Justification of Red List Category
This recently described species is listed as Endangered because it has a very small range, in which it is known from only four locations and the impact of fires and unregulated tourism contribute to a continuing decline in habitat quality.
The population size has not been quantified and further research is required.
The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of any serious and immediate threats that are understood to affect the species and its habitat.
Formicivora grantsaui is known only from the Serra do Sincorá in the Espinhaço Range, Diamantina region, Bahia, Brazil (Gonzaga et al. 2007). It was first collected in 1965 at Igatu, but was not described as a new species because there was a lack of other specimens and supporting biological data. After a number of independent observations of a possibly new taxon of antwren in the region, it was observed and tape recorded in January 1997, prompting a return to the area to collect specimens in 1999. Additional data and specimens were collected during a targeted expedition in November 2002. It is so far known from four localities: Morro do Pai Inácio, rio Ribeirão valley, Vale do Paty and near Igatu, and the valley of the rio Cumbuca and other sites around the town of Mucugê (Gonzaga et al. 2007). It is described as locally common (C. Albano in litt. 2010).
The species inhabits scrubby vegetation (campos rupestres) around rocky outcrops, on the slopes of stream valleys or high plateaus and at exposed ridges, at 850-1,100 m (Gonzaga et al. 2007). Like its congeners, it almost certainly feeds primarily on invertebrates.
The protection of part of the species's range has allowed the recovery of vegetation from mining activities and direct exploitation; however, the species's habitat remains potentially affected by fires (Gonzaga et al. 2007), which can be serious (C. Albano in litt. 2010), although further study is required to assess their impacts on the species itself.
Conservation Actions Underway
A fraction of the species's known range is protected by the Marimbu/Iraquara State Environmental Protection Area and the Chapada Diamantina National Park, which was designated in 1985 (Gonzaga et al. 2007).
A typical long-tailed antwren of the genus Formicivora (Gonzaga et al. 2007). The crown, back and rump are darkish brown. In males, the sides of the head (including the lores) and underparts from chin to belly are black, bordered by a white stripe going down from above the lores to the sides of the belly through the sides of the neck and breast. The lower belly and crissum are grey. Flanks are pale brown. Brown wing feathers have whitish edges on the inner webs. Upperwing coverts are black with white terminal spots. Tail feathers also have white tips. Iris brown. Bill black, with basal half of mandible grey in females. Females also differ by having slightly paler upperparts, and head and underparts white with black streaks. Legs and toes plumbeous grey; soles yellowish. Similar spp. F. rufa is paler and rufescent above with a yellowish buff tinge to the lower flanks. Voice F. grantsaui has a distinctive two-part alarm call containing more than two (rarely only two) notes. It also utters a very short and distinctively modulated territorial duet. The repetitive loudsong is similar to that of congeners (Gonzaga et al. 2007).
Text account compilers
Sharpe, C J, Taylor, J., Ashpole, J & Wheatley, H.
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Formicivora grantsaui. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 26/01/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 26/01/2020.