Piura Chat-tyrant (Ochthoeca piurae): revise global status?

BirdLife species factsheet for Piura Chat-tyrant

Piura Chat-tyrant (Ochthoeca piurae) is endemic to north-western Peru, where it occurs in a narrow range on the flanks of the Andes from Piura to Lima (Fjeldså and Krabbe 1990, Fitzpatrick et al. 2004, Baumann et al. 2015). The species is not well known. It inhabits edges of semi-humid forest, montane scrub and thickets on arid hillsides at 1,400 m up to 2,850 m (Ridgely and Tudor 1994, Fitzpatrick et al. 2004).

The only threat known to Piura Chat-tyrant is the loss of its habitat. The species is not as threatened as other forest-dependent species in the region (Stattersfield et al. 1998), but ongoing habitat clearance and degradation of montane scrub and riparian thickets are presumably causing slow population declines.

Piura Chat-tyrant is currently listed as Near Threatened, approaching the threshold for listing as threatened under Criterion B1ab(i,ii,iii,v) (BirdLife International 2020). However, new information regarding the distribution range suggests that the species may warrant a change in Red List status. Therefore, it will be re-assessed against all criteria:

Criterion A – The population trend has not been estimated directly. The only threat known to the species is the loss and degradation of its habitat. Forest loss within the range has been low over ten years (< 2%; Tracewski et al. 2016, Global Forest Watch 2020; one generation length being 2.8 years; Bird et al. 2020*). Given that the species does not depend on forest, but readily tolerates edges and shrubby habitat, the rate of population decline is likely considerably lower than the rate of forest loss. Therefore, while we can precautionarily suspect a very slow population decline, the rate of decline is not meeting the threshold for listing as threatened under Criterion A, and Piura Chat-tyrant may be considered Least Concern under this criterion.

Criterion B – The newly calculated Extent of Occurrence (EOO) for this species is 38,400 km2. This value does not meet the threshold for Vulnerable (EOO < 20,000 km2) and therefore Piura Chat-tyrant may be listed as Least Concern under Criterion B1. The Area of Occupancy (AOO) has not been quantified according to the guidelines (IUCN Standards and Petitions Committee 2019). Therefore, the species cannot be assessed under Criterion B2.

Criterion C – The population size has not been quantified. Therefore, the species cannot be assessed against this criterion.

Criterion D – The population size has not been quantified. Therefore, the species cannot be assessed against this criterion.

Criterion E – To the best of our knowledge no quantitative analysis of extinction risk has been conducted for this species. Therefore, it cannot be assessed against this criterion.

Therefore, it is suggested that Piura Chat-tyrant (Ochthoeca piurae) be listed as Least Concern. We welcome any comments on the proposed listing.

Please note that this topic is not designed to be a general discussion about the ecology of the species, rather a discussion of its Red List status. Therefore, please make sure your comments are relevant to the discussion outlined in the topic. By submitting a comment, you confirm that you agree to the Comment Policy.

*Bird generation lengths are estimated using the methodology of Bird et al. (2020), as applied to parameter values updated for use in each IUCN Red List for birds reassessment cycle. Values used for the current assessment are available on request. We encourage people to contact us with additional or improved values for the following parameters; adult survival (true survival accounting for dispersal derived from an apparently stable population); mean age at first breeding; and maximum longevity (i.e. the biological maximum, hence values from captive individuals are acceptable).

An information booklet on the Red List Categories and Criteria can be downloaded here and the Red List Criteria Summary Sheet can be downloaded here. Detailed guidance on IUCN Red List terms and definitions and the application of the Red List Categories and Criteria can be downloaded here.


Baumann, M. J.; Beckman, E. J.; Bautista, E.; Witt, C. C. 2015. Long-distance dispersal of a sedentary Andean flycatcher species with a small geographic range, Ochthoeca piurae (Aves: Tyrannidae). Check List 11(6): 1795.

Bird, J. P.; Martin, R.; Akçakaya, H. R.; Gilroy, J.; Burfield, I. J.; Garnett, S.; Symes, A.; Taylor, J.; Šekercioğlu, Ç.; Butchart, S. H. M. (2020). Generation lengths of the world’s birds and their implications for extinction risk. Conservation Biology online first view.

BirdLife International. 2020. Species factsheet: Ochthoeca piurae. http://www.birdlife.org (Accessed 10 March 2020).

Fitzpatrick, J. W.; Bates, J. M.; Bostwick, K. S.; Caballero, I. C.; Clock, B. M.; Farnsworth, A.; Hosner, P. A.; Joseph, L.; Langham, G. M.; Lebbin, D. J.; Mobley, J. A.; Robbins, M. B.; Scholes, E.; Tello, J. G.; Walther, B. A.; Zimmer, K. J. 2004. Family Tyrannidae (Tyrant-flycatchers). In: del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Christie, D.A. (ed.), Handbook of birds of the world, pp. 170-462. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Fjeldså, J.; Krabbe, N. 1990. Birds of the high Andes. Apollo Books, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Global Forest Watch. 2020. World Resources Institute. http://www.globalforestwatch.org (Accessed 10 March 2020).

IUCN Standards and Petitions Committee. 2019. Guidelines for using the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria. Version 14. http://www.iucnredlist.org/documents/RedListGuidelines.pdf.

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

Stattersfield, A. J.; Crosby, M. J.; Long, A. J.; Wege, D. C. 1998. Endemic bird areas of the world: priorities for bird conservation. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

Tracewski, Ł.; Butchart, S. H. M.; Di Marco, M.; Ficetola, G. F.; Rondinini, C.; Symes, A.; Wheatley, H.; Beresford, A. E.; Buchanan, G. M. 2016. Toward quantification of the impact of 21st-century deforestation on the extinction risk of terrestrial vertebrates. Conservation Biology 30: 1070-1079.

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3 Responses to Piura Chat-tyrant (Ochthoeca piurae): revise global status?

  1. Red List Team (BirdLife International) says:

    Global Forest Change data on tree cover loss up to 2019 have now been released and made available via Global Forest Watch. Based on these data, over ten years approximately 2.2% of tree cover with 75% canopy cover was lost from within the species’s range (Global Forest Watch 2020). This does not affect the above assessment under Criterion A.

  2. Red List Team (BirdLife International) says:

    The window for consultation is now closed. We will analyse and interpret the new information and post a preliminary decision on this species’s Red List status on this page in early July.

    Thank you,
    BirdLife Red List Team

  3. Red List Team (BirdLife International) says:

    Preliminary proposal

    Based on available information, our preliminary proposal for the 2020 Red List would be to adopt the proposed classification outlined in the initial forum discussion.

    There is now a period for further comments until the final deadline in mid-July, after which the recommended categorisations will be put forward to IUCN.

    Please note that we will then only post final recommended categorisations on forum discussions where these differ from those in the initial proposal.

    The final 2020 Red List categories will be published on the BirdLife and IUCN websites in December 2020/January 2021, following further checking of information relevant to the assessments by both BirdLife and IUCN.

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