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Venezuelan Flowerpiercer Diglossa venezuelensis
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This species has a very small range at a minimum of three locations. Significant areas of habitat remain, but it is presumably declining in response to changing agricultural practices and conversion of habitat, especially to shade coffee plantations. It is therefore listed as Endangered.

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

13.5 cm. Dull black flowerpiercer. Male black with small white tuft on flanks. Female olive-brown above with yellowish-olive head and buffy-brown below. Upcurved, hook-tipped bill. Similar spp. Only sympatric Diglossa is Rusty Flowerpiercer D. sittoides. Female similar, but smaller and lacks white on flanks.

Distribution and population
Diglossa venezuelensis is restricted to two mountainous areas in north-east Venezuela: the Turimiquire Massif (both the Serranía de Turimiquire west of the San Antonio valley, and the Cordillera de Caripe to the east) on the borders of Anzoátegui, Monagas and Sucre, and the westernmost Paria Peninsula, Sucre. Collections from the 1920s and 1930s suggest that it was once not uncommon, but there have been relatively few records since. Systematic surveys on Cerro Humo in 1990-1991 (C. J. Sharpe in litt. 1992) and 1994 (Evans et al. 1994) failed to find the species, although it has been seen on Cerro Humo sporadically since then (C. J. Sharpe in litt. 2011); it has never been recorded elsewhere on the peninsula. Searches in the Cordillera de Caripe during the same period also proved fruitless (Colvee 1999). Since the 1990s it has only been recorded on five mountains: cerros El Guamal and Quiriquire ("Piedra 'e Mole'") in the in the Serranía de Turimiquire (Azpúrua 2007), Cerro Negro and Cumbres de San Bonifacio in the Cordillera de Caripe (Boesman and Curson 1995, Azpúrua 2007) and cerro de Humo on the Paria Peninsula (C. J. Sharpe 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 comparison of historical collection data with that obtained over the past few decades suggests that the population is decreasing (Sharpe 2008). An on-going population decline of 10-19% over ten years is suspected owing to rates of habitat loss and fragmentation.

It inhabits montane, evergreen forest edge, secondary forest and second growth scrub (Boesman and Curson 1995), at elevations of 1,525-2,450 m on the Cordillera de Caripe, and c.885 m on the Paria Peninsula. It may have specialised habitat requirements, associating with the ecotone between Clusia-dominated forest and herbaceous vegetation, which would explain its apparently restricted distribution on Cerro Negro. It may undertake some seasonal movements (J. Pérez-Emán in litt. 2012).

There has been widespread clearance for agriculture and pasture in the Cordillera de Caripe, resulting in extensive degradation of forest. Even in El Guácharo National Park there is clearance, repeated burning and understorey removal for coffee (Boesman and Curson 1995). The slopes of Cerro Negro are largely bare, with the more obvious forest patches actually shade-coffee plantations (Boesman and Curson 1995). There is conversion to coffee, mango, banana and citrus plantations in the Turimiquire Massif, but extensive forest areas remain (Colvee 1999, Sharpe in litt. 2011). On Cerro Humo, increases in cash-crop agriculture since the mid- to late 1980s has resulted in uncontrolled burning and forest degradation. A proposed gas pipeline on the Paria Peninsula could have disastrous consequences for the species's habitat (C. J. Sharpe in litt. 2003). A new paved road from Güiria to Macuro will almost certainly lead to increased habitat clearance (C. J. Sharpe in litt. 2003).

Conservation Actions Underway
It is formally protected by Paria Peninsula and El Guácharo National Parks. The latter was recently expanded to include a further 500 km2 of largely undisturbed forest (Gabaldón 1992). A programme of research into basic ecology and conservation needs is being carried out at the Central University of Venezuela (C. J. Sharpe in litt. 2011). It is likewise considered nationally Endangered in Venezuela (Sharpe 2008).Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey El Guácharo National Park, Cumbres de San Bonifacio, Serranía de Turumiquire and Cerro Humo to assess its precise distribution and estimate populations (Rodríguez and Rojas-Suárez 1995, Sharpe 2008). Assess its habitat requirements and tolerance to degradation and disturbance (Rodríguez and Rojas-Suárez 1995, Sharpe 2008). Increase the area of suitable habitats that have protected status, particularly in the Turimiquire Massif (C. J. Sharpe in litt. 2011).

Anon. 2007. Grey-headed Warbler and Venezuelan Flowerpiercer. Cotinga 27: 11.

Azpúrua, C. 2007. Distribución y hábitat de Basileuterus griseiceps y Diglossa venezuelensis, dos especies endémicas y amenazadas de la Cordillera Oriental de Venezuela. Report to Neotropical Bird Club Conservation Award. Caracas, Venezuela.

Boesman, P.; Curson, J. 1995. Grey-headed Warbler Basileuterus griseiceps in danger of extinction? Cotinga: 35-39.

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.

Colvee, J. N. 1999. Observaciones preliminares sobre el estado actual del hábitat de cuatro especies de aves en la Serranía de Turimiquire, Edos. Monagas, Anzoátegui y Sucre de Venezuela.

Evans, K.; King, R.; Calvert, N.; Brunton, D.; Jolles, A. 1994. Paria Peninsula `94: Final Report. An Oxford University Ornithological Expedition to Venezuela.

Gabaldón, M. 1992. Parques Nacionales de Venezuela. Parques Nacionales y Conservación Ambiental, Caracas, Venezuela.

Rodríguez, J. P.; Rojas-Suárez, F. 1995. Libro Rojo de la fauna Venezolana. Provita, Caracas.

Sharpe, C.J. 2008. Aves. In: Rodríguez, J.P. & Rojas-Suárez, F. (ed.), Libro Rojo de la fauna Venezolana, 3rd edition, pp. 122-157. Provita & Shell Venezuela, S.A.,, Caracas, Venezuela.

Sharpe, C.J. 2008. Diglosa negra Diglossa venezuelensis. In: Rodríguez, J.P. and Rojas-Suárez, F. (eds), Libro Rojo de la fauna Venezolana. Tercera Edición, pp. 155. Provita & Shell Venezuela, S.A., Caracas, Venezuela.

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)

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
Capper, D., Pople, R., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A.

Sharpe, C J, Pérez-Emán, J.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Diglossa venezuelensis. 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.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Venezuelan flowerpiercer (Diglossa venezuelensis)

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Endangered
Family Thraupidae (Tanagers)
Species name author Chapman, 1925
Population size 1500-7000 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 920 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species