Iquitos Gnatcatcher discovered in 2005

Iquitos Gnatcatcher Polioptila clementsi CRITICALLY ENDANGERED

Iquitos Gnatcatcher

Iquitos Gnatcatcher

A typical gnatcatcher. Largely pale grey with a thin black bill, black eye with a conspicuous broken white eyering, black legs and white corners to the tail. Has a uniformly grey throat and chest, with a white belly, undertail coverts and undertail. Males lack any black on the head, shown in all other species bar one. Similar spp none within the range. Voice can be distinguished from other gnatcatchers by “inverted chevron-shaped” introductory notes to its song, followed by a series of evenly spaced notes delivered at a faster pace. Polioptila clementsi has recently been described from the Reserva Nacional Allpahuayo-Mishana just west of Iquitos, Department of Loreto, Peru. Extensive surveys of available habitat within the reserve have only located 15 pairs. Since its discovery, the species has apparently become more difficult to locate year on year. It appears to be rare or uncommon within white-sand forest with a variable canopy height between 15 and 30 m. Consistently found in tall, humid varillal forest. Available habitat continues to be threatened by clearance for agriculture facilitated by government incentives to encourage colonization of land surrounding Iquitos; and illegal logging of forest within a national reserve, for construction, fuelwood and charcoal. Whitney, Bret M. & Alonso, José Alvarez (2005) A new species of Gnatcatcher from white-sand forests of northern Amazonian Peru, with revision of the Polioptila guianensis complex The Wilson Bulletin Vol. 117 No. 2 pp. 113-127

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