Sapphire Quail-dove Geotrygon saphirina


Justification of Red List Category

This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but this species is described as 'uncommon and patchily distributed' (Stotz et al. 1996).

Trend justification
This species is suspected to lose 6.5% of suitable habitat within its distribution over three generations (14 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 be declining by 10-19% over three generations.

Distribution and population

Geotrygon saphirina occurs in north-west South America from the foothills and outlying ridges east of the Andes from Ecuador to south-east Peru and into extreme west Amazonian Brazil (del Hoyo et al. 1997, Ridgely & Greenfield 2001, Restall et al. 2006). It is also thought likely to exist in south-east Colombia. Subspecies rothschildi is known only from Cadena in the Mareapata Valley, south-east Peru. The species is very locally distributed throughout its range (del Hoyo et al. 1997).


This is an undergrowth and forest floor species of lowland and montane evergreen forests, and advanced secondary growth. It generally occurs between 600-1,100 m. It probably feeds on seeds and small invertebrates (del Hoyo et al. 1997).


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 (A. Lees in litt. 2011).


22-26 cm. Greyish dove with distinctive dorsal sapphire sheen. Green to purple mantle, sapphire rump, dark tail, brown wings with blackish tips and a white spot on the median tertial. Greyish head with black chinstrap, with grey-green mid-crown to nape. Underparts greyish. Voice A repeated, high-pitched ca-whoooo... ca-whoooo. Hints Tends to walk into denser cover rather than flying. Usually seen singly, or in well separated pairs.


Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Khwaja, N., Symes, A., Martin, R & Taylor, J.

Lees, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Geotrygon saphirina. Downloaded from on 22/05/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 22/05/2022.