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Rufous-necked Foliage-gleaner Syndactyla ruficollis
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species's range is small, severely fragmented and declining rapidly (Collar et al. 1992, Best et al. 1993). It is therefore listed as Vulnerable.

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

Automolus ruficollis Collar and Andrew (1988), Automolus ruficollis Stotz et al. (1996)

18 cm. Pale, buff-and-rufous furnariid. Brown-rufous crown grades into cinnamon-rufous upperparts. Rufescent wings, bright rufous tail. Buffy-rufous eyebrow and dusky neck sides and eye-stripe. Grey ear-coverts and area below eye, with whitish markings. Cinnamon-buff throat, brighter on sides. Rest of underparts olive-brown, with irregular buffy streaking on breast. Voice Song a series of harsh, nasal notes that start slowly and speed up. Sharp ank call.

Distribution and population
Syndactyla ruficollis occurs on the foothills and slopes of the west Andes in south-west Ecuador (El Oro and Loja) and north-west Peru (Tumbes, Piura, Lambayeque and Cajamarca). Although generally common at some sites, e.g. El Tundo Nature Reserve (Jiggins et al. 1999) and forest patches around Celica, Ecuador, the population has probably declined substantially in recent decades, owing to loss of suitable habitat from a large proportion of its already naturally restricted range (Ridgely and Tudor 1994).

Population justification
The population size is preliminarily estimated to fall into the band 10,000-19,999 individuals. This equates to 6,667-13,333 mature individuals, rounded here to 6,000-15,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
This species's population is suspected to be declining rapidly, in line with rates of habitat loss within its range.

It inhabits evergreen, semi-deciduous and deciduous forests at 400-2,900 m, being most abundant above 1,600 m. It tolerates considerable forest disturbance, tending to forage alone or in pairs (occasionally small groups), often with mixed-species flocks. In Bosque de Cuyas, Peru, it occurs in secondary growth as well as pristine forest (Vellinga et al. 2004). It generally keeps high in trees, foraging on large branches and probing bases of bromeliads and ferns, but is also occasionally recorded flicking leaves on forest floor. The nest is unknown, but breeding is thought to take place during the wet season, in January-May.

Below 900 m, the rate of deforestation in west Ecuador in 1958-1988 was 57% per decade (Dodson and Gentry 1991). Significant habitat loss is ongoing, at least in unprotected areas, and will soon remove almost all remaining lowland forest unless effective action is taken urgently. Intense trampling and grazing of extant forest by goats and cattle prevent tree regeneration, especially in deciduous forest. At higher elevations within its range, rates of habitat destruction in most areas are not as great, but logging, agricultural conversion and plantations are replacing and degrading forest (Dodson and Gentry 1991, Jiggins et al. 1999) and habitat loss remains high at higher elevations in areas such as Celica, Alamor and Catacocha (J. Freile in litt. 2008). Cutting of bamboo for pack-animal food is also a problem.

Conservation Actions Underway
Populations are protected within the small El Tundo Nature Reserve (c.1.5 km2) where it is common (Jiggins et al. 1999) and the adjacent 8,000 ha Jatumpamba-Jorupe Protected Forest (J. Freile in litt. 2008), near Sozoranga; and the small Utuana reserve, Loja, Ecuador (J. Freile in litt. 2008). It also occurs in two protected areas in Peru: Chiñama Forest, Lambayeque, and Tumbes Reserved Zone (now part of Northwest Peru Biosphere Reserve) (Best and Kessler 1995), which lies at the lower end of its elevational range, and where it is uncommon or rare (Parker et al. 1995). Conservation Actions Proposed
Protect some remaining highland forest in west Loja. Secure continued protection of Chiñama Forest. Survey its population and range.

Best, B. J.; Clarke, C. T.; Checker, M.; Broom, A. L.; Thewlis, R. M.; Duckworth, W.; McNab, A. 1993. Distributional records, natural history notes, and conservation of some poorly known birds from southwestern Ecuador and northwestern Peru. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 113: 108-109, 234-255.

Best, B. J.; Kessler, M. 1995. Biodiversity and conservation in Tumbesian Ecuador and Peru. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

Collar, N. J.; Gonzaga, L. P.; Krabbe, N.; Madroño Nieto, A.; Naranjo, L. G.; Parker, T. A.; Wege, D. C. 1992. Threatened birds of the Americas: the ICBP/IUCN Red Data Book. International Council for Bird Preservation, Cambridge, U.K.

Dodson, C. H.; Gentry, A. H. 1991. Biological extinction in western Ecuador. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 78: 273-295.

Jiggins, C. D.; Andrade, P.; Cueva, E.; Dixon, S.; Isherwood, I.; Willis, J. 1999. The conservation of three forests in south west Ecuador: Reserva Natural El Tundo, Hacienda Jujal and Tambo Negro.

Parker, T. A.; Schulenberg, T. S.; Kessler, M.; Wust, W. H. 1995. Natural history and conservation of the endemic avifauna in north-west Peru. Bird Conservation International 5: 201-231.

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

Vellinga, W. P.; Flanagan, J.N.M.; Mark, T. R. 2004. Rufous-Necked Foliage-Gleaner Syndactyla ruficollis. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 124: 129.

Further web sources of information
Detailed species account from the Threatened birds of the Americas: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 1992). Please note taxonomic treatment and IUCN Red List category may have changed since publication.

Detailed species account from the Threatened birds of the Americas: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 1992). Please note, taxonomic treatment and IUCN Red List category may have changed since publication.

Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Recuento detallado de la especie tomado del libro Aves Amenazadas de las Americas, Libro Rojo de BirdLife International (BirdLife International 1992). Nota: la taxonomoía y la categoría de la Lista Roja de la UICN pudo haber cambiado desde esta publicación.

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, Symes, A.

Freile, J.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Syndactyla ruficollis. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016.

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

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Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Furnariidae (Ovenbirds)
Species name author (Taczanowski, 1884)
Population size 1500-7000 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 17,900 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species