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Santa Marta Bush-tyrant Myiotheretes pernix
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This species has a very small range and is currently known from just one location (although there are likely to be others). Its habitat is declining, and concomitant declines in range and population are suspected. It thus qualifies as Endangered.

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

21 cm. Large rufous-and-brown flycatcher. Dull brown above. Whitish lores. Dusky wings and black tail with outer webs of remiges edged cinnamon (visible in flight). White throat diffusely streaked black. Tinged olive chest. Rest of underparts and underwing-coverts ferruginous. Similar spp. Streak-throated Bush-tyrant M. striaticollis is larger and paler cinnamon-rufous below. Inner webs of remiges edged rufous and tipped black. Breast streaking more striking. Voice A whistled bi-syllabic peeuw

Distribution and population
Myiotheretes pernix occurs on the north slope of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Magdalena, Colombia, where it is localised and uncommon (Hilty and Brown 1986). The only area from which there are recent records is the San Lorenzo ridge, e.g. (Hilty and Brown 1986, G. M. Kirwan in litt. 1998, P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999, Renjifo et al. 2002), although there have been few recent surveys near the two historical eastern localities, or in other parts of its projected range.

Population justification
The total population is placed in the band 1,000-2,499 individuals. This equates to 667-1,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 600-1,700 mature individuals.

Trend justification
A moderate and on-going population decline is suspected, owing to rates of habitat loss.

It is most commonly seen in shrubby forest and second growth borders, along road cuts, and on overgrown hillsides, from 2,100 to 2,900 m altitude. It occurs within forest, at tree gaps or forest edge, making aerial sallies to catch insects (Hilty and Brown 1986, Ridgely and Tudor 1994). Although it has been observed near pine plantations, it has never been seen feeding at such sites (Renjifo et al. 2002).

Only 15% of the original vegetation in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta remains, albeit largely on the north slope where this species occurs (L. M. Renjifo in litt. 1993). The main past and continuing threat is the conversion of forest to marijuana and coca plantations (L. G. Olarte in litt. 1993,  L. M. Renjifo in litt. 1993, J. Fjeldså verbally 2000, L. M. Renjifo verbally 2000), which was compounded by spraying of the slopes with herbicides (L. G. Olarte in litt. 1993, L. M. Renjifo in litt. 1993). It is not known whether this activity is still undertaken by the Colombian authorities (L. M. Renjifo verbally 2000). Less significant threats, which followed human immigration to the area from the 1950s onwards, are agricultural expansion (e.g. coffee at lower altitudes and livestock), logging, burning and afforestation with exotic trees (e.g. pines) (Dinerstein et al. 1995, P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999, Salazar and Strewe undated).

Conservation Actions Underway
The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is protected by two national designations and is an international Biosphere Reserve (IUCN 1992), but this formal legislation has not conserved the massif's ecosystems effectively. Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey its range to better determine its current population and distribution. Research its ecological requirements (Renjifo et al. 2002). Strengthen and improve the conservation measures in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Biosphere Reserve, at least where important populations of this species are found. Work with local communities and regional institutions to identify and prioritise conservation and management strategies (Salazar and Strewe undated).

Dinerstein, E.; Olson, D. M.; Graham, D. J.; Webster, A. L.; Primm, S. A.; Bookbinder, M. P.; Ledec, G. 1995. A conservation assesssment of the terrestrial ecoregions of Latin America and the Caribbean. World Bank, Washington, D.C.

Hilty, S. L.; Brown, W. L. 1986. A guide to the birds of Colombia. Princeton University Press, Princeton.

IUCN. 1992. Protected areas of the world: a review of national systems. International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, U.K.

Renjifo, L. M.; Franco-Maya, A. M.; Amaya-Espinel, J. D.; Kattan, G. H.; López-Lans, B. 2002. Libro rojo de aves de Colombia. Instituto de Investigación de Recursos Biológicos Alexander von Humboldt y Ministerio del Medio Ambiente, Bogot, Colombia.

Ridgely, R. S.; Tudor, G. 1994. The birds of South America. University of Texas Press, Austin, Texas.

Salazar, F.; Strewe, R. undated. Ornithological research and conservation initiatives on the northern slope of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia.

Further web sources of information
Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) species/site profile. This species has been identified as an AZE trigger due to its IUCN Red List status and limited range.

Click here for more information about the Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE)

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
Isherwood, I., Pople, R., Sharpe, C J, Stuart, S., Symes, A.

Fjeldså, J., Kirwan, G., Olarte, L., Renjifo, L., Salaman, P.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Myiotheretes pernix. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016.

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.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Santa Marta bush-tyrant (Myiotheretes pernix) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Endangered
Family Tyrannidae (Tyrant-flycatchers)
Species name author (Bangs, 1899)
Population size 600-1700 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 570 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species