email a friend
printable version
VU
Helmeted Woodpecker Dryocopus galeatus

Justification
This species is listed as Vulnerable because its small population is suspected to have suffered a rapid population reduction owing to the extensive and on-going loss and fragmentation of its habitat. If new data suggest that the population size has been overestimated, the species may be eligible for uplisting in the future.

Taxonomic source(s)
SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: http://www.museum.lsu.edu/~Remsen/SACCBaseline.html.
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.
Stotz, D. F.; Fitzpatrick, J. W.; Parker, T. A.; Moskovits, D. K. 1996. Neotropical birds: ecology and conservation. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Identification
28 cm. Inconspicuous but striking woodpecker. Bushy Celeus-like crest, nape and malar pale red. Cinnamon face. Black upperparts and lower back. Pale buff rump. Pale stripe on side of neck. Underparts barred blackish and pale cream. Female similar but without red malar. Similar spp. Lineated Woodpecker D. lineatus has black throat, breast and rump. Robust Woodpecker Campephilus robustus is larger with all-red head and neck, and has buff extending up the back. Voice Series of 3-12 strident keer notes, soft, even drumming, lasting 0.9 seconds.

Distribution and population
Dryocopus galeatus is confined to south Brazil in São Paulo, Paraná, Santa Catarina, Rio Grande do Sul, east Paraguay in Amambay, San Pedro, Canindeyú, Caaguazú, Alto Paraná, Caazapá, Guairá, Paraguarí (three old specimens), Itapúa (Hayes 1995, Lowen et al. 1996, Madroño et al. 1997, R. Clay in litt. 2003, Lammertink et al. 2012) and north Argentina, through much of Misiones (Bodrati 2005, Bodrati & Cockle 2006, Krauczuk 2008, Lammertink et al. 2011). It is difficult to locate except when vocalising and, since it is silent for much of the year, is almost certainly under-recorded (Lowen et al. 1996). However, it is rare or very uncommon at all known sites and its status remains unclear, particularly considering the high rates of deforestation within its range, and considering its association with mature forest of which little remains in the region and the extent of which is still being reduced due to selective logging (Lammertink et al. 2011). It is currently thought to number 400-8,900 individuals, within an occupied range of some 25,000-40,000 km2 (Lammertink et al. 2012).

Population justification
This species's population is thought to number fewer than 10,000 mature individuals (A. Bodrati in litt. 2010, G. Kohler in litt. 2010, M. Lammertink in litt. 2010, A. E. Rupp in litt. 2010, Lammertink et al. 2012) and is thus placed in the band 2,500-9,999 mature individuals; however, this may well be an overestimate given the species's apparent scarcity at well observed sites (M. Lammertink in litt. 2010). This estimate equates to 3,750-14,999 individuals in total, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.

Trend justification
Although rates of deforestation in its range are thought to have decreased in recent years (R. Clay in litt. 2007, A. Bodrati in litt. 2010, G. Kohler in litt. 2010), this species's population is still suspected to be undergoing a rapid decline on the basis of continued habitat destruction, degradation and fragmentation.

Ecology
Although it inhabits selectively logged montane and lowland Atlantic forest, it appears to reach its highest densities in primary or mature forest (Lammertink et al. 2012). It has also been recorded in relatively small and degraded forest patches and gallery forest, although generally in the proximity of large forest tracts (Chebez 1995b, R. P. Clay in litt. 2000, Bodrati 2005, Bodrati and Cockle 2006). Birds have been seen foraging primarily by pecking and probing in very soft decayed wood in the middle storey of the forest interior, sometimes (in winter) in large mixed species flocks  (Brooks et al. 1993, R. P. Clay in litt. 2000, Lammertink et al. 2012). Nests have been found in September-November in newly-excavated holes in dead sections of laurel trees (Nectandra spp; Chebez 1994, Chebez 1995b, Madroño and Esquivel 1995, J. Mazar Barnett in litt. 1999, R. P. Clay in litt. 2000, Lammertink et al. 2012).

Threats
It is at risk from widespread and on-going deforestation, which has already caused the severe fragmentation of its habitat (G. Kohler in litt. 2010). In the Chapeco region of Brazil, the construction of dams is leading to the flooding and consequent destruction of remaining forest fragments and some areas of native forest are cleared for pine plantations (A. E. Rupp in litt. 2010). Habitat degradation through selective logging is also expected to be having a negative impact on the species, for example in Yaboty Biosphere Reserve (Argentina) where the species is widespread and where selective logging is permitted (K. Cockle in litt. 2010, Lammertink et. al. 2011, A. Bodrati in litt. 2012). Habitat degradation also results from the release of cattle into forests by ranchers during the austral winter (A. E. Rupp in litt. 2010). There is no evidence of interspecific competition for food with the larger D. lineatus and C. robustus, and the three species have been observed foraging together without interacting  (A. Bodrati in litt. 2012). Although competition for food appears to be avoided by different foraging techniques, increasing habitat degradation and fragmentation creates forest edge habitat which may favour D. lineatus and presumably increases competition for nest-holes (Chebez 1994, Lowen et al. 1996, R. P. Clay in litt. 2000, K. Cockle in litt. 2010). Dryocopus galeatus has, however, been recorded roosting with White-eyed Parakeets Aratinga leucophthalma in their nest cavity (Cockle 2010).

