Justification of Red List Category
This species has a small range and it is feared that habitat therein is degraded due to fires and land-use change. For these reasons, the species is classified as Near Threatened. If the species is found to be more tolerant to habitat degradation than feared, it may require a status change in the future.
The global population size has not been quantified, but this species is described as uncommon. However, since its easily-overheard song was first recorded in 2004 (Verea 2004), it has been seen regularly at several different localities within Yurubí, Macarae, Henri Pittier and El Ávila National Parks (Verea 2004, C. J. Sharpe in litt. 2011). During surveys in suitable habitat, it was found to be common, comprising 2.4-3.5% of the bird community and being recorded in 80-83% of surveys (Verea 2004).The subpopulation structure has not been assessed; however its strict habitat requirements and territorial behaviour (Verea and Greeney 2020) and the spatial spread of records (per eBird 2021) suggest that it forms several disjunct subpopulations.
Data on population trends are lacking. The species is suspected to be declining slowly, owing to habitat loss in parts of its range through logging of forests for agriculture and fires (C. Verea in litt. 2020; Verea and Greeney 2020). As the species regularly uses secondary growth (Verea and Greeney 2020) declines are difficult to quantify, but they are not thought to exceed 10% over ten years.
Grallaricula loricata occurs in the mountains of the Sierra de San Luis (Falcón), Sierra de Aroa (Yaracuy) and along the Cordillera de la Costa from Carabobo and Aragua to Distrito Capital, north Venezuela (Meyer de Schauensee and Phelps 1978, Ridgely and Tudor 1994, Hilty 2003, Verea 2004).
This species is locally common (Verea 2004, C. J. Sharpe in litt. 2011, Verea and Solórzano 2011) in the lower growth of montane humid forest at elevations of 800-2,200 m, although mostly at 1,400-1,900 m (Ridgely and Tudor 1994, Hilty 2003, Verea 2004). It feeds on small arthropods such as crustaceans (Isopoda), arachnids (Aranae), and insects (Orthoptera, Hemiptera, Coleoptera and Hymenoptera) (Verea 2004). The species is thought to be monogamous, and breed from March to November, with moulting taking place from August to December (Verea 2004).
Although there is still an extensive forest cover within its range, habitat loss owing to fires and conversion for agriculture and settlements are taking place, even inside of protected areas (C. Verea in litt. 2020).
Conservation Actions Underway
The species occurs in Juan Crisóstomo Falcón, Yurubí, San Esteban, Henri Pittier, Macarao and El Avila national parks, as well as in Pico Codazzi and María Lionza natural monuments,Venezuela.
Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Gilroy, J., Sharpe, C.J., Sharpe, C J & Verea, C.
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Grallaricula loricata. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/03/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/03/2023.