Rufous-breasted Wood-quail Odontophorus speciosus


Justification of Red List Category

Based on a model of future deforestation in the Amazon basin, and the species’s susceptibility to habitat fragmentation and hunting, it is suspected that its population will decline by 25-30% over the next three generations, and it has therefore been uplisted to Near Threatened.

Population justification
Population numbers are not known.

Trend justification
This species is suspected to lose 16.2-16.6% of suitable habitat within its distribution over three generations (12 years) based on a model of Amazonian deforestation (Soares-Filho et al. 2006, Bird et al. 2011). Given the susceptibility of the species to hunting and/or trapping, it is therefore suspected to decline by a rate approaching 30% over three generations.

Distribution and population

Odontophorus speciosus is endemic to the east Andes. Three subspecies are recognised. Subspecies soederstroemii occurs in south and east Ecuador, being described as fairly common at Podocarpus National Park, but rare elsewhere (del Hoyo et al. 1994, Restall et al. 2006). The species is uncommon in Peru, where the nominate subspecies speciosus is restricted to the east-central region and subspecies loricatus occurs in the south-east, ranging from there to east Bolivia (del Hoyo et al. 1994).


This is a forest floor species of tropical lowland forest under 1,700 m (del Hoyo et al. 1994). It prefers dense, tangled undergrowth (Restall et al. 2006).


The primary threat to this species is accelerating deforestation in the Amazon basin as land is cleared for cattle ranching and soy production, facilitated by expansion of the road network (Soares-Filho et al. 2006, Bird et al. 2011). It is also susceptible to hunting (del Hoyo et al. 1994, A. Lees in litt. 2011).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway

None is known.

Conservation Actions Proposed

Expand the protected area network to effectively protect IBAs. Effectively resource and manage existing and new protected areas, utilising emerging opportunities to finance protected area management with the joint aims of reducing carbon emissions and maximizing biodiversity conservation. Conservation on private lands, through expanding market pressures for sound land management and preventing forest clearance on lands unsuitable for agriculture, is also essential (Soares-Filho et al. 2006).


25-27 cm. Medium-sized, mainly brown quail. Overall appears brown and chestnut, with a black face, and the breast and belly a rufous chestnut colour. Female has a grey belly, retaining the rufous breast.


Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Khwaja, N., Symes, A.

Lees, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Species factsheet: Odontophorus speciosus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 13/11/2019. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2019) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 13/11/2019.