Dusky Spinetail Synallaxis moesta


Justification of Red List Category

Based on a model of future deforestation in the Amazon basin, it is suspected that the population of this species will decline by 25-30% over the next three generations, and it has therefore been uplisted to Near Threatened.

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

Trend justification
This species is suspected to lose 27-27.3% 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 a rate approaching 30% over three generations.

Distribution and population

Synallaxis moesta is uncommon and local within its distribution in the east Andean foothills. The nominate subspecies moesta occurs from south Casanare south to north-west Meta, central Colombia. Subspecies obscura is found in Caquetá and Putumayo, south Colombia (del Hoyo et al. 2003). Subspecies brunneicaudalis occurs insouth-east Nariño, extreme south Colombia; the species is apparently scarce throughout the country (del Hoyo et al. 2003, Restall et al. 2006). From here brunneicaudalis ranges through Ecuador to the states of Amazonas, San Martín and possibly Loreto, in north-west Peru (del Hoyo et al. 2003).


This is a species of dense undergrowth at the forest edge, usually hilly lowland forests but also sometimes secondary forest and bamboo thickets. It generally ranges from 250-1,350 m (del Hoyo et al. 2003).


The primary threat to this species is accelerating deforestation in the Amazon basin (Soares-Filho et al. 2006, Bird et al. 2011). It is thought to be particularly susceptible to fragmentation and edge effects: as a true forest species it is not found in heavily deforested areas (del Hoyo et al. 2003, A. Lees in litt. 2011). Its habitat is generally under intense pressure from agricultural development (del Hoyo et al. 2003).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
None is known.

Conservation Actions Proposed

Expand the protected area network to effectively protect IBAs. Effectively resource and manage existing and new protected areas, utilising emerging opportunities to finance protected area management with the joint aims of reducing carbon emissions and maximizing biodiversity conservation. Conservation on private lands, through expanding market pressures for sound land management and preventing forest clearance on lands unsuitable for agriculture, is also essential (Soares-Filho et al. 2006).


16-17 cm. Medium-sized, dark spinetail. Mainly grey, with dark chestnut wings, chestnut crown, darker brown shoulders and a long chestnut tail. Hints Forages in dense undergrowth, in pairs or occasionally alone. Voice Low, nasal chattering.


Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Khwaja, N., Symes, A.

Lees, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Species factsheet: Synallaxis moesta. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 02/12/2021. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2021) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 02/12/2021.