Chestnut-throated Spinetail Synallaxis cherriei


Justification of Red List Category
This species is is restricted to forest habitats in regions in which human encroachment is causing rapid habitat loss and degradation. It is therefore suspected to be declining moderately rapidly, and is considered Near Threatened.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but this species is described as 'uncommon and patchily distributed' (Stotz et al. 1996).

Trend justification
This species is suspected to lose 14.7-20.2% 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, and that populations dependent on Gadua bamboo may be threatened by large-scale bamboo die-offs (A. Lees in litt. 2011), it is suspected to decline by 25-30% over three generations.

Distribution and population

Synallaxis cherriei has three subspecies: the nominate occurs disjunctly in south Amazonian Brazil (Rondônia, Mato Grosso and south Pará); equally disjunct populations of the race napoensis are scattered through the Andean foothills in south-east Colombia (Putumayo) and east Ecuador (west Napo), while saturata is found in east Peru (two sites in San Martín and Ayacucho) and (presumably this subspecies) Pando, Bolivia (Tobias and Seddon 2006).


This species is found at 200-1,100 m (Ridgely and Tudor 1994, Clements and Shany 2001), although a recent record from San Martín was at c.1,450 m (Begazo et al. 2001). It is rare to occasionally relatively common, but inexplicably very local, in the undergrowth of secondary woodland and the borders of humid forest. Although no association with bamboo has been observed in Colombia, Ecuador or most of Peru, birds from Alta Floresta (Mato Grosso, Brazil), Cocha Cashu (Manu, Peru) and Pando (Bolivia) are Guadua bamboo specialists (Zimmer et al. 1997a, Clements and Shany 2001, Tobias and Seddon 2006).


Relatively extensive deforestation has occurred within its east Ecuador and south-east Colombian range, which is a region threatened by oil exploration and extraction, with resultant habitat degradation and fragmentation from associated road-building (Dinerstein et al. 1995, Stattersfield et al. 1998). In Peru, extensive areas of its habitat are undergoing land clearance, agricultural conversion and logging, the effects of which are amplified by road-building and human colonisation (Dinerstein et al. 1995). In Brazil, nearly 25% of forest cover in Rondônia and Mato Grosso disappeared in 1975-1988, principally as a result of highway construction, with ranching, smallholder agriculture and mining as contributory factors (Cleary 1991).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct further surveys to determine whether this species is genuinely highly localised, or simply overlooked. Conduct ecological studies to determine its precise habitat requirements and tolerance of secondary or fragmented habitats. Effectively protect significant areas of suitable forest at key sites, in both strictly protected areas and community led multiple use areas.


Size: 14 cm. Summary: A small, short-billed, short-tailed rufous spinetail. Id: Mainly rich chestnut with olivaceous brown upperparts; wings and belly duskier; throat orange-rufous; tail black. Similar: Only likely to be confused with the more common Ruddy Spinetail S.rutilans which has a black throat patch (can be difficult to see). Hints: Seems to prefer disturbed habitats with Guadua bamboo stands, calls persistently. Voice: A repeated prrrrr-preéyt.


Text account compilers
Capper, D., Gilroy, J., Harding, M., O'Brien, A., Sharpe, C J

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Synallaxis cherriei. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 06/07/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 06/07/2022.