Olivaceous Woodcreeper Sittasomus griseicapillus

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Furnariidae
  • Polytypic: 15 subspecies
  • Authors: Michael A. Patten


Conservation Status

The Olivaceous Woodcreeper has been classified as moderately sensitive to habitat disturbance (Parker et al. 1996) or even highly sensitive to habitat fragmentation (Soares and Anjos 1999), and the species is said to require, at the least, patchy forest (Stiles 1985). In southeastern Brazil, abundance was significantly higher in undisturbed primary forest than in selectively logged forest (Aleixo 1999), it seldom occurs in fragments (Tello and Dias 2010), and it may be sensitive to habitat edge (Cândido 2000). The species avoids some plantations (Terborgh and Weske 1969, Leyequién et al. 2010) but not others (Faria et al. 2006). Lynch (1991) provided further support for the species’ sensitivity to disturbance when he reported a steep decline in abundance in Quintana Roo, Mexico, in the wake of a large hurricane, yet Lynch (1992) himself noted that the species had returned to pre-hurricane abundance within two years.

In contrast to these reports, Poletto et al. (2004) noted that the species “adapt[s] well to disturbed sites” and “can better withstand significant changes in forest structure following habitat fragmentation, such as an increased ‘edge effect.’” Christiansen and Pitter (1997) found this woodcreeper to be one of the ten most numerous species in forest fragments, whereas Giraudo et al. (2008) found equal densities in large and small fragments. Other studies have reported that the species persists in fragments as small as 54 ha (Marini 2001) or even 11 ha in extent (Anjos 2001), and it remained abundant in 40-ha patches connected to continuous forest by a corridor, although it did decline in small patches that were disjunct (Anjos and Boçon 1999, Maldonado-Coelho and Marini 2000). Moreover, the species may be attracted preferentially to burned forest: a study central Amazonia found that it tended to increase markedly (although not statistically significantly) in forest with recent surface burns (Haugassen et al. 2003). Presumably because of its relatively high tolerance of disturbance, the Olivaceous woodcreeper is not a good indicator of fragmentation (Piratelli et al. 2008).

Effects of human activity on populations

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Recommended Citation

Patten, M. A. (2011). Olivaceous Woodcreeper (Sittasomus griseicapillus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.oliwoo1.01