Tuesday, December 2, 2014

[Ornithology • 2014] Cichlocolaptes mazarbarnetti | Cryptic Treehunter • A New Species of Cichlocolaptes Reichenbach 1853 (Furnariidae), the ‘gritador-do-nordeste’, an undescribed trace of the fading bird life of northeastern Brazil

Cichlocolaptes mazarbarnetti Barnett & Buzzetti, 2014
Cryptic Treehunter | gritador-do-nordeste


 A new species of treehunter, Cichlocolaptes mazarbarnetti sp. nov., is described from a specimen that for many years had been confused with Philydor novaesi. The morphology of this specimen, collected in 1986 at Pedra Branca, Murici, Alagoas, at 550 m elevation (currently the Murici Ecological Station), suggests its allocation in the genus Cichlocolaptes. The new species differs from P. novaesi by its considerably larger size, heavier body-mass, darker and more uniform forehead and crown, absence of buffy periocular-feathers, and a pale orange-rufous tail that contrasts with the rump and the rest of the dorsal plumage. It also has a flat-crowned appearance and a larger, deeper-based, and generally stouter bill. Behavioral specialization on bromeliads and vocal repertoire also suggest that the new species belongs in the genus Cichlocolaptes. The song of this species is markedly different from that of P. novaesi, and it closely matches that of Cichlocolaptes leucophrus. The new species is endemic to the ‘Pernambuco Center’ of endemism, where it inhabits dense, humid forests in hilly terrain. It is known from only two localities in northeastern Brazil, one each in the states of Alagoas and Pernambuco. Taken together, these areas contain less than 3,000 ha of suitable habitat for the species, where we estimate the population during our studies to have numbered no more than 10 individuals. We propose that this species should be categorized as Critically Endangered at a national and global level, and we consider the situation of its conservation to be critical in that it will require urgent action to avoid its global extinction.

Key Words: Atlantic Forest, Conservation, Ovenbirds, Philydor, Taxonomy, Treehunter.

Cichlocolaptes mazarbarnetti sp. nov.
Cryptic Treehunter | gritador-do-nordeste

Etymology: The second author dedicates the name of the new species to the first author, a good friend and colleague who suddenly passed away before this manuscript was finished, in recognition of his important contributions to the conservation of the Atlantic Forest in northeastern Brazil and its declining avifauna. For the English name we propose Cryptic Treehunter because it is difficult to find and, particularly, to separate from Philydor novaesi in the field. We propose naming this species gritador-do-nordeste in Portuguese. ‘Gritador’ (meaning ‘screamer’) is an apt name given the loudness of its vocalizations, but it also represents a figure in Brazilian folklore. The story of the ‘Gritador’ is that of two brothers who went hunting and one accidentally shot the other. In desperation, he shot himself, and now his soul sometimes can be heard as it wanders through the forest in the top of the hills, screaming in pain while searching for his brother. A parallel can be drawn with the story of the ‘Gritador’, as C. mazarbarnetti can be heard ‘screaming’ while wandering through the hilltop forest searching in vain for his ‘brothers’, in this case due to the scarcity of the species.

Juan Mazar Barnett & Dante Renato Corrêa Buzzetti. 2014. A New Species of Cichlocolaptes Reichenbach 1853 (Furnariidae), the ‘gritador-do-nordeste’, an undescribed trace of the fading bird life of northeastern Brazil. Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia. 22 (2), 75-94

Glauco Alves Pereira; Sidnei de Melo Dantas; Luís Fábio Silveira; Sônia Aline Roda; Ciro Albano; Frederico Acaz Sonntag; Sergio Leal; Mauricio Cabral Periquito; Gustavo Bernardino Malacco and Alexander Charles Lees. 2014. Status of the globally threatened forest birds of northeast Brazil. Pap. Avulsos Zool. (São Paulo). 54(14)