Metallura iracunda


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Metallura iracunda
Species Authority: Wetmore, 1947
Common Name(s):
English Perija Metaltail, Perijá Metaltail
Spanish Colibrí de Perijá, Metalura Iracunda

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(i,ii,iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
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.

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).

Colombia; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
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.
Population Trend: Decreasing

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).

Systems: Terrestrial

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).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. 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). 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).

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 2012. Metallura iracunda. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <>. Downloaded on 18 September 2014.
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