Metallura iracunda 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Caprimulgiformes Trochilidae

Scientific Name: Metallura iracunda Wetmore, 1947
Common Name(s):
English Perija Metaltail, Perijá Metaltail
Spanish Colibrí de Perijá, Metalura Iracunda
Taxonomic Source(s): SACC. 2005 and updates. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #
Identification information: 10 cm. Short-billed hummingbird with bright reddish tail. Short black bill. Male black with coppery-green gloss. Shining green crown and glittering green gorget. Bright, shining maroon-red to reddish-purple tail. Female dark green above and buffy below with few brown spots. Reddish tail like male, with buff-tipped outer feathers. Similar spp. Redder tail and more glistening than smaller Tyrian Metaltail M. tyrianthina. Female M. tyrianthina has less uniform underparts. Voice Unknown.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(i,ii,iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Fjeldså, J., Rodríguez, J., Rojas-Suárez, F., Salaman, P., Sharpe, C J, Strewe, R. & Viloria, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Capper, D., Pilgrim, J., Sharpe, C J & Symes, A.
This species is known only from two locations within a very small range, where its specialised habitat is very restricted and declining. It is listed as Endangered because habitat loss and degradation is almost certainly now impacting the known location.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Metallura iracunda occurs on the cerros Tres Tetas, Viruela, Pintado and Tetari, and probably Sabana Rubia, in the Sierra de Perijá on the border of Colombia (Guajira) and Venezuela (Zulia) (Meyer de Schauensee 1978, Fjeldså and Krabbe 1990, A. Viloria per J. Fjeldså in litt. 1998, Hilty 2003).

Countries occurrence:
Colombia; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:3100
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):YesExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Number of Locations:2Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:NoLower elevation limit (metres):2800
Upper elevation limit (metres):3200
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The population is estimated to number 20,000-49,999 individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size (e.g. the lower quartile of such estimates spans 50-130 individuals per km2) and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied.

Trend Justification:  Although there is very little information from its range, this species's population is suspected to be declining at a slow to moderate rate, in line with habitat loss and degradation.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
No. of subpopulations:2Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No
No. of individuals in largest subpopulation:1-89

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It inhabits small areas of open páramo vegetation near summits (A. Viloria per J. Fjeldså in litt. 1998). Cerro Pintado comprises karstic limestone covered by elfin forest, Swallenochloa bamboo and grass páramo (A. Viloria per J. Fjeldså in litt. 1998). Cerro Tetari is sandstone and supports a different type of páramo vegetation (A. Viloria per J. Fjeldså in litt. 1998). It occurs at elevations of 2,800-3,200 m (A. Viloria per J. Fjeldså in litt. 1998), but as low as 1,850 m in Venezuela (Meyer de Schauensee 1978, Hilty 2003, Sharpe and Lentino 2008). No information on feeding or breeding ecology, or on movements (Heindl et al. 2015).

Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):4.2
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Habitat on the lower slopes of the Sierra de Perijá is severely threatened by narcotics cultivation, uncontrolled colonisation, cattle-ranching and mineral exploitation, which are all facilitated by the many roads approaching the sierra from the Colombian side (C. J. Sharpe in litt. 1997, 2000, A. Viloria per J. Fjeldså in litt. 1998, R. Strewe in litt. 2003, Sharpe and Lentino 2008). However, Cerro Tetari remains as yet unaffected by these developments (A. Viloria per J. Fjeldså in litt. 1998). Only patches of montane forest remain on the steepest slopes of the Cerro Pintado (R. Strewe in litt. 2003). Forest is still being lost to burning and poppy cultivation. Security problems make access very difficult (R. Strewe in litt. 2003). Sierra de Perijá is one of the most threatened ecoregions in Venezuela and amongst the highest national priorities for bird conservation (Rodríguez et al. 2004).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. At the national level, regarded as Endangered in Colombia (Renjifo et al. 2002) and Vulnerable in Venezuela (Sharpe 2008, Sharpe and Lentino 2015). Cerro Tetari is formally protected by Sierra de Perijá National Park, Venezuela, but there is no active management (Rodríguez and Rojas-Suárez 1995, A. Viloria per J. Fjeldså in litt. 1998, Sharpe and Lentino 2015). Cerro Pintado lies to the north of the park, but the inhabitants of the Villanueva village, Colombia, attempt to protect the natural habitat (A. Viloria per J. Fjeldså in litt. 1998). In 2014 ProAves created the Chamicero de Perijá reserve specifically to protect this species.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Estimate the population size (C. J. Sharpe in litt. 1997, 2000, P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999, Sharpe and Lentino 2008). Study its ecological requirements (C. J. Sharpe in litt. 1997, 2000, P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999, Sharpe and Lentino 2008). Assess habitat availability using aerial photographs (C. J. Sharpe in litt. 1997, 2000, Sharpe and Lentino 2008). Manage and effectively protect Sierra de Perijá National Park (Rodríguez and Rojas-Suárez 1995, Sharpe and Lentino 2008).

Citation: BirdLife International. 2016. Metallura iracunda. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22688018A93180290. . Downloaded on 22 June 2018.
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