This discussion was first published as part of the 2016 Red List update. At the time a decision regarding its status was pended, but to enable potential reassessment of this species as part of the 2019 Red List update this post remains open and the date of posting has been updated.
Black-capped Piprites is found in south-east Brazil and north-eastern Argentina. In Brazil it has been found in Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul. In Argentina records come from Tobuna and Yabotí Biosphere Reserve, Misiones (Maders et al. 2007, Bodrati et al. 2009, 2010). The species is currently listed as Vulnerable under criterion C2a(i) on the basis of its small, declining population.
The global population is estimated at 2,500-9,999 mature individuals. The extent of forest loss within the species’s range indicates that its apparently small population is declining at a moderate rate. It largely inhabits the canopy of montane Atlantic forest in the Araucaria angustifolia and Podocarpus lamberti domain. Observations in Brazil suggest it may be an altitudinal migrant (A. Whittaker in litt. 1999). If true, it may require continuous tracts of forest within its altitudinal range of 900-2,000 m in Brazil. In Argentina, it has been found from 500 to 600 m, and it does not migrate (Bodrati et al. 2009). Araucaria forests have been much reduced in extent. However, it does not appear to be a true Araucaria specialist, and population declines in the north of its range may be mitigated by forests within its altitudinal range having suffered considerably less destruction than adjacent lowlands. The population in Argentina is very small and localized in a specific habitat (Ocotea pulchella forest), which is not subject to any specific protection and thus vulnerable to forest disturbance including selective logging, forest clearing for agriculture, and accidental forest fires (Bodrati et al. 2009).
In the Brazilian Red List assessment for birds (MMA 2014) this species is listed as Near Threatened. However the criteria under which it is Near Threatened are not provided.
Up-to-date information is requested on the species’s population size, trend and subpopulation structure. Is the population likely to be in continuing decline owing to loss of habitat? Is the global population <10,000 mature individuals? And are there <1,000 mature individuals in each subpopulation?
New information and comments on the proposed downlisting are welcome.
Bodrati, A.; Maders, C.; Di Santo, G.; Cockle K.; Areta, J. I.; Segovia, J. M. 2009. Distribución, hábitat, y historia natural del Bailarín Castaño Piprites pileata, una especie Críticamente Amenazada en Argentina. Cotinga: 95-100.
Bodrati A.; Lammertink M.; Segovia J.M. 2010. El Bailarín Castaño (Piprites pileata) está en la Reserva Natural Cultural Papel Misionero, Provincia de Misiones, Argentina. Nuestras Aves 54: 76-78.
Maders, C.; Fariña, N.; Bodrati, A. 2007. Redescubrimiento del bailarín castaño (Piprites pileata) en Argentina. Ornitologia Neotropical 18: 127-131
MMA (2014) Lista Nacional Oficial de Espécies da Fauna Ameaçadas de Extinção. Portaria No 444, de 17 de dezembro de 2014. Diário Oficial da União – Seção 1. Nº 245, quinta-feira, 18 de dezembro de 2014.