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Moustached Woodcreeper Xiphocolaptes falcirostris
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The widespread destruction of dry forest in interior Brazil has rapidly reduced the now small population of this species. Remaining populations are severely fragmented and continuing to decline (Collar et al. 1992). The species therefore qualifies as Vulnerable.

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

Taxonomic note
Xiphocolaptes falcirostris (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993) was provisionally split into X. falcirostris and X. franciscanus by Stotz et al. (1996) but this treatment has not been adopted, following SACC (2005).

29 cm. Large, heavy-billed woodcreeper. Dark rufous-brown crown, with faint pale streaking. Long eyebrow and broad subocular stripe. Otherwise rufous-brown, brightest on mantle and tinged buffy on underparts with inconspicuous buffy shafts on flanks and faint barring on belly. Long, heavy, dark bill. Race franciscanus has darker underparts and almost unstreaked crown, but there is considerable overlap between both forms. Similar spp. White-throated Woodcreeper X. albicollis is more olivaceous, and is heavily streaked and barred. Voice Spaced series of far-carrying and descending notes.

Distribution and population
Xiphocolaptes falcirostris has a wide but highly fragmented distribution in the interior of north-east Brazil: east Maranhão (recent records from Tuntun and Sambaíba), Piauí (the only recent record is from Fazenda Bom Recreio, in 1987), Ceará (only recently from Guaramirangá, in 1987), west Paraíba (Coremas, in 1957), Pernambuco (Fazenda Campos Bons, in 1971), Bahia (abundant at Coribe in 1988, but perhaps now extirpated, though found near São Desidério [Olmos 2008]) and north Minas Gerais (Fazenda Olhos d'Água, Brejo do Amparo and Peruaçú) (da Silva and Oren 1997). A specimen labelled Posse, Goiás, is probably from the rio São Fransisco valley in Bahia (da Silva and Oren 1997). It has certainly declined and is now extremely local and uncommon.

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 2,500-9,999 mature 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 3,750-14,999 individuals, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.

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

It inhabits the interior of intact and slightly disturbed dry forests, which grow on relatively rich soils. These forests are wetter and taller than is typical of the Caatinga. It feeds on insect larvae, ants, snails and beetles. Breeding is probably in the austral summer.

Clearance for irrigated and dry field agriculture has removed extensive tracts of forest that are also an important source of charcoal for steel and pig-iron industries (da Silva and Oren 1997). Eucalyptus sp. plantations were farmed as a substitute source of charcoal, but the recent rise in the value of these plantations for the paper pulp industry has increased pressure on native forests for charcoal. Forest at Coribe was extensive and undisturbed in 1987, but had been entirely destroyed by 1993 (da Silva and Oren 1997). International financing agencies have accelerated the rate of deforestation in the south of its range by underwriting irrigation projects (da Silva and Oren 1997).

Conservation Actions Underway
It is protected under Brazilian law and has been found in the Serra do Baturité State Environment Protection Area, Ceará, and the Peruaçú Special Protection Area, Minas Gerais. Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey, and seek the creation of new reserves, on the left bank of the rio São Francisco, from Barra in Bahia to Itacarambi in Minas Gerais, including patches along the rios Grande and Preto in north-west Bahia, and in south Piauí and central Maranhão (da Silva and Oren 1997). Map and ecologically evaluate extant patches of dry forest (da Silva and Oren 1997). Conduct long-term studies on the ecology of dry forests (e.g. succession and the effects of selective logging) to develop viable strategies for future economic utilisation (da Silva and Oren 1997). Create a system of conservation units (following mapping) that maximises the representation of the original dry forest fauna and flora (da Silva and Oren 1997).

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.

da Silva, J. M. C.; Oren, D. C. 1997. Geographic variation and conservation of the Moustached Woodcreeper Xiphocolaptes falcirostris, an endemic and threatened species of north-eastern Brazil. Bird Conservation International 7: 263-274.

Olmos, F. 2008. A new locality for Moustached Woodcreeper Xiphocolaptes falcirostris, Wagler's Woodcreeper Lepidocolaptes wagleri and Caatinga Black Tyrant Knipolegus franciscanus. Cotinga: 87-89.

Snethlage, E. 1926. Resumo de trabalhos executados na Europa de 1924 a 1925, em museus de história natural. Boletim do Museu Nacional Rio de Janeiro Zoologia 2: 35-70.

Teixeira, D. M. 1990. Notas sobre algumas aves descritas por Emile Snethlage. Boletim do Museu Nacional Rio de Janeiro Zoologia n.s. Zool. no.337.

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., Pople, R., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Xiphocolaptes falcirostris. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016.

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 Vulnerable
Family Dendrocolaptidae (Woodcreepers)
Species name author (Spix, 1824)
Population size 2500-9999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 86,400 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species