email a friend
printable version
Pink-legged Graveteiro Acrobatornis fonsecai
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

This species has a very small and declining range and is therefore listed as Vulnerable (Pacheco et al.1996).

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

14 cm. Very agile, blackish-grey furnariid. Blackish crown and thin ocular stripe grading on nape to dark ashy-grey upperparts with blackish mottling on back. Paler grey lower back and rump. Pale grey, thin, long eyebrow. Pale grey underparts with slight dark flammulations on breast. Blackish wings with grey edging in coverts and tertials. Large pink legs. Blackish bill with pink mandible. Blackish tail. Juvenile similarly patterned but brownish-rufous, richer on rump and wings. Tawnier underparts. Similar spp. Juveniles resemble some other furnariids but are rarely seen alone. Distinctive behaviour. Voice High-pitched song begins with sparse notes, accelerating and finishing in a long trill.

Distribution and population
Acrobatornis fonsecai is known from the cocoa-growing district of south-east Bahia and north-east Minas Gerais (Ribon et al. 2004), Brazil, between the rio Jequitinhonha and slightly to the north of the rio das Contas. Precise numbers are not known, but it occurs at numerous localities within this range and appears to be not 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 is suspected to be declining rapidly, in line with rates of habitat loss within its range.

It inhabits the canopy and subcanopy of cabruca (extensive shade cocoa plantations, with native canopy species) within moist lowland forest up to 550 m. It is probably absent from coastal forests. Recorded food items include mainly Coleoptera and other insects. Breeding has been recorded between September and October.

Virtually all forest below 400 m has been converted to cocoa plantations or completely cleared. The system of shaded cocoa plantations has secured the survival of a continuous canopy cover in places, but there is no forest regeneration owing to weeding of the understorey. During the 1990s, falls in the price of cocoa and the introduction of a fungal disease resulted in a downturn in cocoa production. Landowners have started to sell timber from the shading forests, and to shift production from cocoa to other crop-types or livestock-grazing.

Conservation Actions Underway
Several reserves are in the process of being created within the species's range (J. F. Pacheco in litt. 2007). Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey to provide a better delimitation of its range and assess numbers. Research its precise ecological requirements. Designate reserves in the Serra das Lontras and the Serra Bonita that include areas with an extensive cabruca canopy. Provide incentives for landowners to protect remaining forest.

Pacheco, J. F.; Whitney, B. M.; Gonzaga, L. P. 1996. A new genus and species of furnariid (Aves: Furnariidae) from the cocoa-growing region of southeastern Bahia, Brazil. Wilson Bulletin 108: 397-433.

Ribon, R.; de Mattos, G. T.; Ribeiro Luiz, E.; de Castro Morais, F.; de Andrade, R.N.; Resende, F.C.; de Melo, F.; Chiarello, A. G.; Abreu, C. R.M. 2004. Avifauna da floresta ombrófila densa do vale do Jequituinhonha, nordeste de Minas Gerais. Resumos XII Congreso Brasileiro de Ornitologica, pp. 345. Universidade Regional de Blumenau, Blumenau, Brazil.

Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

View photos and videos and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Mazar Barnett, J., Pople, R., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A.

Pacheco, J.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Acrobatornis fonsecai. Downloaded from on 20/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 20/10/2016.

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 - Pink-legged graveteiro (Acrobatornis fonsecai) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Furnariidae (Ovenbirds)
Species name author Pacheco, Whitney & Gonzaga, 1996
Population size 2500-9999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 2,300 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species