[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 128 (Tuesday, July 7, 2009)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 32307-32349]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-15826]



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Part IV





Department of the Interior





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Fish and Wildlife Service



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50 CFR Part 17



Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Proposed Rule to List 
Five Foreign Bird Species in Colombia and Ecuador, South America, Under 
the Endangered Species Act; Proposed Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 128 / Tuesday, July 7, 2009 / 
Proposed Rules

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

[FWS-R9-IA-2009-12; 96100-1671-9FLS-B6]
RIN 1018-AV75


Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Proposed Rule to 
List Five Foreign Bird Species in Colombia and Ecuador, South America, 
under the Endangered Species Act

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to 
list as endangered four species of birds from Colombia -- the blue-
billed curassow (Crax alberti), the brown-banded antpitta (Grallaria 
milleri), the Cauca guan (Penelope perspicax), and the gorgeted wood-
quail (Odontophorus strophium) -- and one bird species from Ecuador -- 
the Esmeraldas woodstar (Chaetocercus berlepschi) -- as endangered 
under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act) (16 U.S.C. 
1531 et seq.). This proposal, if made final, would extend the Act's 
protection to these species. The Service seeks data and comments from 
the public on this proposed rule.

DATES: We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 
September 8, 2009. We must receive requests for public hearings, in 
writing, at the address shown in the ADDRESSES section by August 21, 
2009.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by one of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, 
Attn: RIN 1018-AV75; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 222; Arlington, 
VA 22203.
    We will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov . This 
generally means that we will post any personal information you provide 
us (see the Public Comments section below for more information).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Douglas Krofta, Chief, Branch of 
Listing, Endangered Species Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Room 420, Arlington, VA 22203; telephone 703-
358-2105; facsimile 703-358-1735. If you use a telecommunications 
device for the deaf (TDD), you may call the Federal Information Relay 
Service (FIRS) at 800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Public Comments

    We intend that any final action resulting from this proposal will 
be as accurate and as effective as possible. Therefore, we request 
comments or suggestions on this proposed rule. We are particularly seek 
comments concerning:
    (1) Biological, commercial trade, or other relevant data concerning 
any threats (or lack thereof) to these species and regulations that may 
be addressing those threats.
    (2) Additional information concerning the taxonomy, range, 
distribution, and population size of these species, including the 
locations of any additional populations of these species.
    (3) Any information on the biological or ecological requirements of 
these species.
    (4) Current or planned activities in the areas occupied by these 
species and possible impacts of these activities on these species.
    (5) Any information concerning the effects of climate change on 
these species or their habitats.
    You may submit your comments and materials concerning this proposed 
rule by one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section. We will not 
consider comments sent by e-mail or fax or to an address not listed in 
the ADDRESSES section.
    If you submit a comment via http://www.regulations.gov, your entire 
comment--including any personal identifying information--will be posted 
on the website. If you submit a hardcopy comment that includes personal 
identifying information, you may request at the top of your document 
that we withhold this information from public review. However, we 
cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. We will post all 
hardcopy comments on http://www.regulations.gov.
    Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting 
documentation we used in preparing this proposed rule, will be 
available for public inspection on http://www.regulations.gov , or by 
appointment, during normal business hours, at the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, Endangered Species Program, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, 
Room 420, Arlington, VA 22203; telephone 703-358-2171.

Background

    Section 4(b)(3)(A) of the Act requires us to make a finding (known 
as a ``90-day finding'') on whether a petition to add, remove, or 
reclassify a species from the list of endangered or threatened species 
has presented substantial information indicating that the requested 
action may be warranted. To the maximum extent practicable, the finding 
shall be made within 90 days following receipt of the petition and 
published promptly in the Federal Register. If we find that the 
petition has presented substantial information indicating that the 
requested action may be warranted (a positive finding), section 
4(b)(3)(A) of the Act requires us to commence a status review of the 
species if one has not already been initiated under our internal 
candidate assessment process. In addition, section 4(b)(3)(B) of the 
Act requires us to make a finding within 12 months following receipt of 
the petition on whether the requested action is warranted, not 
warranted, or warranted but precluded by higher-priority listing 
actions (this finding is referred to as the ``12-month finding''). 
Section 4(b)(3)(C) of the Act requires that a finding of warranted but 
precluded for petitioned species should be treated as having been 
resubmitted on the date of the warranted-but-precluded finding, and is, 
therefore, subject to a new finding within 1 year and subsequently 
thereafter until we publish a proposal to list or a finding that the 
petitioned action is not warranted. The Service publishes an annual 
notice of resubmitted petition findings (annual notice) for all foreign 
species for which listings were previously found to be warranted but 
precluded.

