SAVING THE gorgeted wood-quail

The gorgeted wood-quail is a rare, ground-dwelling bird found only in the west slope of the east Andes, in Colombia. Locally known as perdiz Santandereana or perdiz de monte, this tiny, mainly brown bird has a distinct black-and-white throat band. Very little is known about this bird in the wild, as it has only been spotted 10 times since 1970. The gorgeted wood-quail has been severely harmed by a rapid increase in deforestation over the past decade due to agriculture and other habitat-destroying industries. About 92 percent of this striking bird’s primarily oak habitat has been lost.

In 1980, the International Council for Bird Preservation petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list the gorgeted wood-quail under the Endangered Species Act. Finally, after 33 years and extensive Center legal involvement, in 2013 the Service listed the gorgeted wood-quail as endangered.