Munchique Wood-wren Henicorhina negreti


Justification of Red List Category
This recently described species is known from a small range which supports a small population that is continuing to decline (Salaman et al. 2003). For these reasons it is classified as Vulnerable.

Population justification
The population density was estimated at 10-18 pairs per km2, but could be as high as 100-200 pairs per km2 (Renjifo et al. 2014). Thus, the number of mature individuals at each site occupied by the species is likely very high. However, considering the species's strict habitat requirements and apparent preference for extremely steep terrain, occupied sites are very localised within the species's Extent of Occurrence. Thus, the global population is best placed in the band 2,500-9,999 mature individuals (Renjifo et al. 2014), equating roughly to 3,750-14,999 individuals in total, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.

Trend justification
The species's population is suspected to be declining based on current rates of forest loss within its restricted range (Salaman et al. 2003). The likely rate of population decline has not been estimated.

Distribution and population

This species is restricted to the western Andes of Colombia, and is found where the departments of Chocó, Antioquia and Risaralda meet, in Munchique massif (Valle de Cauca) (Kroodsma and Brewer 2005), in extreme eastern Chocó and south-west Antioquia department, and in extreme south-eastern Chocó near the town of El Cairo where a population of at least 5 individuals was discovered in 2008 (van Oosten and Cortes 2009). It appears to have very specific habitat requirements, being restricted to the Pacific slope of the very peaks of the highest mountains/ridges on the Western Cordillera. The Western Cordillera is the lowest and narrowest of Colombia's three Andean ranges (T. Donegan in litt. 2006). As a result this species's global area of occupancy likely small, occurring only localised throughout its range. There have been many surveys of the high peaks along the Western Cordillera (both historically and in the past decade) that have failed to record this species, suggesting there are unlikely to be many undiscovered populations remaining (P. Salaman in litt. 2006). Known originally from the type locality in the Munchique Natural Park, today this species is also known in the Serrania del Pinche, Farallones de Cali, Serrania de los Paraguas, Montezuma National Park, Nature Reserve Messenia and Natural Park Las Orquideas.


It is very specific in its habitat requirements, occurring in extremely wet, stunted cloud forest where it occupies naturally disturbed areas with patchy successional habitat on steep slopes. Typically, it prefers an extremely dense understorey smothered in epiphytes at forest borders, landslides and along stream gullies. This forest is characterised by almost continuous cloud or fog cover (Kroodsma and Brewer 2005). The species has been recorded between 2,250 m and 2,640 m. It feeds on arthropods gleaned from near to the forest floor, typically below 2 m. It associates briefly with passing multi-species flocks (Kroodsma and Brewer 2005, Kroodsma et al. 2016).


Forest clearance affects this species directly, but it also leads to reduced cloud and fog cover and a general drying of the habitat. This allows congeners to colonise the areas where Munchique Wood-wrens currently occur in isolation (T. Donegan in litt. 2006). Climate change has the potential to shift the elevation at which Munchique Wood-wren and Grey-breasted Wood-wren Henicorhina leucophrys replace one another upwards, potentially reducing the possible range of the species (T. Donegan in litt. 2006). However, of more immediate concern, climate change is contributing to the increase in the severity of dry seasons in the region that have facilitated many human-induced fires in otherwise extremely wet forests (P. Salaman in litt. 2007, 2008). Human pressure in Munchique is escalating. Consequently, deforestation within Munchique National Park, until recently essentially pristine, is now a serious issue and has escalated at an alarming rate (P. Salaman in litt. 2007, 2008).

Conservation actions

Conservation and Research Actions Underway
Considered Vulnerable at the national level in Colombia (Renjifo et al. 2014). It is known from two protected areas: Munchique National Natural Park (where forest clearance still occurs) and Mirabilis-Swarovski Bird Reserve on Cerro Munchique, which encompasses the majority of the species's range and was formerly threatened by forest clearance but was purchased in 2004 by Fundación ProAves with the support of the American Bird Conservancy and Swarovski Optik (P. Salaman in litt. 2007, 2008).

Conservation and Research Actions Proposed
Determine species's true elevational range (Krabbe 2009). Map wet Pacific forest at appropriate elevations, estimate deforestation rate, and establish the species’s presence in highly-fragmented forest (Krabbe 2009). Continue monitoring existing populations and survey new areas for additional subpopulations. Lobby the government to adequately protect known sites, which support this and other threatened species, by directing resources more effectively. Support local organisations seeking to protect key sites.


11 cm. A typical wood-wren. Sexes are similar, dark brown on the crown with warmer brown upperparts, short wings and tail are lighter warm brown barred with darker barring, prominent white supercilium above black eyestripe and ear coverts streaked white, throat white, chest pale grey, flanks, vent and undertail coverts chestnut, finely barred on the abdomen. Similar spp very similar to Grey-breasted Wood-wren Henicorhina leucophrys, best features to aid separation are barred abdomen and cooler grey upperparts in Munchique Wood-wren. It also has longer tarsi and a shorter tail than Grey-breasted. Voice is distinctive. Voice repeated phrases of 6-12 clear notes, each phrase lasting c.2 seconds.


Text account compilers
Calvert, R., Bird, J., Hermes, C., Sharpe, C.J., Symes, A., Butchart, S., Westrip, J., Wright, L

Salaman, P., Donegan, T.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Henicorhina negreti. Downloaded from on 29/05/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 29/05/2023.