Sucre Antpitta Grallaricula cumanensis


Justification of Red List Category
This species has a very small range (and probably a small population), which is presumably declining in response to the impact of changing agricultural techniques and conversion to plantations. It would qualify as Endangered, but is known from seven locations, and is consequently listed as Vulnerable.

Population justification
This species probably has a small population and is declining.

Distribution and population

Grallaricula cumanensis is endemic to the mountains of north-eastern Venezuela. It occurs disjunctly on the Paria Peninsula, Sucre (ssp. pariae), and in the Turimiquire Massif (both the Serranía de Turimiquire west of the San Antonio valley, and the Cordillera de Caripe to the east) on the borders of Sucre, Anzoategui and Monagas (ssp. cumanensis).


In the Serranía de Turimiquire, it is known from 1,000-1,850 m. On Cerro Humo, it occurs at 1,100-1,200 m and, on Cerro El Olvido, at 600-885 m. It inhabits the understorey (up to 2-3 m from the ground) of montane humid forest, where there is extensive epiphytic growth.


There has been widespread clearance for agriculture in the Turimiquire Massif and the Paria Peninsula and both regions are considered highly threatened. Swidden agriculture and commercial coffee cultivation occur within strict protected areas: even in El Guácharo National Park there is clearance, repeated burning and understorey removal for coffee (Boesman and Curson 1995, Sharpe 2008). The slopes of Cerro Negro are largely bare with the more obvious forest patches actually shade-coffee plantations (Boesman and Curson 1995). There is conversion to coffee, mango, banana, and citrus plantations in the Turimiquire Massif, but extensive forested areas remain (Colvee 1999, Sharpe in litt. 2011). On Cerro Humo, increases in cash-crop agriculture since the mid- to late 1980s, have resulted in uncontrolled burning and forest degradation.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
It is formally protected by Paria Peninsula and El Guácharo National Parks. The latter reserve was recently expanded to include a further 500 km2 of largely undisturbed forest (Gabaldón 1992). The former has become a paper park with only two or three park guards, inadequate budget and no means of transport (Sharpe 2001, Castillo and Salas 2005, Sharpe and Lentino 2015). The Turimiquire massif is a Protective Zone, but in practice the legal status is not enforced. It is considered Vulnerable at the national level in Venezuela (Sharpe and Lentino 2015).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Develop alternative agricultural techniques for areas adjacent to Paria Peninsula National Park (Rodríguez and Rojas-Suárez 1995, Sharpe 2008, Sharpe and Lentino 2015). There is a vital need to manage the Turimiquire massif and Paria Peninsula, not just for this species but for all Parian Montane Centre endemics, including non-avian taxa (C. J. Sharpe in litt. 2015). This last remaining sizeable area of unprotected forest in the Turimiquire Massif, the c. 80 km2 Quiriquire or Piedra 'e Mole' block (Azpúrua et al. 2013), should be designated as a national park (C. J. Sharpe in litt. 2015, Sharpe and Lentino 2015).


10.9 cm. Small antpitta with slate-grey crown, medium brown upperparts, and rufous underparts. Prominent buff lores and posterior eye-ring. Underparts rufous-orange, paler on throat, with white centre of belly. Similar spp. Slate-crowned Antpitta G. nana (allopatric) has paler, less intensely rufous underparts, less conspicuously white belly and different song. Allopatric Rusty-breasted Antpitta G. ferrugineipectus lacks grey crown and is paler below with a strikingly different song. Voice A long trill that ascends and then descends


Text account compilers
Sharpe, C J & Symes, A.

Donegan, T. & Sharpe, C J

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Grallaricula cumanensis. Downloaded from on 16/08/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 16/08/2022.