Scytalopus rodriguezi 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Rhinocryptidae

Scientific Name: Scytalopus rodriguezi Krabbe, Salaman, Cortés, Quevedo, Ortega & Cadena, 2005
Common Name(s):
English Magdalena Tapaculo, Upper Magdalena Tapaculo
Taxonomic Source(s): SACC. 2005 and updates. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #
Identification information: c. 11 cm. A typical Scytalopus tapaculo, predominantly slate-grey all over with some buff-brown barring on the belly. Similar spp lacks distinguishing plumage features. Best identified on voice. Voice the song is amongst the simplest of any Scytalopus, consisting of a single note repeated at a pace of 4-5 per second usually given in bouts of 2-5 phrases.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B2ab(i,ii,iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2017-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Donegan, T. & Willis, D.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Bird, J., Butchart, S., Sharpe, C.J., Symes, A., Wheatley, H.
This newly described species has a small population and a very small, severely fragmented range at two locations. Its range and population are likely to be declining because of continuing habitat destruction. It is therefore classified as Endangered.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Scytalopus rodriguezi was described in 2005 from the head of the Magdalena Valley on the east slope of the Cordillera Central mountains of Colombia. Several records of a Scytalopus species in the Serranía de los Yariguíes (representing a 580 km northward range extension), have recently been described as subspecies yariguiorum (T. Donegan in litt. 2007, D. Willis in litt. 2007, Donegan et al. 2013). The nominate subspecies is known from several locations including the Finca Merenberg Natural Reserve, San Agustín municipality, Huila department, and Serranía de las Minas, a ridge 15 km SSE of Finca Merenberg. It was hypothesised that the species may also occur on the East Andes side of the valley; this seems to be supported by the recent re-examination of a museum specimen collected at La Palma, Huila, which is consistent with rodriguezi based on plumage and biometrics (T. Donegan in litt. 2006). The subspecies's range is believed to be very small, with its stronghold centred on Serranía de las Minas. Much habitat at suitable elevations has already been cleared with an estimated 169 km2 remaining and deforestation continues, suggesting that the species may be declining rapidly. Subspecies yariguiorum has been recorded at three localities on both slopes of the Serranía de los Yariguíes (Donegan et al. 2013). There are no records of the species from the intervening departments of Meta, Caquetá, Cundinamarca, Boyacá or Santander.

Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:120Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:13700
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):2000
Upper elevation limit (metres):2300
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The population is estimated to be in the band 2,500-9,999 individuals in total, equating to 1,667-6,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 1,500-7,000 individuals.

Trend Justification:  A rapid and ongoing population decline is suspected, based on rates of habitat loss at the elevations from which the species has been recorded within its very small range.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:1500-7000Continuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:Yes
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It inhabits dense understorey of primary humid forest at elevations of 1,700-2,300 m. It is frequently heard but rarely seen. Individuals move inconspicuously within 50 cm of or on the ground. It feeds on small insects.

Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):3.2
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Deforestation is the principal threat to the species, at least in the short term. The east slope of the Yariguíes massif has been extensively deforested, especially between 400 m and 2,000–2,400 m, while deforestation on the west slope has reached 1,700–1,900 m (Donegan et al. 2013). Selective logging, forest clearance to create pasture, and habitat degradation owing to trampling by free roaming livestock are the main drivers of its decline. Clearance in places of hundreds of mature oak and other hardwoods has drastically changed the forest physiognomy.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
Considered Vulnerable at the national level in Colombia (Renjifo et al. 2014). The nominate subspecies is known from the Finca Merenberg Nature Reserve. However, forest within this reserve continues to be degraded and cleared. The subspecies's stronghold, Serranía de las Minas, is unprotected, but a joint partnership between the national parks authority and Fundación ProAves aims to establish a protected area here. Subspecies yariguiorum is protected by the Serranía de los Yariguíes National Park.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct further surveys to confirm the species presence on the East Andes side of the valley. Provide further protection against forest clearance within the existing Finca Merenberg Natural Reserve. Continue lobbying for Important Bird Area status for the area and the establishment of a protected area at Serranía de las Minas.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2017. Scytalopus rodriguezi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T22734661A118901786. . Downloaded on 23 April 2018.
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