Previous Federal Action

    On November 24, 1980, we received a petition (1980 petition) from 
Dr. Warren B. King, Chairman of the International Council for Bird 
Preservation (ICBP), to add 60 foreign bird species to the list of 
Threatened and Endangered Wildlife (50 CFR 17.11(h)), including two 
species from Colombia (the Cauca guan and the gorgeted wood-quail) that 
are the subject of this proposed rule. In response to the 1980 
petition, we published a positive 90-day finding on May 12, 1981 (46 FR 
26464), to initiate a status review for 58 foreign species, noting that 
2 of the species identified in the petition were already listed under 
the Act. On January 20, 1984 (49 FR 2485), we published a 12-month 
finding within an annual review on pending petitions and description of 
progress on all species petition findings addressed therein. In that 
notice, we found that all 58 foreign bird species from the 1980 
petition were warranted but precluded by higher-priority listing 
actions. On May 10, 1985, we published the first annual

[[Page 32309]]

notice (50 FR 19761), in which we continued to find that listing all 58 
foreign bird species from the 1980 petition was warranted but 
precluded. In our next annual notice, published on January 9, 1986 (51 
FR 996), we found that listing 54 species from the 1980 petition, 
including the two Colombian species mentioned above, continued to be 
warranted but precluded, whereas new information caused us to find that 
listing four other species in the 1980 petition was no longer 
warranted. We published additional annual notices on the remaining 54 
species included in the 1980 petition on July 7, 1988 (53 FR 25511); 
December 29, 1988 (53 FR 52746); and November 21, 1991 (56 FR 58664), 
in which we indicated that the Cauca guan and the gorgeted wood-quail, 
along with the remaining species in the 1980 petition, continued to be 
warranted but precluded.
    On May 6, 1991, we received a petition (1991 petition) from Alison 
Stattersfield, of ICBP, to add 53 species of foreign birds to the list 
of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife, including the blue-billed 
curassow and the brown-banded antpitta, from Colombia, and Esmeraldas 
woodstar, from Ecuador. In response to the 1991 petition, we published 
a positive 90-day finding on December 16, 1991 (56 FR 65207), for all 
53 species and announced the initiation of a status review. On March 
28, 1994 (59 FR 14496), we published a 12-month finding on the 1991 
petition, along with a proposed rule to list 30 African birds under the 
Act (15 each from the 1980 petition and 1991 petition). In that 
document, we announced our finding that listing the remaining 38 
species from the 1991 petition, including the blue-billed curassow and 
the brown-banded antpitta, from Colombia, and Esmeraldas woodstar, from 
Ecuador, was warranted but precluded by higher-priority listing 
actions. On January 12, 1995 (60 FR 2899), we reiterated the warranted-
but-precluded status of the remaining species from the 1991 petition. 
We made subsequent warranted but precluded findings for all outstanding 
foreign species from the 1980 and 1991 petitions, including all five of 
the Colombian and Ecuadorian bird species that are the subject of this 
proposed rule, as published in our annual notices of review (ANOR) on 
May 21, 2004 (69 FR 29354), and April 23, 2007 (72 FR 20184).
    Per the Service's listing priority guidelines (September 21, 1983; 
48 FR 43098), we identified the listing priority numbers (LPNs) 
(ranging from 1 to 12) for all outstanding foreign species in our 2007 
ANOR (72 FR 20184), published on April 23, 2007. In that notice, the 
five species included in this proposed rule were designated with an LPN 
of 2, and it was determined that their listing continued to be 
warranted but precluded because of other listing activity. A listing 
priority of 2 indicates that the subject species face imminent threats 
of high magnitude. With the exception of LPN 1, which addresses 
monotypic genera that face imminent threats of high magnitude, category 
2 represents the Service's highest priority.
    On July 29, 2008 (73 FR 44062), we published in the Federal 
Register a notice announcing our annual petition findings for foreign 
species (2008 ANOR). In that notice, we announced that listing was 
warranted for 30 foreign bird species, including the five species that 
are the subject of this proposed rule. The five species were selected 
from the list of warranted-but-precluded species because of their LPN, 
their similarity of habitat, and the similarity of threats to these 
species. Combining species that face similar threats within the same 
general geographic area into one proposed rule allows us to maximize 
our limited staff resources, thus increasing our ability to complete 
the listing process for warranted-but-precluded species.

