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Orinoco Softtail Thripophaga cherriei
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species is only known from the type-locality. Shifting agriculture is practised in this general area, but is probably not currently impacting on the known population (Collar et al. 1992). This combination of a very small range and some potential threat qualifies it as Vulnerable.

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

Taxonomic note
Lentino et al. 2007

18 cm. Brown, streaked furnariid. Rufous-brown upperparts, richest on wings and tail. Faint buff-white supercilium. Orange chin patch. Rest of underparts olive-brown with numerous narrow, buffy-white streaks. Similar spp. Speckled Spinetail Cranioleuca gutturata has chestnut crown, pale breast with dusky spots and lacks orange chin patch. Voice Undescribed.

Distribution and population
Thripophaga cherriei was known from just six specimens taken in 1899 and 1970, and observations since 1999 of up to three individuals (Colvee 2000, D. Willis in litt. 2003), all along the caño Capuana, a low-lying affluent of the upper río Orinoco in Venezuela. In 2007, a survey of the area found it to be common along the caños Capuana, Guacharaca and Grulla as well as along the nearby río Orinoco (Lentino et al. 2007). There is also a possible historic record from Junglaven on the río Ventuari, but there have been no further records at this site (D. Willis in litt. 2006). There are no other records despite surveys in adjacent areas (Colvee 2000). It could occur over a much larger area as its habitat appears to be widespread, but if this is the case it is perhaps surprising that its loud call has not led to its discovery elsewhere.

Population justification
The population size is preliminarily estimated to fall into the band 250-999 mature individuals. This equates to 375-1,499 individuals in total, rounded here to 350-1,500 individuals. However, it may prove to be much more abundant: in 2007, 25 individuals were recorded along 4 km of creeks (Lentino et al. 2007). 

Trend justification
No data are available to confirm population trends and there have been few recent records. However, a population decline is suspected owing to the loss of habitat through shifting cultivation.

It occurs at c.100 m altitude, in the understorey of riverine and humid forest, adjacent to rivers (Colvee 2000). Territories appear to be small, occupying 30-50 m along a creek (Lentino et al. 2007). It has been found in flooded creek-side forests, as well as riverine scrub (Lentino et al. 2007). Other aspects of its ecology are very poorly known.

The principal threat appears to be loss of habitat through unsustainable, shifting cultivation practices (Colvee 2000).

Conservation Actions Underway
The Sipapo Forest Reserve encompasses its known distribution, but provides little effective protection for riverside habitats (Colvee 2000). Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey to assess its distribution and population size. Assess its ecological requirements. Improve protection of riverine habitats in Sipapo Forest Reserve. Grant protected status to any other occupied sites outside Sipapo Forest Reserve.

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. 2000. In search of the Orinoco Softtail. World Birdwatch 22: 22-23.

Lentino, M.; Peréz Emán, J.; Ascanio, D.; León, J. G.; Nagy, A.; Southall, D. J. 2007. New records of the orinoco softail Thripophaga cherriei in Venezuela. VIII Congreso Ornitología Neotropical. Maturín, Venezuela.

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
Benstead, P., Calvert, R., Clay, R., Isherwood, I., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A.

Sharpe, C J, Willis, D., Lentino, M., Pérez-Emán, J.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Thripophaga cherriei. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016.

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 - Orinoco softtail (Thripophaga cherriei) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Furnariidae (Ovenbirds)
Species name author Berlepsch & Hartert, 1902
Population size 250-999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 10 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species