Bolivian Recurvebill Syndactyla striata


Justification of Red List Category
This species's range and abundance have been recently studied, and it has been found to be more widely distributed and commoner than previously thought (Collar et al. 1992). It is no longer considered to have a small range and is found within large areas of intact primary forest. Its presence has been confirmed at more than 10 locations, and it is suspected to be undergoing only slow rates of population decline. For these reasons, it has been downlisted to Least Concern, as it can no longer be considered to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under any of the IUCN criteria.

Population justification
Herzog et al. (2008) calculated the population to be c.100,000 individuals, which is precautionarily placed in the band 50,000-99,999 individuals.

Trend justification
This species is suspected to lose 9.1-9.5% of suitable habitat within its distribution over three generations (11 years) based on a model of Amazonian deforestation (Soares-Filho et al. 2006, Bird et al. 2011). Given the susceptibility of the species to fragmentation and/or edge effects, it is therefore suspected to decline by <25% over three generations.

Distribution and population

Simoxenops striatus is restricted to the Yungas (east Andean foothills) of La Paz, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz, central and west Bolivia, and extreme south west Puno, Peru. Although it was previously thought to be rather rare, and indeed was lost for 48 years, a recent study has found it to be not uncommon in the Cordillerea Mosetenes, where its occurs at a density of 20 pairs per km2  (Herzog et al. 2008).


It inhabits foothill evergreen forests in a narrow elevational band between 640 and 1,500 m  (B. Hennessey in litt. 1999). Despite reports to the contrary, it shows a strong association with Guadua bamboo (Herzog et al. 2008). However, it is not an obligate bamboo specialist and persists (albeit at much lower densities) in humid and semi-deciduous forest without Guadua bamboo, where it forages in dense understorey or vine tangles, often near treefall gaps (Herzog et al. 2008).


It is threatened by deforestation within its small geographic and elevational range, especially in La Paz and Cochabamba. Its preferred forest habitat is more accessible and easier to burn than true montane forest, and the soils are suited to domestic agriculture and the cultivation of cash crops. Consequently, the region is a favoured target for colonists from the altiplano, and encroachment into protected areas is occurring. Exploration for natural resources is undertaken in Bolivia's national parks, making mining a potential future threat (B. Hennessey in litt. 1999). Nevertheless, vast amounts of pristine forest remain in inaccessible areas within the species's elevational range, although it may be excluded by the harsh climate in some of these areas (J. Fjeldså in litt. 1999, B. Hennessey in litt. 1999).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
It occurs in Pilón Lajas Biosphere Reserve and Indigenous Territory, La Paz (B. Hennessey in litt. 1999), Carrasco National Park, Cochabamba (B. Hennessey in litt. 1999) and Amboró National Park, Santa Cruz (Wege and Long 1995), and is predicted to occur in Madidi National Park, La Paz (Remsen and Parker 1995, B. Hennessey in litt. 1999).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Carry out surveys to assess the species's population size. Monitor rates of deforestation within its range. Maintain the integrity of Amboró and Carrasco National Parks, particularly with respect to encroachment by settlers.


19 cm. Large-billed furnariid. Dark rufous-brown head, upperparts and wings, with buff supercilium and prominent buff streaking on head, neck and back. Underparts buffy-rufous. Bright rufous tail. Upturned bill. Similiar spp. Other similar arboreal furnariids have different bill-shapes. Voice Harsh, accelerating and slightly rising rattle lasting 2-3 seconds.


Text account compilers
Capper, D., Mahood, S., Pople, R., Sharpe, C J, Stuart, T. & Symes, A.

Fjeldså, J., Hennessey, A., MacLeod, R., Tobias, J., Rheindt, F. & Herzog, S.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Syndactyla striata. Downloaded from on 25/09/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 25/09/2022.