email a friend
printable version
Orange-throated Tanager Wetmorethraupis sterrhopteron
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

This species has a very small range, in which habitat is declining and/or likely to decline in accessible parts of its range. As it is known from more than five locations, it qualifies as Vulnerable.

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

17 cm. Striking black, orange and blue tanager. Black head, mantle, tail and much of wings, with violet-blue wing-coverts, tertials and secondaries. Orange throat and breast, with rest of underparts pale ochre-yellow. Similar spp. Unmistakable. Voice A deliberate in-chee-tooch and penetrating seet call.

Distribution and population
Wetmorethraupis sterrhopteron is a poorly-known species of the Cordillera del Cóndor in Zamora-Chinchipe, Ecuador, and north Amazonas, Peru. It occurs on the west slopes above the río Nangaritza in Ecuador (Balchin and Toyne 1998), and lower east slopes and foothills above the ríos Marañón and Cenepa in Peru (O'Neill 1969, Begazo et al. 2001, Clements and Shany 2001). According to Aguaruna Indians, it also occurs in forests at the headwaters of the río Nieva, Amazonas (J. P. O'Neill in litt. 2000), well south-east of its known range. It appears common in suitable habitat in Peru (O'Neill 1969), but its abundance in Ecuador has not been estimated (Marín et al. 1992, Schulenberg and Awbrey 1997, Balchin and Toyne 1998).

Population justification
It is uncommon and local (Schulenberg et al. 2007, N. Krabbe in litt. 2010). The population size is preliminarily estimated to fall into the band 10,000-19,999 individuals. This equates to 6,667-13,333 mature individuals, rounded here to 6,000-15,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
This species is suspected to lose 5.9-6.4% 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). It is therefore suspected to decline by <25% over three generations.

It primarily occupies mature, humid terra firme forest and foothill-forest in the upper tropical zone, at 600-1,000 m, where forested slopes are neither steep nor wet. However, in 1998, four were seen feeding in Cecropia at c.450 m (J. Hornbuckle in litt. 1998), and it may occur more widely at this elevation. It also occurs in disturbed mature forest (Marín et al. 1992), foraging in pairs or small groups of up to five, occasionally joining mixed-species flocks. Fruit and insects constitute its diet.

Forest clearance, especially along new extensions of the road network, through the activities of settlers attracted to the region, is the only known threat. In areas of north Peru, the foothills have very rapidly been deforested. However, the Aguaruna Indian community is well organised and prevents immigration to their territory (B. P. Walker per C. Bushell in litt. 1999, Begazo et al. 2001). Most of the species's range lies within Aguaruna territory; thus, providing their agricultural methods are unchanged, foothill-forests should remain relatively intact (B. P. Walker per C. Bushell in litt. 1999, Begazo et al. 2001).

Conservation Actions Underway
None is known. Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct further surveys in the upper río Nieva valley (Balchin and Toyne 1998) and Cordillera del Cóndor. Survey foothill-forests in the region and determine whether they are threatened. Research the species's ecology. Designate a protected area in the Cordillera del Cóndor, and involve local people in the region's land-use management (O'Neill 1969).

Balchin, C. S.; Toyne, E. P. 1998. The avifauna and conservation status of the Río Nangaritza valley, southern Ecuador. Bird Conservation International 8: 237-253.

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.

Marín, M.; Carrión, J. M.; Sibley, F. C. 1992. New distributional records for Ecuadorian birds. Ornitologia Neotropical 3(1): 27-34.

O'Neill, J. P. 1969. Distributional notes on the birds of Peru, including twelve species previously unreported from the republic. Occasional Papers of the Museum of Zoology, Louisiana State University 37: 1-11.

Schulenberg, T. S.; Awbrey, K. 1997. The Cordillera del Cóndor region of Ecuador and Peru: a biological assessment. Conservation International, Washington, DC.

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

Bushell, C., Hornbuckle, J., O'Neill, J., Walker, B., Krabbe, N.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Wetmorethraupis sterrhopteron. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016.

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 Thraupidae (Tanagers)
Species name author Lowery & O'Neill, 1964
Population size 6000-15000 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 4,200 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species