Prince Ruspoli’s turaco (Tauraco ruspolii)

loading
Prince Ruspoli's turaco in flight
loading
Loading more images and videos...

Prince Ruspoli’s turaco fact file

Prince Ruspoli’s turaco description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAves
OrderCuculiformes
FamilyMusophagidae
GenusTauraco (1)

With its colourful plumage and distinctive, erect white crest, this long-tailed, arboreal bird forms an impressive sight in the woodlands of southern Ethiopia (4). The prominent greyish-white crest shades to rose-pink at its base, complimenting the crimson colour of the bill, wattle above the eye, nape of the neck, and wing patch (2) (4). The head, neck, breast and upper back of Prince Ruspoli's turaco are moss-green, greyish green on the chin and throat and a more vivid yellowish green on the cheeks and ear-coverts, while the lower back, wings and tail are a darker, greyish-blue and the belly and thighs are blackish (2).

French
Touraco de Ruspoli, Touraco du Prince Ruspoli.
Size
Size: c. 40 cm (2)
Crest length: 4 cm (2)
Weight
200 – 290 g (2)
Top

Prince Ruspoli’s turaco biology

This arboreal bird mainly feeds on fruits, with figs (Ficus), Juniperus procera and Podocarpus gracilior being the main food plants (2) (4).

No definitive information is available on the reproductive biology of Prince Ruspoli’s turaco, but there are local reports that it breeds from December to February in Sidamo Province, which requires investigation (2). Hybrids between this species and the white-cheeked turaco (T. leucotis) have been observed, most commonly in edge habitats (4).

Top

Prince Ruspoli’s turaco range

Prince Ruspoli's turaco is restricted to a narrow range in southern Ethiopia, around Arero, Bobela, Sokora, Negele and Wadera (2) (4).

Top

Prince Ruspoli’s turaco habitat

Although found in juniper (Juniperus) woodland with dense evergreen undergrowth near Arero and Wadera, Prince Ruspoli’s turaco is thought to favour drier forest margins, acacia-conifer woodland and mixed broadleaf scrub, from 1,250 to 1,860 metres above sea level (2).

Top

Prince Ruspoli’s turaco status

Prince Ruspoli's turaco is classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List 2006 (1) and is listed on Appendix II of CITES (3).

IUCN Red List species status – Vulnerable

Top

Prince Ruspoli’s turaco threats

Although Prince Ruspoli’s turaco is thought to be undergoing a continuing decline as a result of loss, degradation and fragmentation of its woodland habitat and hybridisation with T. leucotis, recent surveys have revealed that it is in fact more common and widespread than once believed (2) (4). Agricultural expansion, overgrazing, uncontrolled bushfires and firewood collection are the main causes of habitat destruction, but this bird does seem to be able to tolerate some human exploitation of its habitat. Plantations of exotic tree species (Eucalyptus spp, Cupressus spp) have also expanded in recent years, which, together with habitat degradation, have helped facilitate the expansion of the forest-preferring white-cheeked turaco (T. leucotis) into the range of the more woodland-inhabiting Prince Ruspoli’s turaco. While Prince Ruspoli’s turaco does not appear to be suffering from competition with the white-cheeked turaco, hybridisation is affecting the species by diluting its genetic integrity and reducing the number of pure-bred individuals remaining (4).

Top

Prince Ruspoli’s turaco conservation

Prince Ruspoli’s turaco and its habitat receive some degree of protection in the woodlands of Anferara-Wadera and adjacent Bore-Anferara, which have been designated as National Forest Priority Areas. These areas are now thought to hold the majority of the species’ population, and it has been advocated that protecting other key sites could greatly benefit this distinctive Ethiopian bird (4).

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.
Top

Find out more

For more information on Prince Ruspoli’s turaco see:

Top

Authentication

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:
arkive@wildscreen.org.uk

Top

Glossary

Arboreal
Lives in trees.
Coverts
Small feathers concealing the bases of larger primary feathers, usually on the wings or tail.
Hybridisation
Cross-breeding with a different species.
Top

References

  1. IUCN Red List (January, 2007)
    http://www.iucnredlist.org
  2. del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Sargatal, J. (1997) Handbook of the Birds of the World – Sandgrouse To Cuckoos. Vol. 4. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
  3. CITES (January, 2007)
    http://www.cites.org
  4. BirdLife International (February, 2007)
    http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/species/index.html?action=SpcHTMDetails.asp&sid=2131&m=0
X
Close

Image credit

Prince Ruspoli's turaco in flight  
Prince Ruspoli's turaco in flight

© Fran Trabalon

Fran Trabalon
AV/ Venezuela 10. 6A
Tel: 0034 972 26 04 69
zagros.fran@gmail.com
http://frantrabalon.blogspot.com.es/

X
Close

Link to this photo

ARKive species - Prince Ruspoli’s turaco (Tauraco ruspolii) Embed this ARKive thumbnail link ("portlet") by copying and pasting the code below.

Terms of Use - The displayed portlet may be used as a link from your website to ARKive's online content for private, scientific, conservation or educational purposes only. It may NOT be used within Apps.

Read more about

X
Close

MyARKive

MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.

Play the Team WILD game:

Team WILD, an elite squadron of science superheroes, needs your help! Your mission: protect and conserve the planet’s species and habitats from destruction.

Conservation in Action

Which species are on the road to recovery? Find out now »

Help us share the wonders of the natural world. Donate today!

Blog RSS