Species Information and Factors Affecting the Species

    Section 4 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1533), and its implementing 
regulations at 50 CFR part 424, set forth the procedures for adding 
species to the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and 
Plants. A species may be determined to be an endangered or threatened 
species due to one or more of the five factors described in section 
4(a)(1) of the Act. The five factors are: (A) the present or threatened 
destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range; (B) 
overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or 
educational purposes; (C) disease or predation; (D) the inadequacy of 
existing regulatory mechanisms; and (E) other natural or manmade 
factors affecting its continued existence.
    Under the Act, we may determine a species to be endangered or 
threatened. An endangered species is defined as a species that is in 
danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its 
range. A threatened species is defined as a species that is likely to 
become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout 
all or a significant portion of its range. Therefore, we evaluated the 
best available scientific and commercial information on each species 
under the five listing factors to determine whether they met the 
definition of endangered or threatened.
    Below is a species-by-species analysis of these five factors using 
the best available scientific and commercial information to determine 
whether the species meet the definition of endangered or threatened. 
The species are considered in alphabetical order, beginning with the 
Colombian species: blue-billed curassow, brown-banded antpitta, Cauca 
guan, gorgeted wood-quail, and followed by the Ecuadorian species: the 
Esmeraldas woodstar.

Colombian Bird Species

I. Blue-Billed Curassow (Crax alberti)

Species Description

    The blue-billed curassow, endemic to Colombia, is a large (82-92 
centimeters (cm) (32-36 inches (in)), tree-dwelling member of the 
Cracid family (Cracidae) (Collar et al. 1992, p. 154; del Hoyo 1994, p. 
361; Salaman et al. 2001, p. 183). The species is locally known as 
``Pauj[iacute]l de pico azul'' or ``Pav[oacute]n Colombiano'' and is 
also referred to in English as the blue-knobbed curassow (Cuervo 2002, 
p. 138; United Nations Environment Programme - World Conservation 
Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) 2008c, p. 1). In older literature, the 
species is referred to as Prince Albert's curassow (Throp 1964, p. 
124). The blue-billed curassow is described as mainly black with blue 
at the base of its bill. The male has a white-plumaged crissum (the 
area under the tail), whereas the female has a black and white crest 
and black and white barring on her wings (BirdLife International (BLI) 
2007d, p. 1; Throp 1964, p. 124).

Taxonomy

    The species was first taxonomically described by Fraser in 1852 and 
placed in the family Cracidae.

Habitat and Life History

    Blue-billed curassows prefer undisturbed, heterogeneous primary 
forests in the humid lowlands of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta 
Mountains at elevations up to 1,200 meters (m) (3,937 feet (ft)) 
(Collar et al. 1992, p. 154; del Hoyo 1994, p. 361; Salaman et al. 
2001, p. 183). The blue-billed curassow requires a large home range of 
primary tropical forest (Cuervo 2002, pp. 138-140). The species will 
rarely cross narrow deforested corridors, such as those caused by roads 
or oil pipelines, and will not cross large open areas between forest 
fragments (Cuervo and Salaman 1999, p. 7). The species is described as 
being trusting of humans (del Hoyo 1994, p. 336).

[[Page 32310]]

    This terrestrial bird feeds mostly on fruit and leaves, and 
sometimes feeds upon worms and carrion. It plays an important role in 
dispersing seeds and regenerating tropical forests (BLI 2007d, p. 1; 
Brooks 2006, p. 17; Brooks and Strahl 2000, pp. 5-8; Cuervo and Salaman 
1999, p. 8).
    Cracids are also slow to reproduce, with a replacement rate of at 
least 6 years (Silva and Strahl 1991, p. 50). Curassows reach sexual 
maturity in their second year (Throp 1964, p. 130). Blue-billed 
curassows form monogamous pairs that share responsibilities for young 
(Cuervo and Salaman 1999, p. 9; Todd et al. 2008). The breeding season 
begins in December and goes through March (Cuervo and Salaman 1999, p. 
8). During the mating season, the male blue-billed curassows makes 
``booming'' calls that can be heard 500 m (0.31 mi) away (Ochoa-
Quintero et al. 2005, pp. 42, 44). Large nests made of sticks and 
leaves are built in dense lianas (woody vines) (Cuervo and Salaman 
1999, p. 8). The typical blue-billed curassow clutch size is 1-2 large 
white eggs, which is a low clutch size relative to other Galliformes 
(del Hoyo 1994, p. 336; Throp 1964, p. 130), and young are hatched in 
July after an approximately 29-day incubation period (del Hoyo 1994, p. 
361; Hilty and Brown 1986, p. 129; Throp 1964, p. 131). In captivity, 
curassows are long-lived species (Todd et al. 2008, p.7). Throp (1964, 
p. 132) recorded a blue-billed curassow still laying eggs at 20 years 
of age. However, in the wild, one generation is considered to be 10 
years (Cuervo 2002, p. 141).

