Bahia Spinetail Synallaxis cinerea


Justification of Red List Category
This species has recently been found in more locations and its population is probably larger than previously thought. However, its population is still likely to be small and declining and approaches the threshold for Vulnerable under criterion C. For these reasons the species is evaluated as Near Threatened.

Population justification
Has quite a large population in the range 1,000 to 20,000 mature individuals, but is declining.

Trend justification
This species's population is suspected to be declining owing to habitat loss.

Distribution and population

This 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).


It occurs at elevations of 750-1,200 m in montane Atlantic forest and apparently tolerates second growth and forest edge (Pacheco and Gonzaga 1995). It gleans for insects (mainly arthropods) in the dense undergrowth where there are high densities of vines and sometimes bamboo (Pacheco and Gonzaga 1995).


In the Serra da Ouricana, forests have virtually disappeared owing to the expansion of pastureland and cultivation (Gonzaga and Pacheco 1995, Gonzaga et al. 1995). Only a few privately-owned tracts of forest remain, and these are under pressure from clearance and fires spreading out of cultivated areas (Gonzaga and Pacheco 1995, Gonzaga et al. 1995). By 1999, the largest remaining patch of c.3 km2 had been largely destroyed and the long-term survival of this species in the area is highly questionable (J. M. Goerck in litt. 1999). Illegal charcoal burning and forest clearance has been observed in Chapada da Diamantina National Park, where the sight of logging trucks is not uncommon (Parrini et al. 1999).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
It has been recorded in Chapada da Diamantina National Park but the latter does not provide de facto protection (Parrini et al. 1999).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey areas of potentially suitable habitat between Boa Nova and Chapada Diamantina. Assess the population in Chapada da Diamantina National Park. Research its ecological requirements. Ensure the de facto protection of Chapada da Diamantina and surrounding forests. Investigate the feasibility of protecting remaining forest fragments near Boa Nova.


16 cm. Rufous-and-brown spinetail. Rufous crown, wings and tail. Warm brown upperparts with olive tinge. Bright buff postocular eyebrow, and dark plumbeous face. Grey throat stippled pale, grading into darker plumbeous belly, with brown tinge in belly. Similar spp. Rufous-capped Spinetail S. ruficapilla has lighter coloured underparts. Voice Distinctive disyllabic and rather low-pitched song, repeated constantly.


Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Mazar Barnett, J., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A. & Wheatley, H.

De Luca, A., Develey, P., Goerck, J. & Lima, P.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Species factsheet: Synallaxis cinerea. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 09/12/2019. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2019) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 09/12/2019.