Mishana Tyrannulet Zimmerius villarejoi

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Tyrannidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Jacob Socolar


Conservation Status

BirdLife International (2017) assesses the IUCN Red List conservation status of Mishana Tyrannulet as Vulnerable due to habitat destruction near Iquitos and timber extraction from white-sand forests throughout the Nanay River basin (BirdLife International 2017). However, recent fieldwork confirms that Nanay-Tigre populations are more widespread than previously appreciated (Díaz-Alván et al. 2017) and are tolerant of present-day levels of timber extraction along the upper Nanay River (Socolar and Saboya del Castillo, personal observations). Based on this information, reassessment might be warranted.

BirdLife International's assessment does not address the status or threats of the San Martín population, which faces much more widespread habitat alteration by a burgeoning human population.

The Nanay-Tigre river basins population occurs in three protected areas. The Allpahuayo-Mishana National Reserve near Iquitos was created specifically to protect the best known and most accessible white-sands forest near Iquitos, and has been reasonably successful in that aim. Additionally, the Pucacuro National Reserve protects poor soil habitat in the Tigre River Basin (Díaz-Alván et al. 2017), while the Alto Nanay-Chambira-Pintuyacu Regional Conservation Area affords a lesser degree of protection to the significant white-sands masses along the upper Nanay River.

Effects of human activity on populations

In the lower Nanay River Basin, human activities have resulted in the wholesale destruction of white-sands forests to the immediate west of Iquitos as well as downstream from the mouth of the Nanay River. Principal threats include urban expansion, industrial development, sand mining, and charcoal production (Mäki et al. 2001, Juvonen and Álvarez Alonso 2003). Sand-mining in particular is both lucrative and catastrophic, and continues to threaten the buffer zone of the Allpahuayo-Mishana National Reserve. Slash-and-burn agriculture also has destroyed substantial areas of white-sands forest, but has been brought under control partly because smallholder farmers are now better aware that agriculture is unproductive on the extremely poor white-sand soils. Selective logging and timbering of understory trees is widespread in white-sand forests throughout the Nanay Basin, including to a limited extent within the Allpahuayo-Mishana National Reserve and to a substantial extent in the Alto Nanay-Chambira-Pintuyacu Regional Conservation Area. However, selective logging as currently practiced on the upper Nanay does not appear to drastically impact populations of Mishana Tyrannulet (Socolar and Saboya del Castillo, personal observations). Locally, heavier logging activity might have more severe local impacts on the species, especially in white-sand forests near the town of Llanchama on the edge of the Allpahuayo-Mishana National Reserve.

In the Mayo and Huallaga valleys, widespread forest clearance for agricultural expansion is likely to negatively affect populations of Mishana Tyrannulet.

Recommended Citation

Socolar, J. (2018). Mishana Tyrannulet (Zimmerius villarejoi), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.mistyr1.01