email a friend
printable version
Cundinamarca Antpitta Grallaria kaestneri
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information
BirdLife Species Champion Become a BirdLife Preventing Extinctions Programme Supporter
For information about BirdLife Species Champions and Species Guardians visit the BirdLife Preventing Extinctions Programme.

This species is listed as Endangered as it is suffering an ongoing decline in its very small range, in which it is known from just three locations. The suspected decline in its population size is expected to worsen over the next three generations, as pressures on its habitat accelerate.

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

15.5 cm. Medium-sized antpitta with whitish throat and streaked breast. Olive-brown above. Dull white throat with dark mottling. Greyish-olive breast with very narrow, white shaft streaking. Voice Song is three sharp, clear, whistled notes (last occasionally omitted), wirt, wiirt weert. Aggression call is a higher pitched, sharp SEEleee.

Distribution and population
Grallaria kaestneri is restricted to the eastern slope of the east Andes in Cundinamarca, Colombia. It is currently known from south-east of Bogotá, from near Monterredondo, above Guayabetal (M. Alvarez per F. G. Stiles in litt. 1999, T. Mark per P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999, P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999, 2003, O. Cortes-Herrera in litt. 2012) and at Farallones de Medina (O. Cortes-Herrera in litt. 2012), and it presumably ranges into Meta department between these sites. It occurs at reasonably high densities near Monterredondo, and may occur along the eastern slope of the east Andes wherever there are still suitable tracts of forest remaining at appropriate elevations (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999, 2003). Recent surveys found the species to occur at an estimated density of 2-3 birds/ha (Cortes et al. undated).

Population justification
Recent surveys recorded the species at a density of 2-3 birds/km2; estimates based on this data place the population at 500-1,200 individuals (O. Cortes in litt. 2012), roughly equivalent to 330-800 mature individuals.

Trend justification
On-going habitat loss, degradation and disturbance in its range suggest that this species's population has undergone at least a moderate decline over the last 10 years (O. Cortes in litt. 2011). Worsening pressures on the species's habitat could lead to a reduction of c.30% in the species's Extent of Occurrence over the next 10-15 years (Fundación ProAves in press), thus the population is expected to undergo a moderately rapid decline over this period.

It inhabits very wet primary and secondary cloud-forest, at upper subtropical elevations from 1,800-2,300 m (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999, 2003). It is a relatively terrestrial antpitta, preferring dense understorey vegetation below tree gaps (natural or otherwise), where it forages in leaf-litter and on soft ground, mainly for insects, particularly Coleoptera and Orthoptera (O. Cortes-Herrera in litt. 2007), and also spiders and earthworms. It breeds between September and November, during the mid to late rainy season (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999, 2003, O. Cortes in litt. 2012).

There is fairly extensive disturbance of forest at suitable altitudes on the east slope in Cundinamarca, mostly in the form of timber extraction. However, selective logging may even favour the species, in contrast to clear-cutting, which is clearly a threat and has generally occurred up to altitudes of 1,500-2,000 m on the east slope (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999, 2003). It has been noted that the species occurs in areas regenerating after landslides (Fundación ProAves in press). Clearance for agriculture and grazing by goats are threats in some areas (O. Cortes-Herrera in litt. 2007). Near the type-locality, large areas of primary forest remain away from the Monterredondo-El Calvario road, around which logging and scattered pastures reach their most extensive levels. The Farallones de Medina area, previously a stronghold for the species  (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999, 2003), has now been deforested, and recent searches there have not recorded the bird (O. Cortes in litt. 2012).

Conservation Actions Underway
The species was recently the focus of a project supported by the Conservation Leadership Programme, which looked at its abundance, distribution and habitat use (Cortes et al. undated). Some awareness work was also carried out (Anon. 2012). No other targeted actions are known. Conservation Actions Proposed
Search for the species in suitable habitat throughout its range (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999, 2003). Protect habitat in the known range (Stiles 1992), including the relatively intact Farallones de Medina area. Monitor population and study habitat selection in Monterredondo (O. Cortes-Herrera in litt. 2007).

Anon. 2012. Monitoring Cundinamarca Antpitta. Available at: (Accessed: 17/5/2012).

Cortes, O.; Lopez, J. P.; Roa, A. undated. Assessment and conservation of Cundinamarca Antpitta (Grallaria kaestneri) at Farallon de Medina, Cundinamarca.

Stiles, F. G. 1992. A new species of antpitta (Formicariidae: Grallaria) from the Eastern Andes of Colombia. Wilson Bulletin 104: 389-399.

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

View photos and videos and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Harding, M., Isherwood, I., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A., Taylor, J., Khwaja, N.

Alvarez, M., Cortes, O., Mark, T., Salaman, P., Stiles, F.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Grallaria kaestneri. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016.

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 Endangered
Family Formicariidae (Antthrushes and antpittas)
Species name author Stiles, 1992
Population size 330-800 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 450 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species