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Foreign Species | Peruvian and Bolivian Birds
On July 24, 2012, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced a final rule to protect six South American bird species as endangered under the Endangered Species Act, including the ash-breasted tit-tyrant, Junín grebe, Junín rail, Peruvian plantcutter, royal cinclodes, and white-browed tit-spinetail. Two of these species, the ash-breasted tit-tyrant and royal cinclodes, are native to Peru and Bolivia, while the remaining four species occur only in Peru.
The Service has determined that listing the ash-breasted tit-tyrant as endangered under the Endangered Species Act is warranted. The ash-breasted tit-tyrant, locally known as “torito pechicenizo,” is a small New World tyrant flycatcher in the Tyrannidae family that is native to high-altitude woodlands of the Bolivian and Peruvian Andes. The species has experienced a population decline of between 10 and 19 percent in the past 10 years, and this rate of decline is predicted to continue. Based on the best available information, the total population of the ash-breasted tit-tyrant is believed to be between 250-999 individuals.
The Service has determined that listing as endangered is warranted for this highly endemic flight-impaired water bird. This species is part of the Podicipedidae family, and is found in only one lake in Peru. It has a slim long neck; a pointed head with dark feathers on its back, a white throat, and mottled, dusky-colored under parts. The Junín grebe is distinguished by its slender gray bill, red iris, and dull yellow-orange colored feet. The birds have undergone a severe population decline of 30 to 49 percent in the last 10 years, with extreme population fluctuations during this time due to extreme pollution of its lake and habitat degradation. The current population of the Junín grebe is estimated to be 50–250 individuals.
The Service finds that listing the Junín rail as endangered is warranted. This secretive bird of the Rallidae family is endemic to only Lake Junín in Peru. This species can be recognized by its dark slate-colored head, throat, and under parts. Its belly and vent are black. The characteristic feature of this rail is the heavily barred (black and white) entire upper parts of the body, including its wings and. The species has experienced a population decline of between 10 and 19 percent in the past 10 years. However, rigorous population estimates have not been conducted, and the species’ elusiveness makes it difficult to locate. The population is considered to be declining in close association with continued habitat loss and degradation. The Junín rail population size is estimated to range from 1,000 to 2,499.
The Service finds that listing the Peruvian plantcutter as endangered is warranted. This species, locally known as “cortarrama Peruana,” is a small finch-like bird endemic to the dry forests of coastal northwest Peru. The Peruvian plantcutter has bright yellow eyes, short wings and a rather long tail, and their crown feathers form a slight crest. The Peruvian plantcutter is selective in its habitat preference and requires a variety of arid tree and shrub species with dense low-hanging branches close to the ground. The current range of the Peruvian plantcutter is between 33 and 1,804 feet above sea level. It occurs within the Peruvian regions of Piura, Lambayeque, Cajamarca, La Libertad, and Ancash. The estimated population size is between 500 and 1,000 individuals, and is decreasing.
The Service finds that listing the Royal cincoldes as endangered is warranted. The Royal cinclodes, also known as “churrete real” and “remolinera real,” is a large-billed ovenbird in the Furnaridae family that is native to high-altitude woodlands of the Bolivian and Peruvian Andes. The Royal cinclodes may once have been locally common and distributed across most of central to southern Peru and into the Bolivian highlands. However, now the Royal cinclodes is generally restricted to moist and mossy habitat on steep rocky slopes of semihumid Polylepis or Polylepis-Gynoxys woodlands. The population is estimated to be between 50-249 mature individuals.
The White-browed tit-spinetail has a very small and severely fragmented range and population, which continue to decline in connection with habitat loss and a lack of habitat regeneration. Therefore, the Service finds that listing the species as endangered is warranted. It is a small dark ovenbird in the Furnariidae family and is native to high-altitude woodlands of the Peruvian Andes. The most distinct feature of this species is its black and white checkered throat and dark grey body under parts. The white-browed tit-spinetail occurs in high-elevation, semihumid patches of Polylepis and Polylepis-Gynoxys woodlands in the Andes Mountains of south-central Peru. The population of the White-browed tit-spinetail is between 250 and 999 mature individuals and is declining.
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