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Cranioleuca henricae

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA AVES PASSERIFORMES FURNARIIDAE

Scientific Name: Cranioleuca henricae
Species Authority: Maijer & Fjeldså, 1997
Common Name(s):
English Bolivian Spinetail, Inquisivi Spinetail

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(i,ii,iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2013-11-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S.
Contributor(s): Hennessey, A., Herzog, S., Krabbe, N. & Rheindt, F.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Pople, R., Sharpe, C J, Stuart, T., Symes, A. & Taylor, J.
Justification:
This species is listed as Endangered because it has a very small range in which suitable habitat is severely fragmented and continuing to decline.

History:
2012 Endangered

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Cranioleuca henricae occurs in dry valleys on the east slope of the Andes in west Bolivia (Cochabamba and La Paz). The only viable populations known are in the río Cotacajes basin, with one below Inquisivi, La Paz, where it is common, one at Cotacajes, Cochabamba, where it is uncommon, and two recently discovered localities at Machaca and Cuti, both Cochabamba (Maijer and Fjeldså 1997, Herzog et al. 1999, S. K. Herzog in litt. 1999, 2007). The species has since been noted to be less abundant on the higher slopes around Machaca (c.2,800-3,000 m) compared with lower in the valley (F. Rheindt in litt. 2012, S. K. Herzog in litt. 2013). Records of 1-2 individuals come from Churupampa and nearby Sorata in the río Consata basin Maijer and Fjeldså 1997, Lowen and Kennedy 1999), and Mecapaca in the upper río La Paz basin, La Paz (B. Hennessey per S. K. Herzog in litt. 1999). A record of a Cranioleuca sp. in suitable habitat at Saila Pata in the río Cotacajes basin may be attributable to this species (N. Krabbe per S. K. Herzog in litt. 1999). Searches in the Consata basin (where very little suitable habitat remains) and in the lower río La Paz basin have not revealed further localities (S. K. Herzog in litt. 1999, 2007). One of the recently discovered populations is highly threatened by a road construction project which will make the area directly accessible from La Paz (S. K. Herzog in litt. 1999, 2007)
In 2010, surveys utilising standard point count methodology recorded 27 individuals at Kuti (1,900-2,200 m), 15 individuals at Larimarca (2,100-2,320 m), 18 individuals at Huancarani (1,990-2,230 m) and 19 individuals at Machaca (2,140-2,430 m), with an average of 1.32 individuals/survey point (0.785 ha) (S. K. Herzog in litt. 2013). Extrapolation of this value gives a conservative estimate of the average density as 1.68 individuals/ha (S. K. Herzog in litt. 2013). Distribution modelling (not equivalent to Extent of Occurrence) has yielded an estimate of 1,889 km2 for this species (Herzog et al. 2012), which (when combined with the conservative estimate of 168 individuals/km2) suggests that even if only 1% of this area contained suitable habitat the population would be expected to number c.3,000 individuals. The total population is therefore placed in the band 2,500-9,999 individuals.

Countries:
Native:
Bolivia, Plurinational States of
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: In 2010, surveys utilising standard point count methodology yielded an average of 1.32 individuals/survey point (0.785 ha), suggesting by extrapolation a conservative estimated density of 1.68 individuals/ha (S. K. Herzog in litt. 2013). Distribution modelling (not equivalent to Extent of Occurrence) has yielded an estimate of 1,889 km2 for this species (Herzog et al. 2012), which (when combined with the conservative estimate of 168 individuals/km2) suggests that even if only 1% of this area contained suitable habitat the population would be expected to number c.3,000 individuals. The total population is therefore placed in the band 2,500-9,999 individuals, equivalent to c.1,600-6,700 mature individuals.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It occurs in the understorey of dry, seasonally deciduous forest in rain-shadow valleys at c.1,800-3,300 m  (Maijer and Fjeldså 1997, Herzog et al. 1999, S. K. Herzog in litt. 1999, 2007). Low, bushy vegetation in adjacent cleared areas may also be used, and one record was in a plantation of exotic Cupressus sp., but it has not been found in orchards or Eucalyptus plantations (Maijer and Fjeldså 1997). It may depend on the presence of the epiphytic 'grey beard' bromeliad for nesting sites (Hennessey in litt. 2006). A possible juvenile and apparent pairs have been observed in January, while mixed-species feeding parties are joined in the dry season (the austral winter) (Maijer and Fjeldså 1997, Herzog et al. 1999).

Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Much suitable habitat has long been destroyed or severely degraded (Maijer and Fjeldså 1997, S. K. Herzog in litt. 1999, 2007). Plantations of Eucalyptus in the Inquisivi-Quime area, combined with the destruction of native vegetation and high grazing pressure, have caused hydrological changes leading to massive soil erosion and severe landslides (S. K. Herzog in litt. 1999, 2007). The destruction of its stronghold by landslides is predicted by 2050, perhaps considerably sooner, unless action is taken (S. K. Herzog in litt. 1999, 2007). Dry woodlands in La Paz and Cochabamba are threatened by cutting for firewood, selective logging and poor regeneration because of grazing by goats and burning (Maijer and Fjeldså 1997, S. K. Herzog in litt. 1999, 2007). One of the two recently discovered populations in the río Cotacajes basin is highly threatened by a road construction project, which will make the area directly accessible from La Paz and make the forest vulnerable to exploitation for charcoal production for the La Paz market (S. K. Herzog in litt. 1999, 2007). The process of removing tree limbs for charcoal allows regeneration of the forest, but impacted trees hold less of the epiphytic "grey beard" bromeliad which is the specialized nesting site for the Bolivian Spinetail (S. K. Herzog in litt. 1999, 2007). Although many older trees, together with the "grey beard" bromeliad remain at Machaca, pressure from overgrazing by cattle is restricting plant regeneration and is likely to have a negative impact on the forest ecosystem (S. K. Herzog in litt. 1999, 2007). The "grey beard" bromeliad may also be less abundant than in the past as a result of Eucalyptus plantations and agricultural plots above the valleys where it occurs disturbing water retention properties (S. K. Herzog in litt. 1999, 2007).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
Targeted searches have resulted in some of the most recent records, but also a number of negative results from apparently suitable habitat (Herzog et al. 1999,  S. K. Herzog in litt. 1999, 2007). It is not currently known from any protected areas. Proposals have recently been made to protect the Machaca stronghold by developing a long-term conservation strategy working closely with the local community and involving local environmental education, sustainable development workshops, agricultural assessment and development, and the promotion of the area as a birdwatching attraction; with the eventual aim of protecting a core area as a reserve (S. K. Herzog in litt. 1999, 2007).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Carry out further surveys to obtain an improved estimate of the population. Monitor population trends through regular surveys. Monitor rates of habitat loss and degradation within the species's range. Act to prevent further erosion and landslides below Inquisivi (S. K. Herzog in litt. 1999, 2007). Support the maintenance of traditional land-use and tenure systems that allow natural woodland habitats to persist (Maijer and Fjeldså 1997). Establish municipal or private reserves that ensure protection of the best remaining forest patches: despite the remoteness of the area, with the new road being built sustainable ethno-ecotourism could be a new source of income for local communities that protect forest patches (S. K. Herzog in litt. 1999, 2007).


Citation: BirdLife International 2013. Cranioleuca henricae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 16 September 2014.
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