Urich's Tyrannulet Phyllomyias urichi


Justification of Red List Category
This species is Endangered because it has a very small range, which is presumably declining significantly in response to changing agricultural practices and conversion to plantations.

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 1,000-2,499 individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. This estimate is equivalent to 667-1,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 600-1,700 mature individuals.

Trend justification
A moderate and ongoing population decline is suspected owing to rates of habitat loss.

Distribution and population

Phyllomyias urichi occurs  on the northern Cordillera de Caripe (on the borders of Anzoátegui, Sucre and Monagas) and the westernmost Paria Peninsula (Sucre) in north-east Venezuela (Kirwan and Sharpe 1999; Phelps and Phelps 1950; Ridgely and Tudor 1994). In the Cordillera de Caripe, specimens have been taken from four localities (Phelps and Phelps 1950; Hilty 2003; Sharpe 2008, 2015), but there have been few recent sight records. There is a single sight record from Cerro Humo on the Paria Peninsula (Kirwan and Sharpe 1999).


It appears to inhabit montane, humid forest, with all records at elevations of 800-1,100 m (C. J. Sharpe, J. P. Rodríguez and F. Rojas-Suárez in litt. 1999). Basic biology almost unknown (Fitzpatrick and Sharpe 2015).


There has been widespread clearance for agriculture and pasture in the Cordillera de Caripe. The forests here have been reduced by 60% over the past 25 years (Sharpe 2008). Even in El Guácharo National Park there is clearance, repeated burning and understorey removal for coffee (Boesman and Curson 1995). 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 Serranía de Turimiquire, but extensive forested areas remain (Colvee 1999, Sharpe in litt. 2011). On Cerro Humo, increases in cash-crop agriculture, especially the cultivation of ocumo blanco 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 expanded to include a further 500 km2 of largely undisturbed forest (Gabaldón 1992). It is considered nationally Endangered in Venezuela (Sharpe 2008, 2015).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey El Guácharo National Park, Serranía de Turimiquire and the Paria Peninsula, and other areas identified from aerial photographs, to assess its precise distribution and estimate populations (C. J. Sharpe, J. P. Rodríguez and F. Rojas-Suárez in litt. 1999; Sharpe 2008). Assess its habitat requirements and tolerance of disturbance and degradation (C. J. Sharpe, J. P. Rodríguez and F. Rojas-Suárez in litt. 1999; Sharpe 2008). Confirm the record from the Paria Peninsula (Sharpe 2008, 2015). Develop and promote alternative agricultural techniques for areas adjacent to protected areas (Rodríguez and Rojas-Suárez 1995; Sharpe 2008). There is a pressing need to protect the much-reduced forests in the western portion of this species' range in the Serranía de Turimiquire (Sharpe in litt. 2011).


12 cm. Small, predominantly green-and-yellow tyrannulet. Bright olive upperparts with contrasting grey crown. Short white supraloral stripe and eye-ring. Two whitish wing-bars and fringing. Pale yellow underparts, whitish on throat. Similar spp. Sooty-headed Tyrannulet P. griseiceps has uniform wing pattern. Voice Undescribed.


Text account compilers
Capper, D., Pople, R., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A.

Rojas-Suárez, F., Sharpe, C J, Rodríguez, J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Phyllomyias urichi. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/01/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/01/2020.