Spiny-faced Antshrike has a small, and apparently patchy or fragmented, distribution, and its IUCN Red List status is assessed as Vulnerable (Collar et al. 1992, BirdLife International 2015).
Spiny-faced Antshrike usually is considered to be rare (Ridgely and Gwynne 1989), although locally it is fairly common (Collar et al. 1992).
Effects of human activity on populations
The human population is low in most of the range of Spiny-faced Antshrike, but nonetheless BirdLife International (2015) considers this species to be threatened by forest loss and fragmentation for agriculture, with longer term threats including mining, the completion of the Pan-American Highway, and the effects of an increasing human population.