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Ecología en Bolivia

versión impresa ISSN 1605-2528versión On-line ISSN 2075-5023

Ecología en Bolivia vol.54 no.2 La Paz set. 2019




First record and distribution range extension of Large-billed Antwren, Herpsilochmus longirostris (Birds: Thamnophilidae) for the Pando department and new record for La Paz (Bolivia)


Primer registro y extension de rango de distribution del Tiluchi Piquilargo, Herpsilochmus longirostris (Aves: Thamnophilidae) para el departamento de Pando y nuevo registro para La Paz (Bolivia)



Omar Martínez1,2*, Rolando Salvatierra3, Julián Chao4 & Andrés Szabo5

1Museo Nacional de Historia Natural, Colección Boliviana de Fauna, Universidad Mayor de San Andrés, Casilla 8706, La Paz, Bolivia. Corresponding author:
2Parque Nacional y Área Natural de Manejo Integrado Madidi, San Buenaventura, La Paz, Bolivia.
3Comunidad Puerto Pérez, Rio Madre de Dios, Bolivia.
4Reserva Nacional de Vida Silvestre Amazónica Manuripi, Pando, Bolivia.
5Albergue Ecológico Green Bolivia, Río Heath, Bolivia.

Recibido: 17.01.19, Aceptado: 15.05.19.



The antbirds (Thamnophilidae) are distributed from southern Mexico to northern Argentina (Zimmer & Isler 2003), reaching its greatest diversity in the Amazon with 224 species (Remsen et al. 2016). The Large-billed Antwren (Herpsilochmus longirostris) is mainly found in northeastern and south-central Brazil (Zimmer & Isler 2003), in the states of Tocantins (Dornas 2009), eastern Goias (Scaramuzza et al. 2005), southern to western Parana (Zimmer & Isler 2003), western Sao Paulo (Almeida 1979, Cavarzere & Arantes 2017), Brasilia (Cavalcanti & Abs-Bianchi 2012), Maranhao (Carvalho et al. 2017), as well as Pernambuco, Piauí and Ceara (Nascimento et al. 2000). In Brazil, H. longirostris is considered endemic to the Cerrado (Leite 2006, Dornas 2009, Tufi 2011, Posso et al. 2013, Cavarzere & Arantes 2017), the second largest Brazilian biome with 1.8 million km2 (Silva 1996, Tufi 2011) and is a species of conservation concern in the state of Goias (Scaramuzza et al. 2005).

In Bolivia, 82 species of antbirds occur (Herzog et al. 2016). Here, H. longirostris is only found in gallery forests and flooded savannas of the Beni Department and the Cerrado in the Serranía de Huanchaca in the Parque Nacional Noel (PNN) Kempff-Mercado, north of Santa Cruz (Hennessey et al. 2003, Herzog et al. 2016). The state of knowledge of the species in the La Paz Department is poor. The presence of the species in the department needs to be confirmed, and there is only one historical record made between 1996-1997 in Puerto Moscoso, on the Heath River (Stotz et al. 2002, Hennessey et al. 2003, Herzog et al. 2016). This paper documents the first record of H. longirostris for the Pando department and another new record of the species in the La Paz department, and also describes the habitat of the species and aspects of range extension.

Between 30 October and 25 November 2006, an ornithological study was conducted in the Reserva de Vida Silvestre (RVS) Bruno Racua (Martínez, unpublished), Pando department (Bolivia) (Fig. 1), using five mist nets (12 m-long) and covering five sites (Las Piedritas, Arroyo Yatorana, Arroyo Tambaquicito, Nueva Esperanza and Puerto Abuna). On 17 November 2006, two females of H. longirostris were captured in the Arroyo Tambaquicito (09°55.47'S, 65°20.18'W, 110 m), Federico Roman Province (Fig. 2a, Table 1), in a terra firme forest transitional to várzea forest in a seasonally flooded plain with Lueheopsis, Ocotea and Tachigali plants and Symphonia marshes (Alverson et al. 2003). In terra firme forest trees, with diameters of 1.5 m, reach heights up to 45 m, whereas in the vdrzea forests surveyed the canopy varies between 20 and 30 m in height.