Historical Range and Distribution

    The blue-billed curassow historically occurred in northern 
Colombia, from the base of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (in the 
northern Departments of Magdalena La Guijaira, and Cesar), west to the 
Sin[uacute] valley (Department of C[oacute]rdoba), through the 
R[iacute]o Magdalena (through the Departments (from south to north) of 
Huila, Tolima, Caldas, Antioquia, Santander, Bolivar, Magdalena, and La 
Guajira) (BLI 2007a, p. 1; Cuervo and Salaman 1999, p. 7; del Hoyo 
1994, p. 361). The species' historic range encompassed an area of 
approximately 106,700 square kilometers (km\2\) (41,197 square miles 
(mi\2\)) (Cuervo 2002, p. 141). There were no confirmed observations of 
blue-billed curassows between 1978 and 1997 (Brooks and Gonzalez-Garcia 
2001, p. 183), and surveys conducted in 1998 failed to locate any males 
(BLI 2007d, p. 3) (as detailed under Factor B, below), prompting 
researchers to believe the species to be extinct in the wild (del Hoyo 
1994, p. 361). However, a series of reported observations made in 1993 
were confirmed in the year 2000 (Cuervo 2002, pp. 136-137).

Current Range and Distribution

    The current range of the blue-billed curassow is estimated to be a 
2,090-km\2\ (807-mi\2\) area (BLI 2007d, p. 2) of fragmented, disjunct, 
and isolated tropical moist and humid lowlands and premontane forested 
foothills in the R[iacute]o Magdalena and lower Cauca Valleys of the 
Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Mountains. The species may be found at 
elevations up to 1,200 m (3,937 ft) (Collar et al. 1992, p. 154; Cuervo 
and Salaman 1999, p. 7; del Hoyo 1994, p. 361; Donegan and Huertas 
2005, p. 29; Salaman et al. 2001, p. 183), but it is more commonly 
found below 600 m (del Hoyo 1994, p. 361). Little information is 
available on the size of the forest fragments in which the species has 
been observed. However, researchers conducting fieldwork in the 
Department of Antioqu[iacute]a in 1999 and 2001 noted that the patch 
sizes varied from 3 km\2\ (1.2 mi\2\) to 10 km\2\ (3.9 mi\2\) in size 
(Ochoa-Quintero et al. 2005, p. 46).
    In 1993, sightings were reported in the northern Departments of 
C[oacute]rdoba (at La Terretera, near Alto Sin[uacute]) and 
Bol[iacute]var (in the Serran[iacute]a de San Jacinto (San Jacinto 
Mountains)) (Williams, in litt., as cited in BLI 2007d, p. 2). 
Additional observations were made in the northernmost Department of La 
Guajira in 2003 (in the Valle de San Salvador Valley) (Strewe and 
Navarro 2003, p. 32). More recently, individuals have been observed in 
the tropical forests of the central Departments of Antioqu[iacute]a (on 
the slopes of the Serran[iacute]a de San Lucas and Bajo Cauca-
Nech[iacute] Regional Reserve area), the Departments of Santander and 
Boyac[aacute] (on the slopes of the Serran[iacute]a de las Quinchas), 
and in the southeastern Department of Cauca (in northeastern and lower 
Cauca Valley) (BLI 2007d, p. 2; Cuervo 2002, pp. 135-138; Donegan and 
Huertas 2005, p. 29; Ochoa-Quintero et al. 2005, p. 43-4; Urue[ntilde]a 
et al. 2006, p. 42). Experts consider the most important refuges for 
this species to be: (1) Serran[iacute]a de San Lucas 
(Antioqu[iacute]a); (2) Paramillo National Park (Antioqu[iacute]a and 
C[oacute]rdoba Departments); (3) Bajo Cauca-Nech[iacute] Regional 
Reserve (Antioqu[iacute]a and C[oacute]rdoba Departments); and, (4) 
Serran[iacute]a de las Quinchas Bird Reserve (Santander and 
Boyac[aacute] Departments) (BLI 2007d, p. 3; Cuervo 2002, p. 139). 
These refugia are discussed under Factor A, below.

