Skip to content

White-collared Kite

Leptodon forbesi


Endemic to Brazil this beautiful, large kite is one of the world’s most endangered raptors.

It was first described from a single specimen obtained in 1880 in Pernambuco State, in the north-east of the country. For over half a century it was considered a variant of its close relative the Grey-headed kite, Leptodoncayanensis. However, recent studies have confirmed its taxonomic status as a distinct species. The current population is assumed to be tiny, based on the limited area of remaining suitable habitat. Deforestation is without doubt the primary cause in the decline of this species. Huge swathes of the Atlantic forest in Brazil have been logged for timber and cleared for cultivation. Sugar-cane plantations have replaced virtually all the lower-altitude forest in Alagoas and Pernambuco states. The remaining forest in higher parts, although not under threat from such industrial activities, is affected by other pressures such as selective logging, firewood removal, small-scale cultivation (e.g. of bananas) and hunting. Today, only one per cent of the original forest within this species range remains and this is severely fragmented.

  • Order: Accipitriformes
  • Family: Accipitridae
  • Population: 70-400
  • Trend: decreasing
  • Size: 50 cm
  • Weight: 550-580g

EDGE Score

EDGE Score: 4.65 (?)
ED Score: 12.02 (?)
GE / IUCN Red List (?)
Not Evaluated Data Deficient Least Concern Near Threatened Vulnerable Endangered Critically Endangered Extinct in the Wild Extinct


Endemic to Brazil, recorded in the Paraiba, Pernambuco, Alagoas and Sergipe states in the north-east of the country.

Habitat and Ecology

They inhabit humid, tropical, lowland evergreen forest at a maximum elevation of 600m above sea level. They are also found in coastal mangroves adjacent to forests.

Find out more

This wordcloud illustrates the threats facing this species. The size of each word indicates the extent of a species range that is affected by that threat (larger size means a greater area is affected). The colour of the word indicates how much that threat impacts the species (darker shades of red mean the threat is more severe).

Crops Logging

Threat wordcloud key:

Small area affected
Large area affected
Least severe
Most severe
Severity unknown
Source: The IUCN List of Threatened Species. Version 2017.1.
Available at: