Pale-headed Brush-Finch
PH Brush-finch_Fundacion Jocotoco
Photo: Pale-headed Brush-finch, Fundacion Jocotoco


The Challenge

The Pale-headed Brush-Finch has likely always been a rare bird with a tiny range, restricted to two arid rainshadow valleys in the Andes of southern Ecuador. In the late 1960s, however, agriculture began to destroy its limited habitat, and the species was not seen for more than 30 years. Then, in 1998, ABC funded an expedition led by experts from Jocotoco and Aves y Conservación that found a tiny population of the brush-finch in a 60-acre patch of scrub woodland in the Río Yunguilla Valley near Girón.


ABC Conservation Framework

Efforts to save this species comes under Safeguarding the Rarest within ABC's Conservation Framework
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Primary Birds Impacted

Pale-headed Brush-Finch (AZE), Rufous-headed Chachalaca, Little Woodstar, and Buff-fronted Owl. Two new species of frogs have recently been discovered at the site by Ecuadorian experts.

YouTube - Rufous headed Chachalaca seen at buenavaventura reserve Febrary 2010 By swordbilledexp



Conserve the breeding population of the Pale-headed Brush-Finch through protection and expansion of the existing Yunguilla Reserve.

ABC Results

ABC Results Button Conservation success! The Pale-headed Brush-Finch was downlisted from Critically Endangered to Endangered on the IUCN Red List of globally threatened birds after of more than a decade of sustained conservation action. The announcement came following news that the brush-finch has increased in number from fewer than 40 to over 100 pairs.
ABC Results Button

The Yunguilla Reserve now includes 370 acres protected for the brush-finch.


What Next?

What Next Button Further expand the Yunguilla Reserve, perhaps by establishing a second reserve with another viable population of the brush-finch.
What Next Button Restore habitat through manual removal of exotic invasive vegetation, particularly tall grass.
What Next Button Remove cowbirds that jeopardize the brush-finch’s survival.

Take Action

Support conservation by birding at Yunguilla Reserve.

Donate to help ABC’s international conservation efforts that include land purchase, reserve management, and other conservation initiatives to protect the most endangered birds in Colombia.