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Distribution, natural history and conservation status of two endemics of the Bolivian Yungas, Bolivian Recurvebill Simoxenops striatus and Yungas Antwren Myrmotherula grisea

  • SEBASTIAN K. HERZOG (a1), A. BENNETT HENNESSEY (a2), MICHAEL KESSLER (a3) and VÍCTOR H. GARCÍA-SOLÍZ (a2)

Summary

Since their description in the first half of the 20th century by M. A. Carriker, Bolivian Recurvebill Simoxenops striatus and Yungas Antwren Myrmotherula grisea have been regarded as extremely poorly known endemics of the Bolivian Yungas and adjacent humid foothill forests. They are considered ‘Vulnerable’ under the IUCN criteria of small population, predicted population decline (criterion C2a) and, in the case of Bolivian Recurvebill, small extent of occurrence (criteria B1a+b). Here we summarise the information published to date and present extensive new data on the distribution (including the first records for extreme southeast Peru), natural history, population size and conservation status of both species based on field work in the Bolivian Andes over the past 12 years. Both species primarily inhabit the understorey of primary and mid-aged to older regenerating forest and regularly join mixed-species foraging flocks of insectivorous birds. Bolivian Recurvebill has a strong preference for Guadua bamboo, but it is not an obligate bamboo specialist and persists at often much lower densities in forests without Guadua. Yungas Antwren seems to have a preference for dense, structurally complex understorey, often with Chusquea bamboo. Both species are distributed much more continuously at altitudes of mostly 600–1,500 m, occupy a greater variety of forest types (wet, humid, semi-deciduous forest) and have a much greater population size than previously thought. Consequently, none of the IUCN criteria currently used to assign ‘Vulnerable’ status to both species actually apply, and we recommend them to be downlisted to ‘Near Threatened’.

Desde su descripción en la primera mitad del siglo 20 por M. A. Carriker, el Ticotico Boliviano Simoxenops striatus y el Hormiguerito Boliviano Myrmotherula grisea han sido considerados como especies muy pobremente conocidas y endémicas de los Yungas de Bolivia y bosques húmedos del pie de monte colindante. Son considerados como Vulnerable a la extinción bajo los criterios de la UICN de una población pequeña, un declive poblacional predicho (criterio C2a) y, en el caso del Ticotico Boliviano, una extensión de presencia (área de distribución) pequeña (criterios B1a+b). En el presente trabajo resumimos la información publicada hasta la fecha, y presentamos datos nuevos amplios sobre la distribución (incluyendo los primeros registros para el extremo sudeste del Perú), historia natural, el tamaño poblacional y estado de conservación de ambas especies, basándonos en nuestro trabajo de campo en los Andes de Bolivia durante los últimos 12 años. Ambas especies principalmente habitan el sotobosque de bosque primario y de bosque en regeneración de edad media y maduro, y a menudo se unen a bandadas mixtas de forrajeo de aves insectívoras. El Ticotico Boliviano tiene una preferencia marcada para bambú del género Guadua (tacuara), pero no es un especialista obligado de bambú y persiste en bosques sin tacuara, aunque a menudo a densidades mucho mas bajas. El Hormiguerito Boliviano parece tener una preferencia para un sotobosque denso, con una estructura de la vegetación compleja y a menudo con bambú del género Chusquea. A diferencia del estado del conocimiento anterior, ambas especies tienen una distribución mucho más continua, en su mayor parte a altitudes de 600–1500 m, habitan una mayor variedad de tipos de bosque (muy húmedo, húmedo, semi deciduo) y tienen un tamaño poblacional mucho más grande. Como consecuencia, ninguno de los criterios de la UICN actualmente usados para asignar la categoría Vulnerable a ambas especies aplican, y recomendamos que sean cambiadas de categoría a Casi amenazado.

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*Author for correspondence; e-mail: skherzog@armonia-bo.org

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Distribution, natural history and conservation status of two endemics of the Bolivian Yungas, Bolivian Recurvebill Simoxenops striatus and Yungas Antwren Myrmotherula grisea

  • SEBASTIAN K. HERZOG (a1), A. BENNETT HENNESSEY (a2), MICHAEL KESSLER (a3) and VÍCTOR H. GARCÍA-SOLÍZ (a2)

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