Conservation Actions Underway

It is protected by Brazilian law. Populations occur in numerous protected areas throughout its range: Iguazú National Park, Cruce Caballero Provincial Park, Yaboty Biosphere Reserve (Esmeralda Provincial Park, Moconá Provincial Park, Caá Yarí Provincial Park, Reserva Natural Cultural Papel Misionero, Área Experimental y Reserva Guaraní), Urugua-í Provincial Park, Peninsula Provincial Park, Caa Porá Private Reserve, Yaguaroundí Private Reserve and Campo San Juan Protected Reserve, in Argentina (Chebez et al. 1998, Bodrati and Cockle 2006, Bodrati et al. 2010, A. Bodrati in litt 2012); Mbaracayú Forest Nature Reserve, Itabó Private Reserve, San Rafael National Park, Caaguazú National Park, Golondrina Private Reserve, Cerro Corá National Park in Paraguay (Lowen et al. 1996); and Intervales State Park, Ilha do Cardoso State Park and Iguaçu National Park, Brazil (Wege and Long 1995). A multiple-year study was initiated in Misiones, Argentina, in 2011 to assess by radio telemetry the ranging and use of old forests and logged forests by Helmeted Woodpecker. The project is expected to generate improved density and population estimates, assess forest structure requirements of the species, and provide guidelines for improving conditions for the species (M. Lammertink in litt. 2012). Proyecto Selva de Pino Paraná is using the species as a flagship in visits to 14 rural schools in San Pedro department, Misiones, to explain how habitat loss and degradation threaten local fauna (K. Cockle in litt. 2012).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey, with the aid of tape-playback, historical localities and areas of suitable habitat to clarify distribution and status. Assess population density at sites likely to hold large populations, such as Iguazú, Iguaçu, San Rafael, Yaboty Biosphere Reserve, Urugua-í Provincial Park and Mbaracayú. Use survey data to calculate an estimate for the species's population size. Increase the area of suitable habitat with protected status. Promote importance and improve protection of mature forest remnants.




References
Bodrati, A. 2005. Barra Concepción. In: Di Giacomo, A. S. (ed.), Áreas importantes para la conservación de las aves en Argentina. Sitios prioritarios para la conservación de la biodiversidad. , pp. 310-311. Aves Argentinas/Asociación Ornitológica del Plata, Buenos Aires.

Bodrati, A., Maders, C., di Santo, G., Cockle, K., Areta, J. I., Segovia, J. M. 2010. La avifauna del Parque Provincial Cruce Caballero, Provincia de Misiones, Argentina. Cotinga 32: 41-64.

Bodrati, A.; Cockle, K. 2006. Habitat, distribution and conservation of Atlantic forest birds in Argentina: notes on nine rare or threatened species. Ornitologia Neotropical 17: 243-258.

Brooks, T. M.; Barnes, R.; Bartrina, L.; Butchart, S. H. M.; Clay, R. P.; Esquivel, E. Z.; Etcheverry, N. I.; Lowen, J. C.; Vincent, J. 1993. Bird surveys and conservation in the Paraguayan Atlantic forest: Project CANOPY '92 final report. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

Chebez, J. C. 1994. Los que se van: especies argentinas en peligro. Albatros, Buenos Aires.

Chebez, J. C. 1995. Nuevos datos sobre Dryocopus galeatus (Piciformes: Picidae) en la Argentina. Hornero 14: 54-57.

Chebez, J. C. 2008. Los que se van. Fauna Argentina amenazada. 2. Aves. Editorial Albatros Saci, Buenos Aires.

Chebez, J. C.; Rey, N. R.; Barbaskas, M.; Di Giacomo, A. G. 1998. Las aves de los Parques Nacionales de la Argentina. Literature of Latin America, Buenos Aries.

Cockle, K. L. 2010. Inter-specific cavity-sharing between a Helmeted Woodpecker (Dryocopus galeatus) and two White-eyed Paralkeets (Aratinga leucophthalma). Wilson Journal of Ornithology 122(4): 803-806.

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.

Hayes, F. E. 1995. Status, distribution and biogeography of the birds of Paraguay. American Birding Association, Colorado Springs.

Krauczuk, E. R. 2008. Riqueza específica, abundancia y ambientes de las aves de Corpus Christi, San Ignacio, Misiones, Argentina. Lundiana 9: 29-39.

Lammertink, M.; Bodrati, A.; Santos, R. E. F. 2011. Helmeted Woodpecker Dryocopus galeatus: a little-known Atlantic Forest endemic. Neotropical Birding: 45-51.

Lammertink, M.; Cockle, K. L.;Bodrati, A.; Santos, R. E. F. 2012. Helmeted Woodpecker (Dryocopus galeatus). Available at: http://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/portal/species/overview?p_p_spp=320216.

Lowen, J. C.; Bartrina, L.; Clay, R. P.; Tobias, J. A. 1996. Biological surveys and conservation priorities in eastern Paraguay (the final reports of Projects Canopy '92 and Yacutinga '95). CSB Conservation, Cambridge, U.K.

Madroño N., A.; Clay, R. P.; Robbins, M. B.; Rice, N. H.; Faucett, R. C.; Lowen, J. C. 1997. An avifaunal survey of the vanishing interior Atlantic forest of San Rafael National Park, Departments Itapúa/Caazapá, Paraguay. Cotinga: 45-53.

Madroño N., A.; Esquivel, E. Z. 1995. Reserva Natural del Bosque de Mbaracayú. Cotinga: 52-57.

Wege, D. C.; Long, A. J. 1995. Key Areas for threatened birds in the Neotropics. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

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.

Recuento detallado de la especie tomado del libro Aves Amenazadas de las Americas, Libro Rojo de BirdLife International (BirdLife International 1992). Nota: la taxonomo

Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Clay, R., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A., Taylor, J., Williams, R.

Contributors
Bodrati, A., Clay, R., Kohler, G., Lammertink, M., Mazar Barnett, J., Rupp, A., Cockle, K.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Dryocopus galeatus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 16/04/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 16/04/2014.

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.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Helmeted woodpecker (Dryocopus galeatus) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Picidae (Woodpeckers)
Species name author (Temminck, 1822)
Population size 2500-9999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 184,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species