Wattled guan (Aburria aburri)

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Wattled guan
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Wattled guan fact file

Wattled guan description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAves
OrderGalliformes
FamilyCracidae
GenusAburria (1)

The wattled guan is immediately recognisable by the long, slender, bright yellow and red wattle that hangs from the throat, a feature unique to this species, earning it its common name. The vivid colour of these distinctive wattles stands out against the primarily black plumage of the body. Juveniles are similar to adults, but with a less developed wattle (2).

Also known as
Wattled piping-guan.
Size
Length: 72.5 – 77.5 cm (2)
Weight
1195 – 1550 g (2)
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Wattled guan biology

The wattled guan forages for fruit mainly between the middle and upper storeys of fruiting trees, usually in pairs or groups of three (2).

The breeding season has been recorded from September to March in Peru, with chicks observed in December and February (2).

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Wattled guan range

Found from Western Venezuala and North Colombia south through Ecuador to South-central Peru (2) (3).

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Wattled guan habitat

The wattled guan occupies wet mountain forest, forest borders, and tall secondary forest next to primary forest, often on steep mountainous terrain (2). The bird has been recorded at elevations of 500 to 2,500 m (2) (3).

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Wattled guan status

Classified as Near Threatened (NT) on the IUCN Red List 2006 (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Near Threatened

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Wattled guan threats

The primary threats facing this distinctive bird are habitat loss, mainly through forest clearance for agriculture, and hunting (3). Deforestation has been particularly rife in the Andes, and the species is now almost certainly extinct in some localities, most notably on the Western slope of the Andes in Peru (2) (3). Hunting for food and sport also poses a serious threat. Its large size makes this bird a prized target for poachers in many parts of its range, while its noisy habits and tendency to stay on branches when spotted make this species particularly vulnerable to hunting (2) (3).

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Wattled guan conservation

Bizarrely, hunting restrictions are enforced by guerrilla groups in parts of Colombia, and the use of land mines in forested areas indirectly provides a certain amount of protection for this bird (3). Some environmental education programmes have been developed to raise awareness of the plight of this species, directed particularly at hunters that may hunt in protected areas (4).

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

For more information on the wattled guan see:

del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. & Sargatal, J. (1994) Handbook of the Birds of the World - New World Vultures To Guineafowl. Vol. 2. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.

For more information on this and other bird species please see:

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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
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Glossary

Wattle
Bare fleshy skin that hangs from the bill, throat or eye of birds.
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References

  1. IUCN Red List (August, 2006)
    http://www.iucnredlist.org
  2. del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Sargatal, J. (1994) Handbook of the Birds of the World - New World Vultures To Guineafowl. Vol. 2. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
  3. BirdLife International (August, 2006)
    http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/species/index.html?action=SpcHTMDetails.asp&sid=91&m=0
  4. Fundación Empresas Polar (August, 2006)
    http://www.fpolar.org.ve/librorojo/fichas/105.htm
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Image credit

Wattled guan  
Wattled guan

© Néstor Franco

Néstor Franco
Cenicafé - Programa de Biología de la Conservación
Manizales
Colombia
Photograph taken in Oiba, Santander
ffranconett87@gmail.com

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