In the IUCN Red Data book of terrestrial ecosystems (Rodríguez et al. 2010), the northern forests of the Serranía de Perijá (upper ríos El Palmar, Lajas, Guasare & Apón), which include sites in the río Lajas watershed at which I recorded this species before it was described, are classified as CR (Hernández-Montilla & Portillo-Quintero 2010). My last visit to Perijá was 15 years ago, but at that time new roads were being carved out along the E flank of the sierra, and large-scale commercial and subsistence farmers, from Colombia as well as locals, were pushing into previously uninhabited basins and felling forest at an alarming rate. Local politicos were sourcing bulldozers to enable roads to be driven into distant pristine watersheds towards the heart of the range. There is no reason to suppose that this conversion of forests has ceased, and although lack of fuel may have slowed it in recent years (I speculate), dollarization of the economy is now producing an agricultural boom in the Venezuelan Andes, with associated deforestation. So the lower slopes on the Venezuelan side are fast disappearing. The Global Forest Watch data seem anomalous, and markedly at odds with existing satellite studies and ground data (on checking, I see that this applies to data for the Mérida Andes as well). Nevertheless, given that this species is found up to the páramos, the higher elevations are—for the moment—not under immediate threat. What this means in terms of drying out of those cloud forests in the longer term is a matter of concern. Perhaps the situation on the Colombian side of Perijá is better? The rationale presented for assessing this species as NT rather than VU is reasonable, but highlights the urgent need for further information on this, and other Perijá endemics.
Many thanks to everyone who has contributed to this discussion. We greatly appreciate the time and effort invested by so many people in commenting. The window for consultation is now closed. We will analyse and interpret the new information and post a preliminary decision on this species’s Red List status on this page in early July.
Thank you once again,
BirdLife Red List Team
Based on available information, our preliminary proposal for the 2021 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 in mid-July, after which the recommended categorisations will be put forward to IUCN.
The final 2021 Red List categories will be published on the BirdLife and IUCN websites in December 2021, following further checking of information relevant to the assessments by both BirdLife and IUCN.
Recommended categorisation to be put forward to IUCN
The final categorisation for this species has not changed. Perija Tapaculo is recommended to be listed as Near Threatened, approaching the threshold for listing as threatened under Criterion B1ab(ii,iii,v)+2ab(ii,iii,v).
Many thanks for everyone who contributed to the 2021 GTB Forum process. The final 2021 Red List categories will be published on the BirdLife and IUCN websites in December 2021, following further checking of information relevant to the assessments by both BirdLife and IUCN.
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Contact the BirdLife Red List Team under redlistteam [at] birdlife [dot] org.