The Great Spinetail is a large, slender furnariid found in arid montane scrub habitat in the Andes of north-central Peru. Monotypic, its taxonomic affinities remain unclear. Confined to the Maranon Valley endemic bird area, it has a narrow, linear geographic range, and is known from only a few sites. Its large, enclosed thorny stick nests are highly conspicuous but quantitative data for many aspects of its natural history are sorely lacking. The species appears restricted to dense natural vegetation, which is subject to severe degradation and clearance by oil palm cultivation, firewood collection and over-grazing by goats and cattle. It is currently ranked as Vulnerable and quantitative conservation measures are urgently required.
Great Spinetail; upper image © Paul Noakes, lower image © Charles Hesse