Population Estimates

    There is little information on population numbers for the various 
reported locations of the species, and political instability within the 
country makes it difficult to know the exact population size of this 
species (Houston Zoo 2008). In 2002, Cuervo (2002, p. 141) considered 
the Serran[iacute]a de las Quinchas and Serran[iacute]a de San Lucas 
populations to be the stronghold of the species. However, surveys in 
2003 led researchers to believe that Serran[iacute]a de las Quinchas 
serves as the species' stronghold (BLI 2007d, pp. 2, 5-6). In 2003, the 
population at Serran[iacute]a de las Quinchas (Boyac[aacute] 
Department) location was estimated to be between 250 and 1,000 birds. 
The only other information on the subpopulation level is a report from 
Strewe and Navarro (2003, p. 32), based on field studies conducted 
between 2000 and 2001, that hunting had nearly extirpated the blue-
billed curassow from a site in San Salvador (La Guijara) (Factor B).
    Using the International Union for Conservation of Nature and 
Natural Resources (IUCN) categories, the blue-billed curassow 
population was estimated according to IUCN criteria to be more than 
1,000 but fewer than 2,500 in 1994 (BLI 2007d, p. 2). In 2001, Brooks 
and Gonzalez-Garcia (2001, p. 184) estimated the total population to be 
much fewer than 2,000 individuals. In 2002, it was estimated that the 
species had lost 88 percent of its habitat and half of its population 
within the last three generations, or 30 years (Cuervo 2002, p. 141). 
Local reports indicate an overall declining trend characterized by 
recent rapid declines of all subpopulations (BLI 2007d, p. 1; Cuervo 
2002, p. 138; Strahl et al. 1995, p.25). For further information on 
population size, see Factor E, below.

Conservation Status

    The blue-billed curassow is identified as a critically endangered 
species under Colombian law (EcoLex 2002, p. 12). The species is 
considered one of the most threatened cracids by the IUCN Cracid 
Specialist Group. The species is categorized by the IUCN as `Critically 
Endangered,' with habitat loss as a primary threat (BLI 2004b, p. 1; 
Cuervo 2002, p. 141; del Hoyo 1994 p. 340; Strahl et al. 1995, pp. 4-5; 
Urue[ntilde]a et al. 2006, pp. 41-2).

[[Page 32311]]

