Justification of Red List Category
This species is listed as Endangered as it is suffering an ongoing decline in its very small range, in which it is known from just three locations. The suspected decline in its population size is expected to worsen over the next three generations, as pressures on its habitat accelerate.
Recent surveys recorded the species at a density of 2-3 birds/km2; estimates based on this data place the population at 500-1,200 individuals (O. Cortes in litt. 2012), roughly equivalent to 330-800 mature individuals.
On-going habitat loss, degradation and disturbance in its range suggest that this species's population has undergone at least a moderate decline over the last 10 years (O. Cortes in litt. 2011). Worsening pressures on the species's habitat could lead to a reduction of c.30% in the species's Extent of Occurrence over the next 10-15 years (Fundación ProAves in press), thus the population is expected to undergo a moderately rapid decline over this period.
Grallaria kaestneri is restricted to the eastern slope of the east Andes in Cundinamarca, Colombia. It is currently known from south-east of Bogotá, from near Monterredondo, above Guayabetal (M. Alvarez per F. G. Stiles in litt. 1999, T. Mark per P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999, P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999, 2003, O. Cortes-Herrera in litt. 2012) and at Farallones de Medina (O. Cortes-Herrera in litt. 2012), and it presumably ranges into Meta department between these sites. It occurs at reasonably high densities near Monterredondo, and may occur along the eastern slope of the east Andes wherever there are still suitable tracts of forest remaining at appropriate elevations (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999, 2003). Recent surveys found the species to occur at an estimated density of 2-3 birds/ha (Cortes et al. undated).
It inhabits very wet primary and secondary cloud-forest, at upper subtropical elevations from 1,800-2,300 m (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999, 2003). It is a relatively terrestrial antpitta, preferring dense understorey vegetation below tree gaps (natural or otherwise), where it forages in leaf-litter and on soft ground, mainly for insects, particularly Coleoptera and Orthoptera (O. Cortes-Herrera in litt. 2007), and also spiders and earthworms. It breeds between September and November, during the mid to late rainy season (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999, 2003, O. Cortes in litt. 2012).
There is fairly extensive disturbance of forest at suitable altitudes on the east slope in Cundinamarca, mostly in the form of timber extraction. However, selective logging may even favour the species, in contrast to clear-cutting, which is clearly a threat and has generally occurred up to altitudes of 1,500-2,000 m on the east slope (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999, 2003). It has been noted that the species occurs in areas regenerating after landslides (Fundación ProAves in press). Clearance for agriculture and grazing by goats are threats in some areas (O. Cortes-Herrera in litt. 2007). Near the type-locality, large areas of primary forest remain away from the Monterredondo-El Calvario road, around which logging and scattered pastures reach their most extensive levels. The Farallones de Medina area, previously a stronghold for the species (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999, 2003), has now been deforested, and recent searches there have not recorded the bird (O. Cortes in litt. 2012).
Conservation Actions Underway
Considered Endangered at the national level in Colombia (Renjifo et al. 2014). The species was recently the focus of a project supported by the Conservation Leadership Programme, which looked at its abundance, distribution and habitat use (Cortes et al. undated). Some awareness work was also carried out (Anon. 2012). No other targeted actions are known.
15.5 cm. Medium-sized antpitta with whitish throat and streaked breast. Olive-brown above. Dull white throat with dark mottling. Greyish-olive breast with very narrow, white shaft streaking. Voice Song is three sharp, clear, whistled notes (last occasionally omitted), wirt, wiirt weert. Aggression call is a higher pitched, sharp SEEleee.
Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Harding, M., Isherwood, I., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A., Taylor, J., Khwaja, N.
Alvarez, M., Cortés, O., Salaman, P., Mark, T., Stiles, F.
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Grallaria kaestneri. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 11/08/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 11/08/2022.