Leptotila & Atlapetes


Identifying and conserving priority areas for the Tolima Dove (Leptotila conoveri) and Yellow-headed Brush Finch (Atlapetes flaviceps) in Colombia

Status – In progress


The Andes region is one of the most diverse areas in Colombia, supporting over half of Colombia’s avifauna. Unfortunately, this region also has a high number of threatened taxa, more than 80 species, according to the most recent evaluation of the extinction risk of birds in Colombia. Even more worrying, is the fact that many of these species are endemic to the region, occupying highly restricted distribution ranges. Despite the urgent need for conservation actions designed to protect avian diversity in the Andes, the lack of detailed distributional and ecological information represents a barrier to their formulation. Examples of this situation are the Tolima Dove (Leptotila conoveri) and Yellow-headed Brush Finch (Atlapetes flaviceps). Both species are largely restricted to Colombia’s Central Andes, occurring primarily along the western slope of the Magdalena Valley, where habitat loss and fragmentation are presumed to pose major threats to their persistence.

Photos: Jeyson Sanabria.

In this project, SELVA will generate information to confirm known populations, identify new populations and define key habitats for these two species, with a view to prioritizing conservation actions.

Project aims:

  1. Assess the quality of currently available ecological and geographical information for Leptotila conoveri and Atlapetes flaviceps.
  2. Determine rates of habitat loss and identify habitat remnants for both species, using species distribution models (SDM).
  3. Identify key areas for the two species throughout their likely geographical range, combining distribution models, occupancy models and estimates of population density.
  4. Identify the main local and regional threats to design effective conservation strategies for both species.

Photos: Jeyson Sanabria y Sandra Escudero.

Key Results

None at the moment.


None at the moment.

Documents for download

None at the moment.


Project team

Director – Sandra Escudero

Researchers – Esteban Botero-Delgadillo, María Isabel Moreno, Jeyson Sanabria and Pilar Caicedo

Scientific Advisor – Nicholas Bayly