Boa Nova Tapaculo Scytalopus gonzagai


Justification of Red List Category
This species has a very restricted and fragmented range, which is declining as a result of habitat loss. For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Endangered.

Population justification
The population size was estimated in 2014 at 2,883 individuals (Maurício et al. 2014), which is here placed in the band 2,500 - 9,999 individuals, roughly equivalent to 1,667-6,667 mature individuals, rounded here to 1,500-7,000 mature individuals. This is considered to be arranged in at least two subpopulations given the geographical division between the two known areas for the species.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction.

Distribution and population

Boa Nova Tapaculo is restricted to two mountainous areas in south east Bahia, Planalto da Conquista and the Serra das Lontras–Javi, in Brazil. It is known from 5 locations in the municipalities of Boa Nova, Iguai and Arataca, namely Morro do Ingles, Mata do Dr. Mauro (in the Serra da Ouricana), Serra do Rio Preto, Serra do Pote and the Serra das Lontras-Javi. The species has been recorded in both the Boa Nova National Park and in the Serra das Lontras National Park.


Found in the undergrowth of humid montane evergreen forest, specifically in areas with dark and densely vegetated ravines often with Chusquea sp. or Merostachys sp.bamboo (Maurício et al. 2014). All territories of mature birds located were within primary forest, though some included disturbed or second-growth within the territory (Maurício et al. 2014). It occurs between 660-1,140 m above sea level.


Over 40% of the potential area of occupancy of the species is unprotected and suffers ongoing pressure from deforestation and logging, plus the conversion of secondary areas to pasture through burning. The apparent highly specialised habitat requirements render it potentially vulnerable to environmental change caused by future climate alteration.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
Boa Nova National Park and Serra das Lontras National Park form roughly half of the potential area of occupancy for the species. Ongoing enforcement of the integrity of the habitats within these protected areas is essential to the persistence of the species.
Conservation Actions Proposed
Surveys are required throughout the range to more accurately estimate the population of this and the additional restricted range species present within the Boa Nova-Iguai region. Awareness and education work is required in local communities using these habitats, and a locally agreed management plan that retains zones of intact forest alongside productive forest is required.


Text account compilers
Wheatley, H., Martin, R

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Species factsheet: Scytalopus gonzagai. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/10/2021. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2021) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/10/2021.