Tag Archives: Andes

Biodiversity challenge – Umbrellabird

Canopy slyness

Rainforest quiz:
Is there a way of staying dry?
How do you solve
The daily downpour problem?
Here’s a thought:
Why not evolve
To sport a built-in brolly?
Golly, well I never.
Jolly clever.
Wattle they think of next?

© Tim Knight and timknightwriter, 2015

Species profile: Umbrellabird

IUCN Red List: Endangered

Umbrellabirds live in the rainforests of Central and South America. They are among the largest passerines (perching birds) in the world. Distinctive features include their almost totally black plumage, a conspicuous, umbrella-like crest on their crown, and an inflatable wattle on their neck, which amplifies their booming calls when the males gather at ‘leks’ to attract a mate. The long-wattled umbrellabird is endemic to the Chocó rainforest along the western slopes of the Andes in Colombia and Ecuador. The bare-necked umbrellabird, which has a bright-red throat pouch and wattle, is restricted to Costa Rica and western Panama. Both these species are threatened by deforestation, habitat conversion, and hunting to supply the caged bird trade.

Biodiversity challenge – Wattled curassow

Kill or curassow?
wattled_curassow_ellen_hobgood

Wattled curassow by Ellen Hobgood www.ellenhobgoodgallery.com

What now,
Wattled curassow?
Whither with your
Unique beacon beak?
We wonder how
You’ll find a refuge
From the human deluge
Ripping through
Your pristine pad.
Too bad there’s
No room for you
On the redrawn maps.
See cracks appearing,
Watch Crax disappearing
Through the gaps.
A once intact
Amazonian tract
Man fractured
Beyond repair.
So where now,
Curassow?

© Tim Knight and timknightwriter, 2014

Species profile: Wattled curassow

IUCN Red List Category: Endangered

Wattled curassows are confined to the flooded riparian forest and overgrown shores of rivers in the Andean lowlands and Amazon basin, where they feed mainly on small fish and crustaceans. Widespread human colonisation has resulted in severe fragmentation of the curassow’s habitat and exposed it to the threat of commercial and subsistence hunting, often with shotguns. Populations have declined alarmingly in recent years.