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This species has not been recorded with certainty since 1876, despite a number of searches, and it may have been severely impacted by hunting and habitat degradation. However, it probably remains extant, because thorough surveys are still required, and the species may be difficult to detect (favouring dense grass and being reluctant to fly). In addition, there is a recent set of possible sightings around Naini Tal in 2003. Any remaining population is likely to be tiny, and for these reasons it is treated as Critically Endangered.
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.
25 cm. Rather nondescript quail with red bill and legs. Male greyish overall, with black face and throat and white forehead and narrow supercilium. Female has dark-marked brown upperparts, buffish head-sides and underparts and contrasting dark mask and dark streaks on breast to vent. Similar spp. Female primarily told from other quails by combination of size, red bill and legs and heavy underpart streaking. Voice Shrill whistle.
Baral, H. S.; Basnet, S.; Chaudhary, H.; Chaudhary, B.; Timsina, A.; Bidari, K. In prep. Search for a lost species Himalayan Quail Ophrysia superciliosa in the midhills of the far west Nepal.
BirdLife International. 2001. Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.
Kalsi, R. 2004. Survey and status of Himalayan Quail (Ophrysia superciliosa) in India: interim report.
Keane, A.M.; Carroll, J. P.; Fuller, R. A.; McGowan, P.J. K. in press. Partridges, quails, francolins, snowcocks, guineafowl and turkeys: status survey and conservation action plan 2005-2009. IUCN and WPA, Gland, Switzerland.
Negi, I. S. 2006. Is Mountain Quail extinct? Cheetal 45(3&4): 48-51.
Further web sources of information
Detailed species accounts from the Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 2001).
Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Bird, J., Butchart, S., Davidson, P., Keane, A., Symes, A., Taylor, J., Khwaja, N., Martin, R
Baral, H., Ghate, M., Kalsi, R.
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Ophrysia superciliosa. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 30/08/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 30/08/2014.
This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.
To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife
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Additional resources for this species
|Current IUCN Red List category||Critically Endangered|
|Family||Phasianidae (Pheasants, Partridges, Turkeys, Grouse)|
|Species name author||(Gray, 1846)|
|Population size||1-49 mature individuals|
|Distribution size (breeding/resident)||1,600 km2|
|Links to further information|
|- Additional Information on this species|