Geographic variation and conservation of the moustached woodcreeper Xiphocolaptes falcirostris, an endemic and threatened species of north-eastern Brazil

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Abstract

We correct the limits of the range and analyse the geographical variation of the Moustached Woodcreeper Xiphocolaptes falcirostris, an endemic species of north-eastern Brazil. A single, undated specimen of Moustached Woodcreeper from Posse, Goiás, in the Parana River Valley was probably collected somewhere on the left bank of the São Francisco River. Analysis of the plumage variation and five body measurements indicates that it is not always possible to separate the populations of the Moustached Woodcreeper into the two subspecies currently recognized. In spite of this, given the importance of this bird as an indicator species for conservation, we suggest that the current recognition of the subspecies be maintained until generic studies provide a definitive answer to this taxonomic question. Moustached Woodcreepers are particularly associated with patches of dry forest growing on rich soils in north-eastern Brazil. In the past decades, this type of vegetation has been drastically modified by human activities. Only an urgent plan to establish a network of reserves for tropical dry forests in north-eastern Brazil can prevent the complete destruction of this habitat and of its poorly known biological resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-274
Number of pages12
JournalBird Conservation International
Volume7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1997
Externally publishedYes

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dry forest
geographical variation
threatened species
subspecies
indigenous species
dry forests
Brazil
plumage
endemic species
river
tropical forest
reserve networks
biological resources
Parana River
human activity
body measurements
bird
habitat destruction
valley
vegetation types

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Ecology

Cite this

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title = "Geographic variation and conservation of the moustached woodcreeper Xiphocolaptes falcirostris, an endemic and threatened species of north-eastern Brazil",
abstract = "We correct the limits of the range and analyse the geographical variation of the Moustached Woodcreeper Xiphocolaptes falcirostris, an endemic species of north-eastern Brazil. A single, undated specimen of Moustached Woodcreeper from Posse, Goi{\'a}s, in the Parana River Valley was probably collected somewhere on the left bank of the S{\~a}o Francisco River. Analysis of the plumage variation and five body measurements indicates that it is not always possible to separate the populations of the Moustached Woodcreeper into the two subspecies currently recognized. In spite of this, given the importance of this bird as an indicator species for conservation, we suggest that the current recognition of the subspecies be maintained until generic studies provide a definitive answer to this taxonomic question. Moustached Woodcreepers are particularly associated with patches of dry forest growing on rich soils in north-eastern Brazil. In the past decades, this type of vegetation has been drastically modified by human activities. Only an urgent plan to establish a network of reserves for tropical dry forests in north-eastern Brazil can prevent the complete destruction of this habitat and of its poorly known biological resources.",
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N2 - We correct the limits of the range and analyse the geographical variation of the Moustached Woodcreeper Xiphocolaptes falcirostris, an endemic species of north-eastern Brazil. A single, undated specimen of Moustached Woodcreeper from Posse, Goiás, in the Parana River Valley was probably collected somewhere on the left bank of the São Francisco River. Analysis of the plumage variation and five body measurements indicates that it is not always possible to separate the populations of the Moustached Woodcreeper into the two subspecies currently recognized. In spite of this, given the importance of this bird as an indicator species for conservation, we suggest that the current recognition of the subspecies be maintained until generic studies provide a definitive answer to this taxonomic question. Moustached Woodcreepers are particularly associated with patches of dry forest growing on rich soils in north-eastern Brazil. In the past decades, this type of vegetation has been drastically modified by human activities. Only an urgent plan to establish a network of reserves for tropical dry forests in north-eastern Brazil can prevent the complete destruction of this habitat and of its poorly known biological resources.

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