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Sumichrast's Wren Hylorchilus sumichrasti
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

This species has a small range and a moderately small population. Both its range and population are probably in decline owing to increasing habitat loss and degradation. However, the range is not yet severely fragmented or restricted to few locations. For these reasons, the species is classified as Near Threatened.

Taxonomic source(s)
AOU. 1998. Check-list of North American birds. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Taxonomic note
Hylorchilus sumichrasti (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993) has been split into H. sumichrasti and H. navai following AOU (1998).

Distribution and population
Hylorchilus sumichrasti is restricted to c.12 sites in west-central Veracruz, north Oaxaca and extreme east Puebla, south Mexico, where it is fairly common but local (Howell and Webb 1995, Gómez de Silva 1997). It occupies a limited area of suitable habitat within a small range (Howell and Webb 1995, Whittingham and Atkinson 1996, Gómez de Silva 1997).

Population justification
Partners in Flight estimated the population to number <50,000 individuals (A. Panjabi in litt. 2008); however, this is likely to overestimate the population, thus it is here placed in the band for 10,000-19,999 mature individuals.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in decline owing to on-going habitat destruction and degradation (del Hoyo et al. 2005).

The species inhabits naturally patchy limestone outcrops in steep hilly country covered by lowland evergreen and semi-evergreen forest at elevations of 75-1,000 m (Howell and Webb 1995, Whittingham and Atkinson 1996, Gómez de Silva 1997). It also occurs in shade coffee plantations and adjacent to quarrying operations, and two pairs are known to have had their territories in less than 0.5 ha of habitat, indicating some tolerance of habitat degradation, disturbance and fragmentation (Atkinson et al. 1993, Gómez de Silva 1997). It feeds mostly on invertebrates, but also takes small fruits (del Hoyo et al. 2005). Nest-building has been observed in March, nests with eggs have been found in May, and adults have been recorded feeding fledglings in July and August. Of three known nests, two were in rock crevices and the other in the roof of a cave. The species lays three eggs (del Hoyo et al. 2005).

The forested limestone outcrops inhabited by the species are poor for cultivation compared with the surrounding flatter land and have been spared complete conversion to maize fields and cattle pasture (Stattersfield et al. 1998, M. G. Pérez-Villafaña in litt. 1999). It is more threatened by the expansion of limestone-quarrying, although its habitat is increasingly threatened by encroaching cultivation and cattle ranches (Gómez de Silva 1997). Some habitat has undoubtedly been lost to the extensive Presa Miguel Alemán reservoir in north Oaxaca (Stattersfield et al. 1998). There are no populations within protected areas (Pérez-Villafaña et al. 2003), and given its relatively narrow ecological tolerance, this could be a cause for concern.

Conservation Actions Underway
No targeted conservation action is known for this species. Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys to assess its population size. Monitor population trends through regular surveys. Monitor rates of habitat loss and degradation. Study the impact of habitat loss and degradation on the species. Work with mining companies and farmers to preserve pockets of suitable habitat. Designate areas of suitable habitat as protected areas.

Atkinson, P. W.; Whittingham, M. J.; Gómez de Silva Garza, H.; Kent, A. M.; Maier, R. T. 1993. Notes on the ecology, conservation and taxonomic status of Hylorchilus wrens. Bird Conservation International 3: 75-85.

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.

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Christie, D. 2005. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 10: Cuckoo-shrikes to Thrushes. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Gómez de Silva, H. 1997. Comparative analysis of the vocalizations of Hylorchilus wrens. Condor 99: 981-984.

Howell, S. N. G.; Webb, S. 1995. A guide to the birds of Mexico and northern Central America. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Stattersfield, A. J.; Crosby, M. J.; Long, A. J.; Wege, D. C. 1998. Endemic bird areas of the world: priorities for bird conservation. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

Villafaña, M. P.; de Silva, H. G.; De Sucre Medrano, A. 2003. Observations of Sumichrast's Wren Hylorchilus sumichrasti in the Cerro de Oro, Oaxaca, Mexico. Cotinga 19: 56-58.

Whittingham, M. J.; Atkinson, P. W. 1996. A species split in Mexico: Sumichrast's and Nava's Wren Hylorchilus sumichrasti and H. navai. Cotinga: 20-22.

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
O'Brien, A., Sharpe, C J, Taylor, J.

Pérez-Villafaña, M., Vidal, R.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Hylorchilus sumichrasti. 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 Troglodytidae (Wrens)
Species name author (Lawrence, 1871)
Population size 10000-19999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 5,800 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species