Jocotoco antpitta (Grallaria ridgelyi)

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Jocotoco antpitta
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Jocotoco antpitta fact file

Jocotoco antpitta description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAves
OrderPasseriformes
FamilyFormicariidae
GenusGrallaria (1)

This species was first discovered in Ecuador in 1997 by ornithologist Bob Ridgely. Antpittas are shy birds that typically have rounded bodies and legs that they use to hop across the forest floor. They are members of the ant bird family (Formicariidae), which are so-called as some of the species follow army ants, feeding on small insects disturbed by the ants (3). The Jocotoco antpitta is fairly large, about the size of a small melon (3), with a black crown, dark grey nape and face, and a bold white ‘moustache’. The upperparts are greyish-brown with rust-coloured wings, and the underparts are whitish-grey. The bill is black and the legs are grey (2).

Size
Length: 22 cm (2)
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Jocotoco antpitta biology

Very little is known of this very secretive antpitta (3). It is thought to breed in October and November, and it is known to feed on insects, worms and millipedes (2).

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Jocotoco antpitta range

This species is known from very few locations. Until recently, it was believed to be endemic to Ecuador, where it is found in Quebrada Honda, Podocarpus National Park and Xerro Toledo, Zamora-Chinchipe (2). However, it has since been found in northern Peru (4).

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Jocotoco antpitta habitat

Inhabits undergrowth in wet montane evergreen forests, where there are low trees and bamboo (2), at altitudes of 2700 to 2200 m (3).

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Jocotoco antpitta status

Classified as Endangered (EN) on the IUCN Red List (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Endangered

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Jocotoco antpitta threats

Quebrada Honda is close to a road and the area is threatened by gold mining and logging, even within Podocarpus National Park. Habitat loss caused by farming and human settlement is also a problem (2). Sadly, this rare bird also faces the occasional threat of collection for museums; in 2006 scientists from Louisiana Museum captured and killed two out of three specimens of the Jocotoco antpitta recently discovered in northern Peru (5).

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Jocotoco antpitta conservation

The discovery of this antpitta led to the establishment of Fundacion Jocotoco, which initiated efforts to protect the locality at which the species was first discovered; to this end, the Tapichalaca Reserve was set up at the site (6). In September 2003 the Christopher Parsons Memorial Forest, adjacent to the Tapichalaca Reserve, was purchased with the help of the World Land Trust following an appeal launched by Sir David Attenborough. Christopher Parsons was described by Sir Attenborough as the most important natural history film maker of the last century. His last project before his death in 2002 was the development of ARKive. He was a trustee of the World Land Trust and the reserve is a fitting memorial to his life’s passion (7).

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.
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Find out more

For more on the Christopher Parsons Memorial Forest see:

For more on the World Land Trust and for details of how to help see:

For more information on the Jocotoco antpitta see:

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Authentication

Authenticated (07/09/07) by John Burton, Chief Executive Officer, World Land Trust.
http://www.worldlandtrust.org/

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Glossary

Endemic
A species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.
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References

  1. IUCN Red List (April, 2009)
    http://www.iucnredlist.org
  2. BirdLife International (March, 2004)
    http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/species/index.html?action=SpcHTMDetails.asp&sid=9830&m=0
  3. World Land Trust News: Jocotoco Antpitta (March, 2004)
    http://www.worldlandtrust.org/projects/antpitta.htm
  4. Burton, J. (2006) Pers. comm.
  5. World Land Trust: Green Issues (September, 2007)
    http://www.worldlandtrust.org/news/2007/06/scientists-are-threat-to-endangered.htm
  6. Fundacion Jocotoco (March, 2004)
    http://www.fjocotoco.org/
  7. World Land Trust: Rainforest Saved in Memory of Christopher Parsons (March, 2004)
    http://www.worldlandtrust.org/news/cparsonsrainforest.htm
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Image credit

Jocotoco antpitta  
Jocotoco antpitta

© Peter Horrell / peterhorrell.com

Peter Horrell
22 Rothesay Avenue
Chelmsford
Essex
CM2 9BU
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 7802 676308
peter@peterhorrell.com
http://www.peterhorrell.com

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