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Cuban Palm Crow (Corvus minutus)

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Old Sunday 2nd November 2003, 12:42   #1
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Cuban Palm Crow (Corvus minutus)

Cuban Palm Crow (Corvus minutus)

Justification The conservation status of this species appears to be deteriorating. It is Endangered because it has a very small total range, confined to two areas, has been extirpated from several sites and continues to decline, perhaps because of interspecific competition.

Identification 34-36 cm. Small to medium-sized, stocky black crow. Shortish bill with distinctly curved culmen and dark eye. Nostrils concealed by well-developed nasal tufts. Often slowly raises tail before suddenly flicking it downwards. Similar spp Cuban Crow C. nasicus is larger with exposed nostrils, but best separated by call. Tail flicking not recorded for C. nasicus. Voice Raucous nasal note craa or aagh usually given in series. Flocks can be very noisy. Hints Flappy flight action, seldom above canopy.

Population estimate 2,500-10,000

Population trend decreasing (continuing)

Range estimate 1320 km2

Country endemic? Yes

Range & Population Corvus minutus is restricted to Camagüey province in central Cuba, where it is very rare and extremely local. It is currently known only from an area near Camagüey city and the Sierra de Najasa. The population in Najasa is locally quite common, but has declined in recent years. It formerly occurred in Pinar del Rprovince, but there have been no records since the 1960s

Ecology It formerly inhabited wooded areas from the lowlands to the mountains, but is now known only from lowland cultivation with scattered groups of palm trees. It is usually seen in small groups, with birds foraging in trees and on the ground for fruits, seeds, insects and lizards. Nests are located in stands of tall palms with breeding from April-July or possibly earlier.

Threats The causes of this species's decline are unknown, but it may now be outcompeted by Cuban Crow C. nasicus because habitat destruction has resulted in the overlap of their ranges.

Action Part of the population occurs within La Bprotected area near Najasa.
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