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Chestnut Wood-quail Odontophorus hyperythrus

This species qualifies as Near Threatened as it has three small subpopulations within a very small range, and these are likely to be declining.

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.
SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #

Odontophorus hyperthyrus Stotz et al. (1996)

Distribution and population
Odontophorus hyperythrus occurs on both slopes of the West and Central Andes, Colombia, south to Cauca and the head of the Magdalena valley in Huila (Hilty and Brown 1986). It is uncommon and local, and the population is likely to be fewer than 10,000 in three sub-populations, each of which requires taxonomic validation (McGowan et al. 1995).

Population justification
The population size is preliminarily estimated to fall into the band 2,500-9,999 mature individuals. This equates to 3,750-14,999 individuals in total, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction and unsustainable levels of hunting.

It occurs in montane evergreen forest, forest edge, older secondary growth, and there is some evidence that it frequents coffee plantations with shade trees, at 1,600-2,700 m (Hilty and Brown 1986, Carroll 1994). Family groups of up to nine individuals (usually a breeding pair and their offspring) feed on fruits, seeds and invertebrates in the leaf-litter and among tree roots (Franco et al. 2006). Surveys from the Central Cordillera estimated densities of 0.3-0.4 groups per ha, with a group home range size of 2.6 to 9.0 ha (Franco et al. 2006), while studies in the Western Andes detected 0.13-0.18 groups per ha (Fierro-Calderón et al. 2009).

Its forest habitats have suffered widespread and severe deforestation over centuries of human colonisation (Wege and Long 1995), particularly in the Central Andes, with resultant fragmentation and isolation of populations. Further degradation owing to agricultural expansion is projected in the Central Andes, and the slopes of the Cauca and Magdalena valleys are now characterised by remnant (often secondary) forest patches, pasture, coffee, banana and sugarcane plantations (Wege and Long 1995). There is also evidence of hunting pressure (McGowan et al. 1995).

Conservation Actions Underway
None known. Conservation Actions Proposed
Research taxonomic status of sub-populations. Monitor population at known sites. Search for the species in suitable habitat. Effectively protect remaining areas of forest. Begin educational campaigns to reduce hunting pressure.

Carroll, J. P. 1994. Odontophoridae (New World Quails). In: del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. (ed.), Handbook of the birds of the world, pp. 412-433. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Franco, P.; Fierro-Calderón, K.; Kattan, G. 2006. Population densities and home range sizes of the Chestnut Wood-quail. Journal of Field Ornithology 77(1): 85-90.

Hilty, S. L.; Brown, W. L. 1986. A guide to the birds of Colombia. Princeton University Press, Princeton.

McGowan, P. J. K.; Dowell, S. D.; Carroll, J. P.; Aebischer, N. J. 1995. Partridges, quails, francolins, snowcocks and guineafowl: status survey and conservation action plan 1995-1999. International Union for Nature Conservation and Natural Resources, Cambridge, U.K.

Wege, D. C.; Long, A. J. 1995. Key Areas for threatened birds in the Neotropics. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Capper, D., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Odontophorus hyperythrus. Downloaded from on 29/07/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 29/07/2014.

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

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 Near Threatened
Family Odontophoridae (New World quails)
Species name author Gould, 1858
Population size 2500-9999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 60,500 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species