Chestnut Wood-quail Odontophorus hyperythrus


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

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.

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).


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

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.


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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Odontophorus hyperythrus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 07/08/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 07/08/2020.