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Diamantina Tapaculo Scytalopus diamantinensis
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species is listed as Near Threatened because it occupies a moderately small range in which the area, extent and quality of suitable habitat are in decline. Further improvements in our knowledge of the species's range and the threats affecting it could have implications for its Red List category.

Taxonomic source(s)
SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #

Taxonomic note
Scytalopus diamantinensis was described as new to science by Bornschein, Maurício, Belmonte-Lopes, Mata and Bonatto (2007) and is given specific status following SACC (2008).

13cm. This species is typical of the genus Scytalopus, being small, predominantly grey in colouration, with a relatively short tail. Males have blackish grey crown, nape, upper neck and back, with some brown and black barring on the blackish grey rump and uppertail coverts. Chin light grey; throat and breast slightly darker grey. Belly medium grey, becoming paler to whitish in the centre of the lower belly. Flanks and extreme lower belly brown to cinnamon, barred blackish. Undertail coverts barred blackish and cinnamon. Iris dark brown. Bill black, with some brown areas. Legs and feet brown with yellowish-brown undersides to the toes. The upperparts are washed dark brownish olive and the belly is slightly paler in subadult males, with some variation in barring. A presumed subadult female had brownish upperparts and cinnamon rump, the feathers having blackish edges and central dots; throat grey and upper breast washed buffy. Voice/Similar spp It utters a tcheep call, which is distinctive among its congeners. Its song is generally faster-paced and lower-pitched compared to congeners, although with some overlap, and its accelerating song is slower paced compared with closely related species.

Distribution and population
Scytalopus diamantinensis was described following fieldwork, conducted in 2006, and subsequent analyses of specimens, vocalisations and mitochondrial DNA (Bornschein et al. 2007). It is known only from the Chapada Diamantina, Bahia, Brazil (Bornschein et al. 2007).

Population justification
The population size has not been quantified and further research is required.

Trend justification
The species's population is suspected to be in decline owing to the continued loss and degradation of its forest habitat, as driven by the expansion and shifting of agriculture, charcoal production and use of fires in pasture management (Bornschein et al. 2007).

The species inhabits both mature forest and secondary growth (capoeira), on terrain varying from steep to almost flat, at 850-1,600 m (Bornschein et al. 2007). It is often found in low capoeira dominated by the fern Pteridium aquilinum. It may infrequently visit adjacent shrubby campo rupestre vegetation. It favours patches of dense vegetation such as bamboo stands, masses of dead fern leaves and fallen stems. The species has been observed to move around at ground level and in the lower vegetation strata, up to 2 m above the ground (Bornschein et al. 2007).

Its habitat is threatened by clearance for agriculture, primarily the cultivation of coffee and bananas, as well as cutting for both subsistence and industrial scale charcoal production and frequent wildfires originally set to improve pasture or clear vegetation for shifting agriculture (Bornschein et al. 2007, R. Belmonte-Lopes and M. R. Bornschein in litt. 2009). The remaining forest fragments in the Chapada Diamantina are described as very disturbed. Large-scale governmental projects and unsustainable ecotourism are also listed as threats (Bornschein et al. 2007). The species's ability to persist in both young and old secondary growth, including regenerating logged forest (Bornschein et al. 2007) indicates some tolerance of habitat degradation and disturbance.

Conservation Actions Underway
The species's range is partly protected by Chapada Diamantina National Park, Marimbu/Iraquara State Environmental Protection Area, and possibly Morro do Chapu State Park. Forest clearance is reported to be ongoing in the national park (Bornschein et al. 2007). Conservation Actions Proposed
Carry out surveys to find new locations and obtain a population estimate. Monitor population trends. Monitor the extent and condition of suitable habitat. Promote sustainable ecotourism practices. Protect more forest fragments in the species's known range, perhaps partly through encouragement of private reserve designation (Bornschein et al. 2007). Provide alternatives to local people to reduce pressure on habitats.

Bornschein, M. R.; Maurício, G. N.; Belmonte-Lopes, R.; Mata, H.; Bonatto, S. L. 2007. Diamantina Tapaculo, a new Scytalopus endemic to the Chapada Diamantina, northeastern Brazil (Passeriformes: Rhinocryptidae). Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 15(2): 151-174.

Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Sharpe, C J, Taylor, J.

Belmonte-Lopes, R., Bornschein, M.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Scytalopus diamantinensis. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016.

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.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Near Threatened
Family Rhinocryptidae (Tapaculos)
Species name author Bornschein, Maurício, Belmonte-Lopes et al., 2007
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 21,200 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species