Rio Orinoco Spinetail Synallaxis beverlyae is a newly-described species occurring on islands in the Rio Orinoco in Venezuela, where it has been found in river island scrub at three localities (SACC 2010, Hilty & Ascanio 2009).
Threats to the species appear to be minor at present, but the known and presumed range of the species (suitable river islands from the type locality in SW Venezuela to the Orinoco delta) is small. Immediate threats include clearance for subsistence agriculture on river islands during low-water periods, and locally clearance of sandy islands for tourism (Hilty & Ascanio 2009). There are currently no dams above the Orinoco delta but any such alterations to the natural flow of the river could have a major impact on the species. Although the known range of this species is currently very small, the large distance between the type locality and those at the southern edge of the Orinoco delta suggests it may be unlikely that the whole population would be likely to suffer extremely rapid declines owing to future dam construction. It is therefore proposed that the species is listed as Near Threatened (almost meeting criterion D2).
Comments on this proposed classification and the extent of potential threats to this species are welcomed.
Hilty, S. L. & Ascanio, D. (2009) A new species of spinetail (Furnariidae: Synallaxis) from the Río Orinoco of Venezuela. Auk 126: 485−492
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