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Brown-banded Antpitta Grallaria milleri

This species was known from very few locations within a very small range in which habitat loss and degradation are continuing, and therefore qualified as Endangered. However, a remapping of the species' range to incorporate new data has greatly increased the estimated Extent of Occurrence and population. Nevertheless, it still has a small range and population, and continues to suffer from habitat loss that is likely to be causing population declines. It is thus downlisted to Vulnerable.

Taxonomic source(s)
SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at:
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.
Stotz, D. F.; Fitzpatrick, J. W.; Parker, T. A.; Moskovits, D. K. 1996. Neotropical birds: ecology and conservation. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

18 cm. Medium to large antpitta with breast-band. Uniform dark brown with dingy white lores, throat and belly, forming broad, brown breast-band. Similar spp. Tawny Antpitta G. quitensis is ochraceous-buff below, with paler mottling and no breast-band. Voice Territorial and alarm call a loud, whistled wooee rising slightly. Infrequently-heard soft whistle puuh, pü-pü, with third note higher.

Distribution and population
Grallaria milleri occurs in the Volcán Ruíz-Tolima massif of the Central Andes, Colombia, (Caldas, Risaralda, Quindío and Tolima). Ten specimens were collected in Caldas and Quindío between 1911 and 1942. It was next recorded in May 1994, in Ucumarí Regional Park, Risaralda (Kattan and Beltrán 1997). Surveys carried out in 1994-1997 caught and banded 11 birds, and estimated that 106 individuals were present in a 0.63 km2 area (Kattan and Beltrán 1997, Kattan and Beltrán 1999). Further observations have been made on the south-east slope of Volcán Tolima in the río Toche valley during 1998-2000, where it is considered uncommon and local (López-Lanús et al. 2000, B. López-Lanús in litt. 2000, P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999, 2000, Renjifo et al. 2002). In 1999 and 2000, it was also found in the río Blanco catchment (Caldas) and near Roncesvalles (Tolima) (Renjifo et al. 2002). A misidentified Grallaria specimen taken at Santa Elena, 8km east of Medellín, Antioquia in 1878 has provisionally been described as a new subspecies, G. m. gilesi (Salaman et al. 2009). Its type locality is 140 km north of the nearest occurrence of G. m. milleri and no longer appears to have habitat to support a population (Salaman et al. 2009). Recent surveys suggest the subspecies is likely to be extinct (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 2011).

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 2,500-9,999 individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. This estimate is equivalent to 1,667-6,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 1,500-7,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
A slow and ongoing population decline is suspected, owing to rates of habitat loss.

In Ucumarí, it has been recorded from three types of habitat: early secondary growth vegetation with a high density of herbs and shrubs; the understorey of 30-year-old alder (Alnus) plantations; and the understorey of 30-year-old secondary forest (Kattan and Beltrán 1997), with no significant difference in population density between the three. Primary forest in Ucumarí is inaccessible (Kattan and Beltrán 1999). The ten historical specimens were taken at 2,745-3,140 m and, in the Toche valley, it occurs at 1,800-2,600 m (López-Lanús et al. 2000, P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999, 2000). In Ucumarí, all records in 1994-1997 were in a narrow elevational band of 2,400-2,600 m (Kattan and Beltrán 1997, Kattan and Beltrán 1999). A radio-tracked individual in Ucumarí used a territory of 4.1 ha (Kattan and Beltrán 2002). Vocal activity apparently peaks in May-June in the Toche valley (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999, 2000).

Most forest below 3,300 m in the Central Andes has long been converted to agricultural land-use. In the Toche valley, this has primarily taken place since the 1950s, mostly for coffee plantations, potatoes, beans and cattle-grazing (López-Lanús et al. 2000, P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999, 2000). Some forest clearance continues and mature secondary forest patches are now scattered. Natural vegetation cover is judged to have been reduced to c.15% between 1,900 and 3,200 m, with most remnants occurring above 2,200 m (López-Lanús et al. 2000, P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999, 2000). Searches for G. m. gilesi in remnant forests have so far failed, suggesting that this taxon may already be extinct (Salaman et al. 2009).

Conservation Actions Underway
Significant numbers are well protected in Ucumarí Regional Park, Risaralda (Kattan and Beltrán 1997). There are several protected areas adjacent to Ucumarí, but it has not been recorded within them (Wege and Long 1995). In the Toche valley, it occurs in La Carbonera, a small private nature reserve (Renjifo et al. 2002). Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct additional surveys of the Volcán Ruíz-Tolima massif and adjacent areas of the Central Andes. Protect suitable habitat in the Toche valley (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999, 2000).

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.

Kattan, G. H.; Beltrán, J. W. 1997. Rediscovery and status of the Brown-banded Antpitta Grallaria milleri in the central Andes of Colombia. Bird Conservation International 7: 367-371.

Kattan, G. H.; Beltrán, J. W. 1999. Altitudinal distribution, habitat use, and abundance of Grallaria antpittas in the Central Andes of Colombia. Bird Conservation International 9: 271-281.

Kattan, G. H.; Beltrán, J. W. 2002. Rarity in antpittas: territory size and population density of five Grallaria spp. in a regenerating habitat mosaic in the Andes of Colombia. Bird Conservation International 12: 231-240.

López-Lanús, B.; Salaman, P. G. W.; Cowley, T. P.; Arango, S.; Renjifo, L. M. 2000. The threatened birds of the Río Toche, Cordillera Central, Colombia. Cotinga 14: 17-23.

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.

Salaman, P.; Donegan, T. M.; Prys-Jones, R. 2009. A new subspecies of Brown-banded Antpitta Grallaria milleri from Antioquia, Colombia. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 129(1): 5-17.

Wege, D. C.; Long, A. J. 1995. Key Areas for threatened birds in the Neotropics. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

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.

Recuento detallado de la especie tomado del libro Aves Amenazadas de las Americas, Libro Rojo de BirdLife International (BirdLife International 1992). Nota: la taxonomo

Text account compilers
Isherwood, I., Pople, R., Sharpe, C J, Stuart, T., Symes, A., Khwaja, N.

López-Lanús, B., Salaman, P., Molina-Martínez, Y., Cortes, O., Donegan, T.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Grallaria milleri. Downloaded from on 12/07/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 12/07/2014.

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 - Brown-banded antpitta (Grallaria milleri) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Formicariidae (Antthrushes and antpittas)
Species name author Chapman, 1912
Population size 1500-7000 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 12,400 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species