Santa Marta Antpitta Grallaria bangsi


Justification of Red List Category
This species is classified as Vulnerable because it has a small range, which is fragmented and declining owing to habitat destruction caused by illegal agriculture, logging and burning. It is currently described as common, but its population size is unknown. However, it is likely to be undergoing a rapid decline as a result of habitat loss.

Population justification
The population size is preliminarily estimated to fall into the band 2,500-9,999 mature individuals. This equates to 3,750-14,999 individuals in total, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.

Trend justification
A rapid population decline is suspected based on rates of habitat loss estimated using time series satellite imagery (Renjifo et al. 2002).

Distribution and population

Grallaria bangsi is endemic to the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, on the borders of Cesar, Magdalena and Guajira, north Colombia. It is described as common along the San Lorenzo ridge, but local and uncommon within the San Salvador valley on the northern slope, and the Río Frio valley on the western slope (R. Strewe in litt. 2003), although accurate population densities are unknown (Ridgely and Tudor 1994, Renjifo et al. 2002).


It inhabits humid montane forest and intervening forest edge at 1,200-2,400 m (Renjifo et al. 2002), but is most common above 1,600 m (Hilty and Brown 1986, Ridgely and Tudor 1994). It is principally terrestrial, sometimes perching on low horizontal branches, and is generally less retiring and easier to see than congeners (Hilty and Brown 1986).


The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is increasingly being destroyed and fragmented by illegal agricultural expansion, logging and burning (Renjifo et al. 2002). Only 15% of the sierra's vegetation is unaltered, and this species has probably lost 51% of its habitat (Renjifo et al. 2002). The south-east slope of the sierra is extensively deforested, whilst the west slope has been largely cleared for illegal marijuana plantations, and subsequently sprayed with herbicide by the government (Stattersfield et al. 1998).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
It is found within Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta National Park.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Determine more accurately its geographic and altitudinal range in the Sierra Nevada (Renjifo et al. 2002). Conduct censuses to estimate the density and state of the population, thus enabling an assessment of suitable habitat and the design of conservation measures (Renjifo et al. 2002).


18 cm. Large, rather poorly-marked antpitta. Brown above with white lores and eyering. Underparts white streaked brown, except for bright ochraceous buff throat, brownish flanks (streaked white) and cinnamon buff underwing coverts. Similar spp. Practically the only Grallaria in its restricted range. May overlap with the very different Scaled Antpitta G. guatimalensis at lower elevations. Voice Frequent, loud, flat bob white.


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

Strewe, R.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Grallaria bangsi. Downloaded from on 26/09/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 26/09/2022.