Tatamá Tapaculo Scytalopus alvarezlopezi


Taxonomic note
A new species of tapaculo, Tatamá Tapaculo Scytalopus alvarezlopezi, is accepted after the description (Stiles et al. 2017) that indicates that the voice is highly distinctive, being a protracted series of short trills, entirely unlike other related tapaculos in the region.

Taxonomic source(s)
Handbook of the Birds of the World and BirdLife International. 2019. Handbook of the Birds of the World and BirdLife International digital checklist of the birds of the world. Version 4. Available at: http://datazone.birdlife.org/userfiles/file/Species/Taxonomy/HBW-BirdLife_Checklist_v4_Dec19.zip.
Stiles, F. G., Laverde-R, O., & Cadena, C. D. 2017. A new species of tapaculo (Rhinocryptidae: Scytalopus) from the Western Andes of Colombia. The Auk: Ornithological Advances 134(2): 377-392.

IUCN Red list criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - -

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2021 Near Threatened B1ab(ii,iii,iv,v)
2019 Near Threatened B1ab(ii,iii,v); C2a(i)
Species attributes

Migratory status not a migrant Forest dependency High
Land mass type Average mass -

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 26,700
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 10,112
Number of locations 6-10 -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 20000-49999 poor inferred 2021
Population trend Decreasing suspected -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) 1-19 - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) 1-19 - - -
Number of subpopulations 2-100 - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation 1-89 - - -

Population justification: The population size of this species has not been quantified. A preliminary population estimate was derived from a congener with similar habitat requirements, the Ecuadorian Tapaculo (Scytalopus robbinsi); this species occurs at a density of c. 27 mature individuals per km2 in suitable forest (Hermes et al. 2017). Assuming that the Tatamá Tapaculo occurs at a similar density and further assuming that 25% of forested habitat across its range is occupied (i.e. c.1,350 km2; Global Forest Watch 2021), the population may number c. 36,000 mature individuals. Therefore, it is here placed in the band 20,000-49,999 mature individuals.

Due to its limited dispersal abilities (per Stiles et al. 2017), the species likely forms several disjunct subpopulations.

Trend justification: The population trend of Tatamá Tapaculo has not been quantified. Even though its specific habitat requirements make it vulnerable to habitat loss and degradation as a result of deforestation, forests within its range remain largely continuous, intact and not highly threatened (Stiles et al. 2017). Over the past ten years, 4% of tree cover within the range has been lost (Global Forest Watch 2021). Tatamá Tapaculo is further susceptible to current and future climate change, as it may result in range contractions and habitat loss, potentially causing a population decline in the future (Velázquez-Tibatá et al. 2013; Stiles et al. 2017). Therefore, while the rate of population decline has likely been <10% over the past ten years, it may increase in the future and is here suspected to amount to up to 19% over the next ten years.

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Colombia N Extant Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Colombia Enclave Seco del Río Dagua
Colombia Parque Nacional Natural Las Orquídeas

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane major resident
Altitude 1350 - 2200 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Biological resource use Logging & wood harvesting - Unintentional effects: (subsistence/small scale) [harvest] Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) No decline Low Impact: 4
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Climate change & severe weather Habitat shifting & alteration Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 4
Ecosystem degradation

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Scytalopus alvarezlopezi. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/11/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/11/2022.