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This newly-split species has not been recorded since 1946 and has not been found on several recent surveys. Extensive burning and overgrazing has severely degraded its high altitude paramo habitat, and any remaining population is inferred to be very small and declining. For these reasons the species has been classified as Critically Endangered, but survey effort has not yet been sufficient for it to be listed as Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct).
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.
Oxypogon guerinii, O. cyanolaemus, O. lindenii and O. stuebelii (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) were previously lumped as O. guerinii following Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993).
11.2-12.7cm. Medium-sized hummingbird with prominent crest and elongated throat feathers forming a 'beard'. Crest is mostly white, and obvious white frame for the face extends from the rear of the head, around the ear coverts and down to the breast side. In the centre of the 'beard' are metallic purplish-blue feathers, and the tail has an extensive buff-white area on the outer tail feathers. Similar spp. O. guerinii, O. lindenii, and O. stuebelii were previously lumped with the present species. O. guerinii has a white stripe on the outer retrices including the shafts, and the beard of the male is green. O. lindenii has a longer crest and greatly reduced green feathering in the beard. O. stuebelii differs in having the white areas replaced by a tan colour, a reduced crest and beard and larger whitish area on the outer retrices.
The paramo of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is seriously affected by the grazing of cattle herds belonging to indigenous communities, who repeatedly burn the paramos for pasture (WWF 2013). Indigenous communities collect L.occultus for firewood (Cuatrecasas 2013, in Collar and Salaman 2013), further drastically reducing the population of this frailejón, which is classified as Critically Endangered on the Colombian Red List (García et al. 2005) and which may be a key food source for O. cyanolaemus.
Conservation and research actions in place
The entire range falls within the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta National Park, but this has not prevented intense pressure on the paramo.
Conservation and research actions needed
Search for any remaining populations of the species. Improve the level of habitat protection within Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta National Park. Seek to supply local people with firewood, in order to avoid further habitat destruction. Monitor the extent and condition of habitat. Raise awareness of the species's plight amongst local people. Encourage sustainable livestock and land management practices.
Collar, N. J.; Salaman, P. 2013. The taxonomic and conservation status of the Oxypogon helmetcrests. Conservación Colombiana 19: 31-38. Available at: http://www.proaves.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/The-taxonomic-and-conservation-status-of-the-Oxypogon-helmetcrests.pdf
García, N., Calderón Saenz, E. & Galeano, G. A. 2005. Frailejones (subtribu Espeletiinae, familia Asteraceae). Libro rojo de plantas de Colombia Vol II. Palmas, frailejones y zamias, pp. 225385. Instituto Alexander-von-Humboldt, Santafé de Bogotá DC.
IUCN. 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2012.1). Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 19 June 2012).
Luna, J. C.; Quevedo, A. 2012. Primera fotografía en su habitat y nuevo avistamiento del Cucarachero de Santa Marta Troglodytes monticola, especie en peligro crítico. Conservacion Colombiana 17: 31-32.
Stotz, D. F.; Fitzpatrick, J. W.; Parker, T. A.; Moskovits, D. K. 1996. Neotropical birds: ecology and conservation. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
Strewe, R.; Navarro, C. 2004. The threatened birds of the río Frío Valley, Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia. Cotinga 22: 47-55.
Todd, W. E. C.; Carriker, M. A. 1922. The birds of the Santa Marta Region of Colombia: a study in altitudinal distribution. Annals of the Carnegie Museum 14.
WWF. 2013. Northern South America: Northern Colombia. Available at: http://worldwildlife.org/ecoregions/nt1007.
Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species
Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Martin, R, Symes, A. & Taylor, J.
BirdLife International (2015) Species factsheet: Oxypogon cyanolaemus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 05/05/2015. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2015) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 05/05/2015.
This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.
To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife
To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.
|Current IUCN Red List category||Critically Endangered|
|Species name author||Salvin & Godman, 1880|
|Population size||50-249 mature individuals|
|Distribution size (breeding/resident)||-|
|Links to further information|
|- Additional Information on this species|