Giant Conebill Conirostrum binghami

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Thraupidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Nicholas A. Mason and Kevin J. Burns


Conservation Status

The Giant Conebill is estimated to have a range of 232,000 km2, and is currently listed as Near Threatened under the IUCN red list conservation status (Birdlife International 2009). Birdlife International recognizes the species as declining due to loss of habitat, while no current estimation of population size is available. Stotz et al. (1996) recognizes the conservation priority of the Giant Conebill as medium.

Effects of human activity on populations

The Polylepis woodland is a patchily distributed habitat that presently occupies only 10% of its potential distribution (Cahill and Matthysen 2007). The loss of habitat is thought to be due to uncontrolled use of fire, over-harvesting for firewood, encroachment by livestock, and afforestation with non-endemic tree species (especially Eucalyptus) (Lloyd and Mardsen 2008). The increased fragmentation of the Polylepis woodland decreases the amount of interior forest available, the preferred nesting sites of the Giant Conebill (Cahill et al. 2008). Fjeldså (2002) indicated a number of Polylepis patches that could be protected in order to slow down the loss and fragmentation of this habitat. Previous conservation efforts of range-restricted species in this area have been efficient, largely because these species show largely aggregated distributions (Fjeldså 2002). If conservation efforts of the Polylepis woodlands were to increase, it would surely lead to a similar stabilization of the declining Oreomanes fraseri populations.

Recommended Citation

Mason, N. A. and K. J. Burns (2010). Giant Conebill (Conirostrum binghami), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.