Cordillera de Colán (Barnes et al. 1995, Davies et al. 1997, Kessler and Herzog 1998). Road construction has increased pressure from grazing and selective logging, and there is ongoing rapid habitat clearance in the Leimebamba-Abra Barro Negro area (H. Lloyd in litt. 2007).

Conservation Actions Underway
It occurs in Río Abiseo National Park (Davies et al. 1997). Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey to improve knowledge of this species's status and distribution. Improve land-use management by segregating agricultural, grazing and forest areas (Fjeldså and Kessler 1996). Regulate the use of fire (Fjeldså and Kessler 1996). Reintroduce old, high-yielding agricultural techniques (Fjeldså and Kessler 1996). Encourage local people to take a leading role in land-use management and restoration schemes (Fjeldså and Kessler 1996).

Barnes, R.; Butchart, S.; Clay, R.; Davies, C.; Seddon, N. 1995. The conservation status of the Cordillera de Colán, northern Peru. Cotinga: 6-7.

Begazo, A.J., Valqui, T., Sokol, M. and Langlois, E. 2001. Notes on some birds from central and northern Peru. Cotinga 15: 81-87.

Clements, J. F.; Shany, N. 2001. A field guide to the birds of Peru. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

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.

Dauphiné, N. 2005. Conservation status of four endangered bird species in the Cordillera de Colán, Northern Peru….

Davies, C. W. N.; Barnes, R.; Butchart, S. H. M.; Fernandez, M.; Seddon, N. 1997. The conservation status of birds on the Cordillera de Colán, Peru. Bird Conservation International 7: 181-195.

Fjeldså, J.; Kessler, M. 1996. Conserving the biological diversity of Polylepis woodlands of the highland of Peru and Bolivia. NORDECO, Copenhagen.

Fjeldså, J.; Krabbe, N. 1990. Birds of the high Andes. Apollo Books, Copenhagen.

Kessler, M.; Herzog, S. K. 1998. Conservation status in Bolivia of timberline habitats, elfin forest and their birds. Cotinga 10: 50-54.

Remsen, J. V. 2003. Family Furnariidae (Ovenbirds). In: del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Christie, D.A. (ed.), Handbook of the birds of the world, pp. 162-357. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

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

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
Isherwood, I., Pople, R., Sharpe, C J, Stuart, T., Symes, A.

Engblom, G., Hornbuckle, J., Lloyd, H.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Thripophaga berlepschi. 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 - Russet-mantled softtail (Thripophaga berlepschi) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Furnariidae (Ovenbirds)
Species name author Hellmayr, 1905
Population size 600-1700 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 1,200 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species