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Gorgeted Wood-quail (Odontophorus strophium)

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Old Wednesday 10th December 2003, 12:47   #1
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Gorgeted Wood-quail (Odontophorus strophium)

Gorgeted Wood-quail (Odontophorus strophium)

JustificationThis species is Critical because it has an extremely small range, with recent records from only one location, where logging and hunting are probably causing some declines in range and population. However, it may occur more widely and surveys are urgently required to elucidate its status.

Identification25 cm. Forest partridge with black-and-white throat-bands. Male has blackish-brown short crest and ear-coverts, speckled black-and-white facial area, black throat, sides of neck and chest with white collar across lower throat. Rufous-chestnut underparts with white spotting on breast. Dark brown upperparts, spotted black and lightly streaked buff on mantle. Female similar with white chin and throat, and black, spotted band across centre of throat. Similar spp. Only wood-quail with black-and-white throat-bands in range. Voice Loud, rollicking song, typically heard during early morning.

Range & Population Odontophorus strophium occurs on the west slope of the East Andes of Colombia. It has not been reported in Cundinamarca since 1954, where it was known from a few sites to the west of and around BogotIt has since been recorded in Santander, on the Cuchilla del Ramo in 1970, and in GuanentAlto RFonce Flora and Fauna Sanctuary from 1979 onwards. The total population must be very small and is presumably declining.

Ecology It inhabits humid subtropical and temperate forests dominated by oak and laurel. It is only known to occur at 1,750-2,050 m but may have an elevational range of 1,500-2,500 m. Although probably dependent on primary forest for at least part of its life-cycle, it has been recorded in degraded habitats and secondary forest. It forages for fruit, seeds and arthropods. The breeding season appears to coincide with peaks in annual rainfall in March-May and September-November.

Threats Since the 17th century, the west slope of the East Andes has been extensively logged and converted to agriculture, including pastures and, at lower altitudes, coffee, plantain and sugarcane plantations. Forest loss below 2,500 m has been almost complete, with habitat in many areas reduced to tiny, isolated relicts on steep slopes and along streams. These landscape changes accelerated during the 20th century, especially after 1960, although in some areas, habitat regeneration is beginning following the abandonment of marginal land. Selective logging and hunting affects birds in the lower part of GuanentAlto RFonce but the forest is largely intact above 1,950-2,200 m. The small remnants of subtropical forest in Cundinamarca are unlikely to support the species, but less disturbed and ornithologically unknown forests in west Boyac&and Santander might retain populations.
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