We describe a new species of wren in the genus Thryophilus (Troglodytidae) based on analysis of morphological, vocal, and genetic variation. Individuals of the new species are readily separated in the field or the museum from those of any other wren species, including its closest relatives T. rufalbus and T. nicefori, by a combination of traits including, but not limited to, plumage coloration of the upperparts, the pattern of barring on the wings and tail, overall smaller body size, a richer repertoire of syllable types, shorter trills, and distinctive terminal syllables. The new species is allopatrically distributed in relation to its congeners, being restricted to the dry Cauca River Canyon, a narrow inter-Andean valley enclosed by the Nechí Refuge rainforests and the northern sectors of the Western and Central Andes of Colombia. Individuals or pairs have been found only in remnant patches of dry forest and scrub at 250– 850 m elevation. This newly discovered species is uncommon and threatened because of ongoing transformation of natural habitats in the Cauca River Canyon, and especially because of the planned construction of a major dam in the region; immediate conservation actions are thus imperative.
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Vol. 129 • No. 3