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Tawny Tit-spinetail Leptasthenura yanacensis
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species is thought to have a moderately small population which is highly fragmented within its moderately small range. It is likely to be declining owing to ongoing habitat loss and degradation. It is currently considered Near Threatened, and should be carefully monitored for future changes in the rate of decline.

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

Synallaxis yanacensis Collar and Andrew (1988)

Distribution and population
Leptasthenura yanacensis is locally relatively common in Peru (from the Cordillera Blanca in Ancash and north Lima, on the east slope of the Andes in Cuzco and Puno), west Bolivia (from La Paz south to Tarija) (Ridgely and Tudor 1994, Maynard and Waterton 1998) and north-west Argentina (Jujuy [Mazar Barnett et al. 1998a] and Salta [Pearman 2001]).

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but this species is described as 'uncommon and patchily distributed' (Stotz et al. 1996).

Trend justification
This species is suspected to be declining at a slow to moderate rate, owing to habitat loss and degradation, although trends have not been quantified directly.

In the semi-humid north of its range, it exclusively inhabits highly fragmented Polylepis woodland (Fjeldså and Kessler 1996), and in some localities it appears to be strongly tied to Polylepis groves (Pearman 2001). It may show a preference for the interior of forest fragments, shunning the edges particularly during the breeding season (Cahill and Matthysen 2007). In the more arid south, it also occurs in shrubbery and on steep rocky slopes with bunchgrass and low bushes (Fjeldså and Krabbe 1990, Ridgely and Tudor 1994, Fjeldså and Kessler 1996, Mazar Barnett et al. 1998a). It occurs at 2,850-4,600 m (Fjeldså and Krabbe 1990, Ridgely and Tudor 1994, Mazar Barnett et al. 1998a), occasionally to 5,200 m (Parker et al. 1996), and remains at high altitude even during snowstorms (Fjeldså and Krabbe 1990).

The main threats are heavy grazing by livestock and uncontrolled use of fire, which combine to prevent Polylepis regeneration, especially where cutting for timber, firewood and charcoal occurs (Fjeldså and Kessler 1996). The change from camelid to sheep and cattle farming, and erosion and soil degradation caused by agricultural intensification and afforestation (especially with Eucalyptus) are contributory factors (Fjeldså and Kessler 1996).

Conservation Actions Underway
Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys to assess the species's total population size. Monitor population trends through regular surveys. Monitor rates of habitat loss and degradation. Ensure that remaining tracts of Polylepis forest habitat within the range receive adequate protection, particularly in areas where connectivity between habitat patches can be maintained.

Cahill, J. R. A.; Matthysen, E. 2007. Habitat use by two specialist birds in high-Andrean Polylepis forests. Biological Conservation 140(1-2): 62-69.

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.

Maynard, E.; Waterton, R. 1998. An Oxford University expedition to the high altitude Polylepis forests of the Cordillera Huayhuash, central Peru.

Mazar Barnett, J.; Clark, R.; Bodrati, A.; Bodrati, G.; Pugnali, G.; della Seta, M. 1998. Natural history notes on some little-known birds in north-west Argentina. Cotinga: 64-75.

Parker, T. A.; Stotz, D. F.; Fitzpatrick, J. W. 1996. Ecological and distributional databases. In: Stotz, D.F.; Fitzpatrick, J.W.; Parker, T.A.; Moskovits, D.K. (ed.), Neotropical bird ecology and conservation, pp. 113-436. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Pearman, M. 2001. Notes and range extensions of some poorly known birds of northern Argentina. Cotinga 16: 76-80.

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

Stotz, D. F.; Fitzpatrick, J. W.; Parker, T. A.; Moskovits, D. K. 1996. Neotropical birds: ecology and conservation. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

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

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Gilroy, J., Sharpe, C J

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Leptasthenura yanacensis. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016.

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 Near Threatened
Family Furnariidae (Ovenbirds)
Species name author Carriker, 1933
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 74,200 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species