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Rio Orinoco Spinetail Synallaxis beverlyae
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This recently described species is listed as Near Threatened because, although it is only known from fewer than six locations, and thus has a very restricted range, there are no immediate threats that could result in it being uplisted to Critically Endangered or Extinct in a short space of time. There remains a potentially serious threat from dam construction, however, the initiation of which could make the species eligible for a threatened category.

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

Taxonomic note
Synallaxis beverlyae (SACC 2005 + updates) was described as new to science by Hilty and Ascanio (2009).

16 cm. Typical Synallaxis spinetail with rufous cap and shoulders, but otherwise dull, greyish brown plumage with pale underparts and long, pointed, spine-tipped tail feathers (Hilty and Ascanio 2009). Sexes similar. Similar spp. Compared with S. albescens trinitatis, S. beverlyae has a slightly longer, thinner bill; the forehead, head sides and neck are paler and greyer, and the pale supercilium is more prominent. The rufous colour of the crown and shoulders is of a slightly lighter hue and the rufous on the shoulders is generally less extensive. The underparts are whiter and the breast and sides have a greyish tinge. The belly and crissum are paler. Iris colour usually paler. Voice A repeated series of notes (c.6-9, sometimes 3) with the first in each series emphasised, thus producing a syncopation. Also a harsh rattle and single loud note when agitated (Hilty and Ascanio 2009).

Distribution and population
Synallaxis beverlyae was discovered in 1998 on a small island in the Río Orinoco in south-western Venezuela (Hilty and Ascanio 2009). The species has since been found on other islands and banks of the main channel of the Río Orinoco in Venezuela (Hilty and Ascanio 2009) and Colombia (Donegan et al. 2010). The type locality is c.22 km south of Puerto Ayacucho, with the species subsequently being found on at least two islands in the delta of the Río Orinoco (Hilty and Ascanio 2009) and reported from the Colombian side of the river (Donegan et al. 2010). The species is suspected to occur on other islands between the currently known locations.

Population justification
The species's population has not been quantified and further study is required.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of any serious and immediate threats.

The species is so far only known to inhabit successional vegetation on permanent and semi-permanent river islands (Hilty and Ascanio 2009). The vegetation on such islands typically consists of some taller and stunted trees with dense woody and herbaceous shrubs and vines, and in some cases tall grass. It forages at ground level up to c.3 m (Hilty and Ascanio 2009).

There are currently no known major threats to the species, although its habitat is likely to be affected by subsistence-level cultivation on river islands during low-water seasons, as well as the localised clearance of vegetation to accommodate increasing tourism to sandy islands (Hilty and Ascanio 2009). Dams, such as that on the Caño Mánamo, change water flow; however, research is required to document the effects of such changes on river islands and their ecology (Hilty and Ascanio 2009).

Conservation Actions Underway
No targeted actions are known for this species. Conservation Actions Proposed
Search for the species on suitable river islands between the known locations. Carry out surveys to obtain a population estimate. Monitor population trends. Monitor the condition of suitable habitat in its potential range. Designate occupied islands as protected areas. Put forward best practice guidelines to limit the impact of tourism on unprotected islands. Study the effects of changes in water flow caused by dams.

Donegan, T.; Salaman, P.; Caro, D.; McMullan, M. 2010. Revision of the status of bird species occurring in Colombia 2010. Conservación Colombiana 13: 25-54.

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.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Synallaxis beverlyae. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016.

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 Furnariidae (Ovenbirds)
Species name author Hilty and Ascanio, 2009
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Stable
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 58 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species