SAVING THE BROWN-BANDED ANTPITTA

The brown-banded antpitta, like other antpittas, is a secretive bird with a low population density and high habitat specificity — a nearly flightless, ground-dwelling species found only in the Neotropics. This antpitta, endemic to the Central Andes of Colombia, has been severely harmed by a rapid increase in deforestation due to agriculture and human encroachment. In 1992, researchers considered this incredible bird to be locally extinct, if not extinct throughout its range. Although it was rediscovered in 1994, the brown-banded antpitta has been eliminated from Laguneta in the central Andes due to extensive deforestation.

In 1991, the International Council for Bird Preservation petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list the brown-banded antpitta under the Endangered Species Act. Finally, after 23 years and extensive Center legal involvement, in 2013 the Service listed the brown-banded antpitta as endangered.