Grallaria chthonia 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Grallariidae

Scientific Name: Grallaria chthonia Wetmore & Phelps, 1956
Common Name(s):
English Tachira Antpitta, Táchira Antpitta
Taxonomic Source(s): SACC. 2005 and updates. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #
Identification information: 17 cm. Medium-sized antpitta. Brown upperparts with grey crown and nape, and black barring on mantle. Brown throat and ear-coverts with white malar stripe. Whitish lower underparts with greyish barring on flanks and breast. Similar spp. Scaled Antpitta G. guatimalensis has ochraceous lower underparts and lacks barring on breast and flanks. Voice Unknown.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered C2a(i,ii);D ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Boesman, P., Pearman, M. & Sharpe, C J
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Capper, D., Mahood, S., Pople, R., Sharpe, C.J., Symes, A.
There have been no records of this species since 1956, and, although it may persist within a large national park, it probably has a tiny population which is likely to be declining owing to ongoing forest loss in the region (Collar et al. 1992). For these reasons it qualifies as Critically Endangered.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Grallaria chthonia is known only from the type-locality, at Hacienda la Providencia on the río Chiquito in south-west Táchira, west Venezuela, where four specimens were collected in 1955-1956. The type locality has since been deforested, although there is still forest in the vicinity; specific searches in September 1990 and December 1996 failed to find the species (M. Pearman in litt. 1995, Boesman 1998, P. Boesman in litt. 2000).

Countries occurrence:
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) - km2:500
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):YesExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Number of Locations:1Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:NoLower elevation limit (metres):1800
Upper elevation limit (metres):2100
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The population is precautionarily estimated to number fewer than 50 individuals and mature individuals, for consistency with other species of similar status.

Trend Justification:  The population is suspected to be in decline at a rate of 1-19% over ten years, owing to ongoing habitat degradation in the region. This part of the Andes is one of the most seriously threatened by deforestation for agriculture (Sharpe and Lentino 2008, 2015).

Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:1-49Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
No. of subpopulations:1Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:Yes
No. of individuals in largest subpopulation:100

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:All specimens were collected in dense cloud-forest at elevations of 1,800-2,100 m.

Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):3.5
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): In 1990, habitat at the type-locality was reportedly undisturbed above 1,150 m, but deforestation was proceeding rapidly in the area (M. Pearman in litt. 1995). In 1996, the río Chiquito valley was entirely coffee plantations below 1,600 m, with much habitat at 1,900-2,200 m converted to grow potatoes and other vegetables (P. Boesman in litt. 2000, Sharpe and Lentino 2008). The next valley to the west had some habitat at c.1,850 m, and there is presumably habitat in between these two valleys (P. Boesman in litt. 2000). Some 17% of the El Tamá National Park has been affected by agriculture, especially coffee plantations, and small-scale cattle raising (Sharpe and Lentino 2008, 2015). This species is considered Critically Endangered at the national level in Venezuela (Sharpe 2008, Sharpe and Lentino 2015).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
The type-locality is within El Tamá National Park.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Carry out further surveys (especially in May-June when it should be most vocal) in the vicinity of the type-locality to attempt to relocate the species and assess its current status and ecological requirements (Rodríguez and Rojas-Suárez 1995, P. Boesman in litt. 2000, Sharpe and Lentino 2008, 2015). Reassess the potential impact of deforestation. Ensure the de facto protection of El Tamá National Park (Sharpe and Lentino 2008, 2015). Determine its taxonomic status (Sharpe and Lentino 2008, 2015, Sharpe in litt. 2011).

Citation: BirdLife International. 2016. Grallaria chthonia. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22703255A93912926. . Downloaded on 19 July 2018.
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