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Tamaulipas Pygmy-owl Glaucidium sanchezi

This species has been uplisted to Near Threatened as it almost meets the requirements for listing as threatened under criterion B1ab(ii,iii,iv,v). Remapping of the species's range has resulted in a smaller extent of occurrence (EOO) than was previously thought. Habitat loss owing to logging is thought to be causing a decline in area of occupancy (AOO) and area, extent and/or quality of habitat and a suspected ongoing population decline. Should new evidence suggest that the population is severely fragmented or the species is known from 10 locations or less it would warrant uplisting to Vulnerable.

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.

Taxonomic note
Glaucidium minutissimum (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993) has been split into G. minutissimum and G. parkeri following SACC (2005), and G. griseiceps, G. sanchezi and G. palmarum following AOU (1998).

Distribution and population
This species is found in montane forest in three states in north-east Mexico: south Tamaulipas, south-east San Luis Potosí and the extreme north of Hidalgo (Holt et al. 1999).

Population justification
Partners in Flight estimated the population to number fewer than 50,000 individuals (A. Panjabi in litt. 2008), thus it is placed in the band 20,000-49,999 individuals here.

Trend justification
Habitat loss through logging is known to occur within the species's range (König and Weick 2008). The population is therefore suspected to be declining. Pronatura (2012) estimates the population has declined by 15-49% in 30 years. Further research is needed to confirm the magnitude of the declines.

The species inhabits subtropical, humid evergreen and semi-deciduous forest, pine-evergreen forest and typically cloud forest (Holt et al. 1999). It nests in holes in trees, especially old woodpecker nest sites.

Logging operations within the species's range are thought to be the principal threat to the species.

Conservation and Research Actions Underway
No targeted conservation actions are known for this species.

Conservation and Research Actions Proposed
Implement monitoring to establish population trends. Research extent of habitat loss within the species's range. Carry out surveys to establish whether the species is found in 10 locations or less.

Holt, D.W., Berkley, R., Deppe, C., Enríquez Rocha, P., Petersen, J.L., Rangel Salazar, J.L., Segars, K.P. and Wood, K.L. 1999. Tamaulipas Pygmy-owl (Glaucidium sanchezi). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. and de Juana, E. (eds), Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive, Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.

IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. Available at: (Accessed: 19 November 2015).

Pronatura. 2012. Actualización de las especies de aves globalmente amenazadas para la Lista Roja 2012. Capítulo México. Pronatura and BirdLife International.

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
Ashpole, J, Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Symes, A. & Taylor, J.


IUCN Red List evaluators
Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2015) Species factsheet: Glaucidium sanchezi. Downloaded from on 29/11/2015. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2015) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 29/11/2015.

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 Strigidae (Typical Owls)
Species name author Lowery & Newman, 1949
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 19,300 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species