Archived 2020 topic: White-lined Antbird (Myrmoborus lophotes): revise global status?

BirdLife species factsheet for White-lined Antbird

White-lined Antbird (Myrmoborus lophotes) occurs in the western Amazon basin in Peru and adjacent Brazil and Bolivia. It inhabits the understorey of Guadua bamboo in floodplain and upland terra firme forest, and is also found along river edges in várzea and transitional forest (del Hoyo et al. 2003, Lebbin 2013). It prefers lowlands below 750 m, with occasional records from up to 1,450 m.

The species is described as fairly common (Stotz et al. 1996, Zimmer and Isler 2020), but the global population size has not been quantified directly. Based on density estimates of a congener (M. myotherinus: 40 mature individuals/km2 in Peru; Santini et al. 2018) and assuming that around 10% of the mapped range is occupied (i.e. 10% of 200,000 km2), the total population may number c. 800,000 mature individuals. To account for uncertainty, the population size is therefore placed in the band 500,000-999999 mature individuals here. The principal threat to the species is forest loss (Bird et al. 2011); however, large tracts of forests are protected in national parks and reserves (Zimmer and Isler 2020).

White-lined Antbird is currently listed as Near Threatened, approaching the threshold for listing as threatened under Criterion A3c, based on projections of rapid habitat loss in the future (BirdLife International 2020). However, new information regarding trends in population size and habitat availability suggests that the species may warrant a change in Red List status. Therefore, it will be re-assessed against all Red List criteria:

Criterion A – The population trend has not been assessed directly. Forest loss over the past ten years (one generation length being estimated at 2.9 years; Bird et al. 2020*) has been low within the range (<2%; Tracewski et al. 2016, Global Forest Watch 2020). The species is strictly forest-dependent and may be susceptible to fragmentation and edge effects (A. Lees in litt. 2011), and thus population declines may be exacerbated by habitat degradation and slightly higher than forest loss. White-lined Antbird is therefore suspected to undergo a slow decline at <10% over ten years, triggering a listing as Least Concern under Criterion A.

Criterion B – The Extent of Occurrence (EOO) for this species is 266,000 km2. This is too large to meet the threshold for Vulnerable under Criterion B1, and White-lined Antbird may be listed as Least Concern under this criterion. The Area of Occupancy (AOO) has not been quantified following IUCN Guidelines (IUCN Standards and Petitions Committee 2019), and therefore the species cannot be assessed against Criterion B2.

Criterion C – The population of White-lined Antbird is placed in the band 500,000-999,999 mature individuals. This is too large to warrant listing as threatened under Criterion C, and the species is considered Least Concern under this criterion.

Criterion D – The global population size and range are too large to warrant listing as threatened under this criterion, and therefore White-lined Antbird is considered Least Concern under Criterion D.

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

Therefore, it is suggested that White-lined Antbird (Myrmoborus lophotes) be listed as Least Concern.We welcome any comments to 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 the species’ Red List status. Therefore, please make sure your comments are relevant to the species’ Red List status and the information requested. 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.


Bird, J. P.; Buchanan, J. M.; Lees, A. C.; Clay, R. P.; Develey, P. F.; Yépez, I.; Butchart, S. H. M. 2011. Integrating spatially explicit habitat projections into extinction risk assessments: a reassessment of Amazonian avifauna incorporating projected deforestation. Diversity and Distributions 18(3): 273-281.

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: Myrmoborus lophotes. (Accessed 07 May 2020).

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Christie, D. 2003. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 8: Broadbills to Tapaculos. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Global Forest Watch. 2020. Interactive Forest Change Mapping Tool. (Accessed 07 May 2020).

IUCN Standards and Petitions Committee. 2019. Guidelines for using the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria. Version 14.

Lebbin, D. J. 2013. Nestedness and patch size of bamboo-specialist bird communities in southeastern Peru. The Condor 115(2): 230-236.

Santini, L.; Isaac, N. J. B.; Ficetola, G. F. 2018. TetraDENSITY: A database of population density estimates in terrestrial vertebrates. Global Ecology and Biogeography 27: 787-791.

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

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.

Zimmer, K.; Isler, M. L. 2020. White-lined Antbird (Myrmoborus lophotes), version 1.0. In: del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J.; Christie, D. A.; de Juana, E. (eds.). Birds of the World. Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. (Accessed 07 May 2020).

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4 Responses to Archived 2020 topic: White-lined Antbird (Myrmoborus lophotes): 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 2.0% of tree cover with >30% 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.

  4. Red List Team (BirdLife International) says:

    Recommended categorisation to be put forward to IUCN

    The final categorisation for this species has not changed. White-lined Antbird is recommended to be listed as Least Concern.

    Many thanks for everyone who contributed to the 2020 GTB Forum process. 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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