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Tuxtla Quail-dove Zentrygon carrikeri
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This species is Endangered owing to its very small range, which is now severely fragmented in three areas on two volcanoes, and has declined rapidly in response to extensive deforestation.

Taxonomic source(s)
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.

Taxonomic note
Zentrygon carrikeri (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) was previously placed in the genus Geotrygon.

Previously, Geotrygon lawrencii (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993) had been split into G. lawrencii and G. carrikeri following AOU (1998).

Geotrygon carrikeri Wetmore, 1941

30 cm. Plump, ash-and-brown terrestrial pigeon. Light ashy-grey head and breast with white forecrown and black malar and loral stripes. Brown flanks and white belly. Purplish mantle becoming brown on lower back and rump. Brown wings and tail. Red legs. Similar spp. Ruddy Quail-dove G. montana is smaller, browner and lacks white face. Voice Three syllable hu w-wohw, repeated every three seconds.

Distribution and population
Geotrygon carrikeri is endemic to Sierra de los Tuxtlas in south-east Veracruz, Mexico (Howell and Webb 1995a). It presumably occurred throughout the sierra, but fragmentation of its habitat may have isolated populations in three areas on the main volcanoes, San Martín and Santa Marta. It was found to be fairly common in surveys between 1951 and 1962 (Andrle 1967) and is now considered fairly common to common in suitable habitat (Howell and Webb 1995a). However, there has been a rapid loss of such habitat (Dirzo and García 1992), indicating that the population has probably declined significantly.

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 250-999 mature individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. This estimate is equivalent to 375-1,499 individuals in total, rounded here to 350-1,500 individuals.

Trend justification
The species's population is suspected to be declining rapidly, in line with continued habitat destruction.

It is partially terrestrial in the understorey of humid evergreen forest at elevations of 350 m-1,500 m (Howell and Webb 1995a). The only recorded nest was found in secondary forest in mid-October and contained one egg (Andrle 1967).

Destruction of the species's habitat is presumed to take place for timber, cultivation and pasture. On Volcán San Martín, 84% of the original forest area was lost by 1986, with 56% lost between 1967 and 1986 (Dirzo and García 1992). In 1992, it was predicted that only 8.7% of original habitat, restricted to the most inaccessible tracts and protected areas, would remain by 2000 (Dirzo and García 1992). At that time, it appeared that similar habitat loss was taking place on Volcán Santa Marta (Dirzo and García 1992). It is unknown whether this prediction has been fulfilled, but it is clear that there has been extensive forest clearance in the Sierra de los Tuxtlas. Pressures on the species's habitat may be abating, or at least stabilising at present levels (R. Ortiz-Pulido in litt. 2008).

Conservation Actions Underway
It occurs in two protected areas: Santa Marta Biosphere Reserve and Los Tuxtlas Biological Station. A small captive population is kept at Africam Safari Zoo, Pueblo City, Mexico (R. Ortiz-Pulido in litt. 2008). Conservation Actions Proposed
Carry out surveys to obtain a total population estimate for the species, and survey the Santa Marta Biosphere Reserve to determine the species's status within this protected area. Monitor population trends through regular surveys and develop a structured captive breeding programme. Monitor rates of habitat loss and degradation within its range. Expand existing protected areas, or designate new reserves, to cover more of the remaining forests in the sierra.

Andrle, R. F. 1967. Birds of the Sierra de Tuxtla in Veracruz, Mexico. Wilson Bulletin 79: 163-187.

Collar, N. J.; Butchart, S. H. M. 2013. Conservation breeding and avian diversity: chances and challenges. International Zoo Yearbook.

Dirzo, R.; García, M. C. 1992. Rates of deforestation in Los Tuxtlas, a Neotropical area in southeast Mexico. Conservation Biology 6(1): 84-90.

Howell, S. N. G. 1998. Vocalisations and taxonomic status of the Purplish-backed Quail-dove Geotrygon lawrenceii. Cotinga 10: 20-22.

Howell, S. N. G.; Webb, S. 1995. A guide to the birds of Mexico and northern Central America. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Peterson, A. T. 1993. Species status of Geotrygon carrikeri. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 113: 166-168.

Further web sources of information
Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) species/site profile. This species has been identified as an AZE trigger due to its IUCN Red List status and limited range.

Click here for more information about the Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE)

Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

View photos and videos and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Capper, D., Isherwood, I., Sharpe, C J, Taylor, J.

Ortiz-Pulido, R.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Zentrygon carrikeri. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016.

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

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Endangered
Family Columbidae (Pigeons, Doves)
Species name author Wetmore, 1941
Population size 250-999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 130 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species