Justification of Red List Category
This species has a small known range and population at a few scattered location, where habitat loss is continuing (Collar et al. 1992). However, recent survey work has located the species in several areas between old locations and, if this trend continues, it may no longer qualify as Vulnerable.
The population is estimated to number 2,500-9,999 individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. This estimate is equivalent to 1,667-6,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 1,500-7,000 mature individuals.
This species's population is suspected to be declining rapidly, in line with rates of habitat loss within its range.
Grallaricula cucullata is known from a few scattered localities in Colombia and west Venezuela. The nominate subspecies occurs in Colombia on both slopes of the West Andes, at two sites in Valle del Cauca (L. Silva per N. Gómez in litt. 1999, C. Downing and J. Hickman in litt. 2003), and one in Cauca, although this latter sighting requires confirmation (Wege and Long 1995, P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1995,1999). On the west slope of the Central Andes, it formerly occurred near Medellín, Antioquia, and has recently been found in Valle del Cauca (V. Rojas per N. Goméz in litt. 1999) and Risaralda (W. Beltrán per C. Downing in litt. 2000). At the head of the Magdalena valley, all recent records are from Cueva de los Guácharos National Park, Huila. Known sites for the subspecies venezuelana are are on the east slope of the East Andes in east Cundinamarca, Colombia (F. G. Stiles in litt. 1999); and, apart from specimens from Río Chiquito in Táchira, there are apparently no records over the last 60 years in Venezuela (C. J. Sharpe in litt. 2015, Sharpe 2015).
It inhabits the more open parts of otherwise dense cloud-forest, chiefly around 1,800-2,135 m, but perhaps down to 1,500 m and up to 2,700 m. One specimen was coming into breeding condition in May, and others taken in Huila in July and Antioquia in September contained eggs.
It is threatened by human settlement, logging and conversion of its habitat to agricultural land use. In many areas, including Medellín and the upper Magdalena valley, most forest has been cleared. Human development of land continues, generally following the construction of new roads, and even affects national parks, including Tatamá and El Tamá. Opium poppy cultivation results in deforestation of remote areas, chosen to avoid detection (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1995,1999). Cueva de los Guácharos is threatened by poppy cultivation and encroaching human settlement (Wege and Long 1995, P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1995,1999). Agricultural activities such as coffee cultivation, and livestock raising affect 17% of Venezuela's El Tamá National Park (Sharpe 2008).
Conservation Actions Underway
In Colombia, it is numerous in Cueva de los Guácharos (Ridgely and Tudor 1994), and occurs in Ucumarí Regional Park (W. Beltrán per C. Downing in litt. 2000), Tatamá National Park (L. Silva per N. Gómez in litt. 1999), Picachos National Park and Otún-Quimbaya Flora and Fauna Sanctuary (Renjifo et al. 2002). It may also occur in Farallones de Cali National Park. In Venezuela, specimens come from El Tamá National Park (Hilty 2003, Sharpe 2008, 2015). It is no longer considered of conservation concern in Colombia (Renjifo et al. 2014), but is listed as Endangered in Venezuela (Sharpe 2015).
10 cm. Small, plump antpitta with bright orange bill. Bright orange-rufous head and throat. Olive-brown above. Grey below with narrow white crescent across chest. White belly and lower breast. Voice Unknown.
Text account compilers
Sharpe, C J, Symes, A., Isherwood, I., Benstead, P., Stuart, T.
Stiles, F., Rodríguez, J., Rojas, V., Gomez, N., Sharpe, C J, Downing, C., Salaman, P., Hickman, J., Beltrán, W., Rojas-Suárez, F., Silva, L.
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Grallaricula cucullata. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/09/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/09/2020.