Neotropical Birds
Version  1.0
This is a historic version of this account.   Current version

Yellow-tufted Woodpecker Melanerpes cruentatus

Kara Jones
Version: 1.0 — Published November 25, 2014


Yellow-tufted Woodpecker has an extremely large geographic range and is common; consequently, even though the population size is believed to be declining, its IUCN Red List conservation status is evaluated as Least Concern (BirdLife International 2014).

Effects of human activity on populations

Yellow-tufted wWodpecker has proved adaptable to human disturbance. They are common in forest patches and are able to cross large gaps to move between patches (Lees and Peres 2009). They have also been seen nesting and foraging on islands of dead trees formed as a result of flooding from hydroelectric projects (Cosson et al. 1999). They readily occupy second growth forest (Cardoso da Silva et al. 1996) and will forage in cleared, cultivated areas between forest patches (Johns 1991). Population sizes in logged lowland forests, however, are significantly smaller than unlogged forests (Felton et al. 2008), and population sizes in second-growth versus primary forest are unknown.

The ability to exploit cultivated fruits and adapt to new habitats means this species is primarily limited by the availability of suitable nesting sites (Guix 2007). Thus the population is at risk from activities that remove all available trees, such as clear-cutting and ranching. They are also sold as pets in northern Peru, though the extent of the trade in Yellow-tufted Woodpeckers probably has a negligible impact on their numbers (Dauphine 2008).

Recommended Citation

Jones, K. (2014). Yellow-tufted Woodpecker (Melanerpes cruentatus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.yetwoo2.01
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