Between July 2007 and May 2010, a biodiversity study was conducted in areas of production of Brazilian-nut (Bertholletia excelsa; Martinez et al. in prep.). Four expeditions were carried out in the Pampas del Heath and Toromonas, La Paz Department (Bolivia), covering four sites (Arroyo Negro, Tacuaral, Green Bolivia and Toromonas) using 10 mist nets (12 m-long) (Fig. 3). On 27 September 2007, a female of H longirostris was captured in Green Bolivia (12°40'48.46"S, 68°42'45.41"W, 210 m), located on the Heath River, La Paz Department, Bolivia. (Fig. 2b, Table 1), in the understory of terra firme forest with an abundance of "patuju" palms (Heliconia sp.). This site is in a transition to the Pampas del Heath with savannas. In Brazil, H. longirostris is found in gallery forests, humid forests and Cerrado, and it is exclusively dependent on these environments for foraging and reproduction (Silva 1997, Tufi 2011). Other habitats also used by this species include dry forests (tropical subdeciduous rainforest) of the domain of "caatingas", plant formations at the edges of the wet bush and the arboreal caatinga (e.g. Anadenanthera carpa, Astronium urundeuva and Thiloa glaucocarpa) (Nascimento et al. 2000). In eastern Bolivia, it has been recorded from the Chiquitano dry forest (Vides-Almonacid et al. 2007). In the PNN Kempff-Mercado it was found in only one (Huanchaca II) of 15 locations studied, where it was recorded in gallery forest and was considered rare (Bates & Parker 1998).

Using the GARP program, a potential distribution map of H. longirostris was generated for the Cerrado biome, where the species has a higher probability of occurrence in the western areas, spreading into the state of Rondonia and north-northeast Bolivia (Leite 2006). The Cerrado includes the central Brazil, with small extensions into northeastern Paraguay and eastern Bolivia (Silva 1996, Silva & Bates 2002), where 759 species of birds (30 endemic) occur. Of those, only 14% of them, including H. longirostris, have distributions of more than 1000 km2 within this region (Silva & Bates 2002). Therefore, the presence of the species in the Pando Department was to be expected, although in an ornithological survey conducted in the RVS Bruno Racua (Stotz et al. 2003) the species was not recorded, even in areas adjacent to the eastern part of the reserve and on the Madera River, in the state of Rondonia, Brazil (Olmos et al. 2011). This may be because Rondonia, at least in riparian areas adjacent to the Madera River, is highly impacted by the Pan-American Highway around Bolivia and by the conversion of forests into open grazing areas (see Fig. 1). This suggests that the species is expanding its range across Bolivian territory to the northeastern of Pando through a corridor between the Serranía de Huanchaca and the Beni plain, as previously proposed by birds associated with the Cerrado savannas, whose movements are influenced by broad savanna corridors in the central Amazon (Silva & Bates 2002). In the center of the RVS Bruno Racua there are extensive pampas and leafy savannas with palms and low forests that can be colonized by the species and communities of birds specialists from the Cerrado.

For La Paz Department, the RAP ornithological survey of 1996-1997 (Stotz et al. 2002) reported 13 new bird species for the department, including H. longirostris, which was considered uncommon in Puerto Moscoso, on the Heath River, Iturralde Province (Bolivia). This site is characterized by a narrow strip of forest about 100 m between the banks of the Heath River and the Pampas del Heath, with extensive wooded savannas. Here, the species was recorded in forest patches on a matrix of savanna or pampas grasslands (Stotz et al. 2002). The present record from Green Bolivia confirms the presence of the species in what is known as the Cerrado Paceño, which is a continuity of the vegetation of the Brazilian Cerrado where the largest populations of the species are located. The present extralimital record is the first for the Pando Department and marks an extension of the species' distribution to extreme northeastern Bolivia, approximately 230 km from its most northern records in the Beni plain.



We thank the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for their support to the biodiversity project of the Reserva de Vida Silvestre Bruno Racua (Pando) through HERENCIA. Thanks also to Antonio Arellano and Adriana Becerra for their support in the fieldwork, and to the John D. and Catherine T. Mac Arthur Foundation for their support to ornithological study in Brazil nut Amazonian forest (La Paz) through of the Asociacion para la Conservation de la Amazonía (ACA-Bolivia). To Marcos Teran, Jasivia Gonzalez and Johnny Ayala for their support in the fieldwork. Two anonymous reviewers helped to improve the article. Finally, thanks to Alex Jahn, Niels Krabbe and Ana Hahn for their enormous support on the English version of the manuscript.



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