Monday, 5 November 2012

Horned guan

Oreophasis derbianus

Photo by Thor Janson (Revue)

Common name:
horned guan (en); jacu-cornudo (pt); oréophase cornu (fr); pavón cornudo (es); zapfenguan (de)

Order Galliformes
Family Cracidae

This species is found in western and central Guatemala and in the Sierra Madre de Chiapas in southern Mexico.

These birds are 81-91 cm long and weigh up to 2,4 kg.

The horned guan is found in cloud forests with luxuriant undergrowth, at altitudes of 2.000-3.500 m.

They mainly feed on fruits, flowers and leaves, but can also take some invertebrates.

Horned guans are polygynous, with each male mating with 3-5 females. They breed in January-July and nest high in the canopy, up to 20 m above the ground. The female lays 2 eggs, which she incubates alone for 33-36 days. The chicks leave the nest soon after hatching, but may remain with their mother for several months.

IUCN status - EN (Endangered)
This species has a very small and severely fragmented breeding range. The global population is estimated at just 600-1.700 individuals and is suspected to be declining slowly, mainly due to the clearance and degradation of cloud forests through logging, firewood-gathering and agricultural expansion, especially coffee plantations. Hunting for subsistence by local populations and forest degradation by roaming cattle are further threats to the horned guan.

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