The Royal Cinclodes is classified as Critically Endangered under IUCN-World Conservation Union criteria. It is confined to fragments of high altitude Polylepis forest in the Andes of southern Peru. It may also still exist in small numbers in west-central Bolivia close to the Peruvian border, though its presence there is unconfirmed in recent years. Because of its rarity, skulking habits, and the inaccessibility of its habitat, it is one of the most difficult birds to see in the world. This rare film was taken by ABC's Mike Parr in Yanahuara Valley, close to the Sacred Valley of the Incas in southern Peru; a conservation site for Polylepis forest.