Cinnamon-tailed Sparrow Peucaea sumichrasti


Justification of Red List Category
This species is listed as Near Threatened because it has a small range, in which it is potentially threatened by habitat degradation and infrastructure development. Research is required to assess the impact of these potential threats. If these threats are found to be driving declines, the species may qualify for uplisting to a higher threat category.

Population justification
Partners in Flight estimated the population to number fewer than 50,000 individuals (A. Panjabi in litt. 2008), thus it is placed in the band 20,000-49,999 individuals here.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Distribution and population

This species has a small range on the Pacific slope of south-east Oaxaca (west to Las Tejas and through the río Tehuantepec basin to Rancho las Animas) and extreme south-west Chiapas, Mexico (Binford 1989, Howell and Webb 1995, AOU 1998).


This species is fairly common to common up to 900 m in arid lowland scrub and on the edge of, and openings within, tropical deciduous forest (Howell and Webb 1995, Peterson et al. 2003).


The Pan-American Highway has led to fragmentation of habitat within its restricted range (Stattersfield et al. 1998). Many forest areas are now degraded or secondary, but whether this has had a detrimental impact on this species is unclear. Small-scale agriculture using techniques such as slash-and-burn could also result in habitat loss (J. Dunning and R.K. Bowers in litt. 2016).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
The species is included on the 'Watch List' of the State of North America's Birds as a species of high conservation concern (NABCI 2016).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Carry out surveys to assess the total population size. Monitor population trends through regular surveys. Study the species's ecology, including habitat use. Assess the impact of the Pan-American Highway and habitat degradation on the species. Grant protection to areas of suitable habitat, particularly in the southern part of the Chimalapas region (Peterson et al. 2003).


17.5 cm. A largish grey and rufous sparrow with a well marked facial pattern. Upperparts grey brown streaked blackish, underparts pale grey with whitish belly and cinnamon flanks and undertail, crown rufous streaked darker with grey median stripe, black moustachial and malar stripes, ear coverts greyish. Similar spp The rufous tail and prominent black moustachial and malar stripes are distinctive within its range. Rusty Sparrow A. rufescens is larger with darker ear coverts and more rufous upperparts and wings, Oaxaca Sparrow A. notostricta is superficially similar but has grey brown tail, no moustache and has grey brown (not rufous) lesser coverts. Voice Song is a series of high pitched metallic notes, pairs often duet, calls include a high pitched double note. Hints Shy and secretive except when singing, usually from an exposed perch.


Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Capper, D., Isherwood, I., O'Brien, A., Sharpe, C J, Taylor, J., Ashpole, J

Dunning, J., Bowers, R.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Species factsheet: Peucaea sumichrasti. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/10/2019. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2019) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/10/2019.