Justification of Red List Category
This species is listed as Data Deficient because there is insufficient information available on its population, range, trends and threats for an assessment of its threat status.
The population size of this species has not been quantified, although it has been described as rare.
The population trend is difficult to determine because of uncertainty over the extent of threats to the species (del Hoyo et al. 1996).
Turnix worcesteri is endemic to the island of Luzon in the Philippines, where it is known from just six localities. Virtually all records have derived from bird-catchers and are assumed to be intra-island migrants. There is a recent (January 2009) record of an individual photographed at Dalton Pass at a poultry market (Allen 2009). The limited available evidence suggests that it breeds somewhere in northern Luzon in April-June and that at least some birds disperse southwards in the period July-March. Thus its true range (and habitat) remain obscure. It appears to be rare; however, buttonquails are a notoriously cryptic and unobtrusive family of birds, and the species could conceivably occur in reasonable numbers somewhere. If it does inhabit grasslands, it cannot be assumed that increases in this habitat on Luzon have benefited the species, which may prove to have specific ecological requirements not met by the creation of pastures or cropland through forest clearance.
It may be confined to grasslands in the highlands of the Cordillera Central, although records are from 150-1,250 m, and the possibility that it frequents forested (non-grassland) habitats cannot be discounted. It has been stated that it inhabits tall grass under pine trees (per Allen 2009), although this requires verification.
Hunting evidently poses a threat (e.g. at the migratory funnel and bird-catching area of Dalton Pass, Nueva Vizcaya and in forest preserves [Scheffers et al. 2012]), but the impact of this on its population cannot currently be gauged.
Conservation Actions Underway
None is known.
Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Lowen, J., Symes, A., Taylor, J., Martin, R, North, A.
BirdLife International (2021) Species factsheet: Turnix worcesteri. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 04/12/2021. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2021) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 04/12/2021.