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Three-wattled Bellbird Procnias tricarunculatus
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species is classified as Vulnerable because rapid population declines are suspected from extensive deforestation in its non-breeding range.

Taxonomic source(s)
AOU. 1998. Check-list of North American birds. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.
Stotz, D. F.; Fitzpatrick, J. W.; Parker, T. A.; Moskovits, D. K. 1996. Neotropical birds: ecology and conservation. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Taxonomic note
Gender agreement of species name follows David and Gosselin (2002b).

Procnias tricarunculata Collar and Andrew (1988), Procnias tricarunculata BirdLife International (2000), Procnias tricarunculata Collar et al. (1994), Procnias tricarunculata Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993), Procnias tricarunculata Stotz et al. (1996), Procnias tricarunculata BirdLife International (2004)

26-31 cm. Striking and amazingly loud cotinga. Males are bright chestnut-rufous with striking white head, neck, upper breast and upper back. Dark around eye. Three long, fleshy, black wattles hang from the base of bill. Females are smaller and lack wattles. Olivaceous upperparts with yellowish margins to feathers. Yellowish underparts striped olive. Immature males like females but have wattles. Voice In breeding season males give resonant, far-carrying boing, often preceded by piercing whistles or twangs.

Distribution and population
Procnias tricarunculatus breeds in central Costa Rica and Panama (with a small population on the Nicoya peninsula) (Stiles and Skutch 1989, F. G. Stiles in litt. 1999), north-west Nicaragua (Monroe 1968, Stiles and Skutch 1989), and almost certainly the Sierra de Agalta, Honduras (Anderson et al. 1998). In 1976, it was common on Isla Coiba, Panama (Ridgely and Gwynne 1989), where it presumably breeds and is potentially resident. It winters on the Caribbean slope and adjacent lowlands in Honduras and south-east Nicaragua (Monroe 1968, Howell and Webb 1995a, Powell and Bjork 2004), and in lowland and foothill forests on both slopes in Costa Rica and Panama. Records from the upper río Plátano may refer to transients (Vallely et al. 2010). In Panama, most birds now winter on the Caribbean slope, presumably because of deforestation in the Pacific lowlands (Ridgely and Gwynne 1989). A few recent records in the Canal zone perhaps refer to birds displaced from former wintering areas (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
There are no new data on population trends; however, the species is suspected to be declining rapidly, in line with rates of habitat loss and degradation.

It breeds in foothill and highland moist forest at 1,200-2,100 m, and occasionally down to 750 m (Stiles and Skutch 1989). The breeding season is probably March-September (C. J. Sharpe in litt. 1999), but varies between years and locations (Stiles and Skutch 1989). In the non-breeding season, birds undertake complex migrations ranging up to 3,000 m (in Costa Rica), and then descending to the foothills and lowlands on both the Pacific and Caribbean slopes (Stiles and Skutch 1989, Powell and Bjork 2004). It can utilise small habitat fragments near to larger forest blocks where it often feeds on the fruit of vines (F. G. Stiles in litt. 1999, Powell and Bjork 2004).

There is ongoing habitat loss, especially in lowland wintering areas (G. R. Angehr in litt. 1998). The Caribbean lowlands are suffering conversion to banana plantations, cattle-ranches and logging, even in the important Indio-Maiz Reserve, Nicaragua (Powell and Bjork 2004). In north Costa Rica, 35% of remaining forest was eliminated in 1986-1992 (Powell et al. 1995). Pacific coastal habitats in Costa Rica utilised by bellbirds in the non-breeding season are very poorly represented in the protected area system (Powell and Bjork 2004). On the Caribbean slope in Panama, even some reserves are threatened by clearance for agriculture (Angehr and Jordán 1998).

Conservation Actions Underway
It occurs in several highland reserves, notably Sierra de Agalta National Park (Honduras) (Anderson et al. 1998), Monteverde Biological Reserve (Costa Rica) and La Amistad International Park (Costa Rica and Panama) (Angehr and Jordán 1998). Non-breeding sites include Indio-Maiz Biological Reserve (Nicaragua [C. J. Sharpe in litt. 1999]; and presumably adjacent Barra del Colorado Faunal Refuge and Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica), Corcovado National Park (Costa Rica), San San Pond Sak Wetlands Ramsar Site and Coiba Island National Park (Panama) (Angehr and Jordán 1998). Its complex seasonal movements have been studied in Costa Rica (Powell and Bjork 2004). Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey to delineate range and numbers, particularly outside Costa Rica (C. J. Sharpe in litt. 1999). Further study the ecology, especially seasonal movements (C. J. Sharpe in litt. 1999). Confirm breeding status and range in Honduras. Designate new protected areas, especially in the moist Pacific slope and lowlands of Costa Rica. Ensure the protection of Indio-Maiz Reserve, Nicaragua.

Anderson, D. L.; Bonta, M.; Thorn, P. 1998. New and noteworthy bird records from Honduras. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 118: 178-183.

Angehr, G. R.; Jordan, O. 1998. Report on the Panama Important Bird Areas program. Panama Audubon Society/BirdLife International, Ancon, Panamá.

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

Monroe, B. L. 1968. A distributional survey of the birds of Honduras. American Ornithologists' Union, Anchorage, Kentucky.

Powell, G. V. N.; Bjork, R.; Montero, S.; Aleman, U. 1995. Intratropical migration by Ara ambigua: identifying habitat heterogeneity and linkages to protect biodiversity in lowland tropical wet forest of Central America.

Powell, G.V.N. and Bjork, R.D. 2004. Habitat linkages and the conservation of tropical biodiversity as indicated by seasonal migrations of Three-wattled Bellbirds. Conservation Biology 18: 500-509.

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

Stiles, F.G. and Skutch, A.F. 1989. A Guide to the Birds of Costa Rica. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY.

Vallely, A. C.; Gallardo, R. J.; Ascher, J. S. 2010. Notes on the birds of the Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve, including four new species for Honduras. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 130(1): 52-60.

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
Isherwood, I., Mahood, S., Pople, R., Sharpe, C J, Stuart, T.

Angehr, G., Sharpe, C J, Stiles, F.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Procnias tricarunculatus. 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.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Three-wattled bellbird (Procnias tricarunculatus) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Cotingidae (Cotingas)
Species name author (Verreaux & Verreaux, 1853)
Population size 6000-15000 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 22,600 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species