Tag Archives: Caribbean

Biodiversity challenge – Trinidad piping guan

Guan tomorrow?

If less is more
We have excess of this
Declining frugivore,
Red-listed, red-legged
Blue-faced piper
At the gates of dusk.
Demi-gone denizen
Of montane slopes,
A fading grace,
Hopes shrinking
Faster than your forest,
Sinking without trace
Beneath the race
For timber, land
And pot roast.
Not yet wholly ghost,
But close.
Going, going, guan.

© Tim Knight and timknightwriter, 2014

Species profile: Trinidad piping guan

IUCN Red List Category: Critically Endangered

As its name implies, the Trinidad piping guan is endemic to that particular island. Formerly widespread, it is now restricted to a single area in the mountainous north-east. The pawi, as it is known locally, has very distinctive markings including white wing patches, red legs and blue dewlap and cere. It feeds on fruit and seeds, foraging in the cool of the evening. Although protected by law, it is in grave danger of extinction due to illegal hunting and habitat loss.