email a friend
printable version
Tacarcuna Wood-quail Odontophorus dialeucos
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

The very small range of this species renders it susceptible to stochastic events and human activities, and hence the species qualifies as Vulnerable.

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: #

24 cm. Plump, brown-and-white forest partridge. Brown upperparts vermiculated black. More buffy on hindneck. Black crown and crest lightly spotted white. White supercilium, throat and chest with black band on lower throat. Rest of underparts buff-brown mottled black. Voice Low, rapid calls similar to other Odontophorus spp.

Distribution and population
Odontophorus dialeucos was discovered in 1963, and is only known from Cerros Mali and Tacarcuna on the Tacarcuna ridge in Darién, extreme east Panama and adjacent Chocó, north-west Colombia (Ridgely and Gwynne 1989, Wege 1996). Its area of occupancy is estimated to be less than 100 km2 (Wege 1996). It is fairly common in suitable habitat in Panama (Ridgely and Gwynne 1989).

Population justification
The population size is preliminarily estimated to fall into the band 10,000-19,999 individuals. This equates to 6,667-13,333 mature individuals, rounded here to 6,000-15,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
Hunting and habitat loss and fragmentation are not yet major issues in this species's altitudinal range; therefore it is suspected that the population is stable within its small range.

This is a very poorly-known, terrestrial bird of humid forests, found at elevations of 1,050-1,450 m (Ridgely and Gwynne 1989, Wege 1996).

Hunting for food, and habitat clearance and degradation resulting from mining, agriculture, cultivation of coca and subsistence affect birds in this region (Alvarez-Cordero et al. 1994). However, these threats are probably not yet factors within this species's altitudinal range. Completion of the Pan-American highway link through Darién could lead to severe, long-term damage to forest on the Tacarcuna ridge (Alvarez-Cordero et al. 1994, Wege 1996), but this appears to be unlikely to happen in the near future.

Conservation Actions Underway
Darién National Park, Panama, protects all but the small Colombian part of its range (Wege 1996). However, legal protection has not halted habitat loss at lower altitudes (Wege 1996). Conservation Actions Proposed
Map remaining habitat and assess the extent and rate of encroaching habitat loss. When the security situation permits, conduct a complete population and distributional survey to assess its status. Study the species's habitat preferences. Assess the impact of completion of the Pan-American highway. Improve active protection of Darién National Park. Protect occupied habitat in Colombia.

Alvarez-Cordero, E.; de Samudio, J.; Marquez Reyes, C.; Ellis, S. 1994. Conservation assessment and management plan workshop for bird and mammal species endemic to Panama. International Union for Nature Conservation and Natural Resources, Apple Valley, MN.

Fuller, R. A.; Carroll, J. P.; McGowan, P. J. K. 2000. Partridges, quails, francolins, snowcocks, guineafowl, and turkeys. Status survey and conservation action plan 2000-2004. IUCN and World Pheasant Association, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

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.

Ridgely, R. S.; Gwynne, J. A. 1989. A guide to the birds of Panama with Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Honduras. Princeton University Press, Princeton.

Wege, D. C. 1996. Threatened birds of the Darién Highland, Panama: a reassessment. Bird Conservation International 6: 191-195.

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., Keane, A., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Odontophorus dialeucos. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016.

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 Vulnerable
Family Odontophoridae (New World quails)
Species name author Wetmore, 1963
Population size 6000-15000 mature individuals
Population trend Stable
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 230 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species