Archived 2016 topics: Bahia Spinetail (Synallaxis whitneyi): downlist from Vulnerable to Near Threatened?

BirdLife species factsheet for Bahia Spinetail

Bahia Spinetail is endemic to eastern Brazil, occurring in Bahia and Minas Gerais. The species was discovered in 1992 near Boa Nova, in the Serra da Ouricana, east Bahia, Brazil (Pacheco and Gonzaga 1995). However, no more than 10 pairs have been found in the remnant forests of this serra (Pacheco and Gonzaga 1995). It was subsequently found in three discrete areas of Chapada da Diamantina National Park in central Bahia (Parrini et al. 1999). Recently however, it has been discovered in a number of additional localities: Mata Escura; Fazenda Limoeiro (Ribon et al. 2002); Serra Bonita, near Camacã; southern Chapada Diamantina (Parrini et al. 1999); a forest belt 5 km wide running along the coast between Ituberá and Camamu (P. C. Lima in litt. 2003) and at Serra das Lontras in southern Bahia (Silveira et al. 2005). The species is listed as Vulnerable under A2c+3c+4c; B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v); C2a(i). The population is estimated to number 600-1,700 mature individuals and the population trend is suspected to be undergoing a continuing and rapid decline owing to habitat loss within the species’s range.  The largest subpopulation is estimated to be 251-1,000 mature individuals. The species’s Extent of Occurrence (EOO) was previously estimated at 2,000 km2 with the number of locations estimated to be 6-10, however revisions to standardised methods for calculating EOO result in a new figure of 83,000 km2, meaning that the species would no longer approach the threshold for listing under criterion B1.

In the Brazilian Red List assessment for birds (MMA 2014) this species is listed as Near Threatened, with no further details of the criteria nearly met.

Up-to-date information is requested on the species’s population trend and size as well as its geographic range. Should new information demonstrate that the population decline is less severe or not in continuing decline, that habitat fragmentation is less than previously thought or that the population is in fact larger than previous estimates, the species could be considered for downlisting. Comments on the proposed downlisting and any new information are welcome.



MMA (2014) Lista Nacional Oficial de Espécies da Fauna Ameaçadas de Extinção. Portaria No 444, de 17 de dezembro de 2014. Diário Oficial da União – Seção 1. Nº 245, quinta-feira, 18 de dezembro de 2014.

Pacheco, J. F.; Gonzaga, L. P. 1995. A new species of Synallaxis of the ruficapilla/infuscata complex from eastern Brazil (Passeriformes: Furnariidae). Ararajuba 3: 3-11.

Parrini, R.; Raposo, M. A.; Pacheco, J. F.; Carvalhaes, A. M. P.; Melo, T. A. J.; Fonseca, P. S. M.; Minns, J. C. 1999. Birds of the Chapada Diamantina, Bahia, Brazil. Cotinga 11: 86-95.

Ribon, R.; Whitney, B. M.; Pacheco, J. F. 2002. Discovery of Bahia Spintail Synallaxis cinerea in north-east Minas Gerais, Brazil, with additional records of some rare and threatened montane Atlantic Forest birds. Cotinga 17: 46-50.

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2 Responses to Archived 2016 topics: Bahia Spinetail (Synallaxis whitneyi): downlist from Vulnerable to Near Threatened?

  1. We recognize the important and unpublished pesquia Pacheco and Gonzaga (1995) and its uniqueness to the species. But after a better understanding of the forests of Serra Ouricana and its remaining forests, surely the population of this species is much greater than 10 couples. At the time Pacheco and Gonzaga focused their research on Matas of Alcione, lacking at the time of time to go through other municipio snippets of Boa Nova. Not only Boa Nova but as Iguaí, Poções, Jequié, the species is very common, occurring in many well-fragmented forest edges. Despite losing the historic habitat destruction of the Atlantic, we do not believe that the population is less than 1700 individuals. In Bahia already we found in 16 locations. The endemism situation despite draw attention to the species as a whole, does not constitute in serious threats due to its abundance in the forests where they live.We therefore believe that Near threatened fact be the most appropriate category for the species.

  2. James Westrip (BirdLife) says:

    Based on available information, our preliminary proposal for the 2016 Red List would be to adopt the proposed classifications outlined in the initial forum discussion.

    There is now a period for further comments until the final deadline of 28 October, after which the recommended categorisations will be put forward to IUCN.

    Please note that we will then only post final recommended categorisations on forum discussions where these differ from those in the initial proposal.

    The final 2016 Red List categories will be published on the BirdLife and IUCN websites in early December, following further checking of information relevant to the assessments by both BirdLife and IUCN.

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