Summary of Factors Affecting the Blue-Billed Curassow

A. The Present or Threatened Destruction, Modification, or Curtailment 
of the Habitat or Range

    The blue-billed curassow prefers undisturbed, heterogeneous forests 
and is rarely found in secondary or even slightly disturbed forests 
(Cuervo and Salaman 1999, p. 7). The blue-billed curassow occur today 
in several disjunct locations along a much-restricted part of its 
historic distribution (Brooks and Gonzalez-Garcia 2001, p. 183; Collar 
et al. 1992, pp. 61-62; Cuervo and Salaman 1999, p. 7). Researchers 
note that the blue-billed curassow requires large territories, but 
there is little information as to the actual size of the remaining 
forest fragments (Cuervo and Salaman 1999, p. 7). In 1999 and 2001, 
researchers conducting fieldwork in the Department of Antioqui[aacute] 
noted that the patch sizes in which the species were observed or heard 
varied from 3 km\2\ (1.2 mi\2\) to 10 km\2\ (3.9 mi\2\) in size (Ochoa-
Quintero et al. 2005, p. 46). Since the 1990s, the species has been 
observed in the Departments of C[oacute]rdoba (at La Terretera, near 
Alto Sin[uacute], 1993) and Bol[iacute]var (in the Serran[iacute]a de 
San Jacinto, 1993) (Williams in litt., as cited in BLI 2007d, p. 2); La 
Guajira (in the Valle de San Salvador Valley, 2003) (Strewe and Navarro 
2003, p. 32); Antioqu[iacute]a (on the slopes of the Serran[iacute]a de 
San Lucas and Bajo Cauca-Nech[iacute] Regional Reserve area, 1999 and 
2001) (Ochoa-Quintero et al. 2005, p. 43-44); Santander and 
Boyac[aacute] (on the slopes of the Serran[iacute]a de las Quinchas); 
and Cauca (in northeastern and lower Cauca Valley) (BLI 2007d, p. 2; 
Cuervo 2002, pp. 135-138; Donegan and Huertas 2005, p. 29; 
Urue[ntilde]a et al. 2006, p. 42).
    Deforestation rates and patterns: Primary forest habitats 
throughout Colombia have undergone extensive deforestation. Vi[ntilde]a 
et al. (2004, pp. 123-124) used satellite imagery to analyze 
deforestation rates and patterns along the Colombian-Ecuadorian Border 
(in the Departments of Putumayo and Sucumbios, respectively), finding 
that, from 1973 to 1996, a total of 829 km\2\ (320 mi\2\) of tropical 
forests within the study area were converted to other uses. This 
corresponds to a nearly one-third total loss of primary forest habitat, 
or a nearly 2 percent mean annual rate of deforestation within the 
study area. During the study, the area within Colombia experienced a 
three-times-larger annual rate of loss than that in Ecuador, due to 
more intense pressures from human colonization and illegal crop 
cultivation (Vi[ntilde]a et al. 2004, p. 124). The human population 
within the area increased from approximately 50,000 to over 250,000 
people during the 23-year period (Perz et al. 2005, pp. 26-28). A 
similar phenomenon occurred in the R[iacute]o Magdalena Valley, which 
coincides with the species' historic range as well as its disjunct and 
restricted current range. The R[iacute]o Magdalena runs from south to 
north approximately 1,540 km (950 mi) through western Colombia and 
served as the main waterway connecting coffee (Coffea spp.) plantations 
to the ports on the Western Colombian coast in the 1920s, when the 
river was reportedly plagued by occasional droughts and erosion. In the 
1930s, a railway was completed along much of the R[iacute]o Magdalena 
Valley; this infrastructural improvement contributed to a growth in 
several industries, including coffee (throughout the R[iacute]o 
Magdalena valley), bananas (Musa spp.) (Magdalena Department), and oil 
fields (Santander Department) (Ocampo and Botero 2000, pp. 76-78). 
Deforestation and habitat loss throughout the lowland forests across 
northern Colombia over the past 100 years contributed to the increasing 
rarity of the species, and extirpated the species from a large portion 
of its previous range by the 1980s (Brooks and Gonzalez-Garcia 2001, p. 
183; Collar et al. 1992, pp. 61-62; Cuervo and Salaman 1999, p. 7).
    In a similar study specific to the western Andean Amazon area of 
Colombia (in the Departments of Arauca, Casemere, Meta, Vichada, 
Amazonas, Caquet[aacute], Guainia, Guaviare, Putumayo, and 
Vaup[eacute]s), deforestation between 1980 and 1990 totaled 52,320 
km\2\ (20,201 mi\2\) (Perz et al. 2005, pp. 26-28). The most recent 
reports indicate that habitat loss is ongoing and may be accelerating. 
Between the years 1990 and 2005, Colombia lost a total of 7,920 km\2\ 
(3,058 mi\2\) of primary forest (Butler 2006a, pp. 1-3; Food and 
Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) 2003a, p. 1). 
Researchers have observed that road building and other infrastructure 
improvements in previously remote forested areas have increased 
accessibility and facilitated further habitat destruction, 
exploitation, and human settlement ([Aacute]lvarez 2005, p. 2042; 
C[aacute]rdenas and Rodr[iacute]guez Becerra 2004, pp. 125-130; Etter 
et al. 2006, p. 1; Hunter 1996, p. 158-159; Vi[ntilde]a et al. 2004, 
pp. 118-119). In Antioquia, cattle ranches are extensive in areas where 
the blue-billed curassow occurs; cattle ranching is considered a less 
labor-intensive land use, meaning that more people need to turn to 
alternative sources of income generation, such as cultivation or 
extractive industries (Melo and Ochoa 2004, as cited in Urue[ntilde]a 
et al. 2006, p. 42). In Serran[iacute]a de las Quinchas, the economy is 
based principally on timber extraction, agriculture, and cattle 
ranching (Urue[ntilde]a and Quevedo unpubl. data 2004, as cited in 
Urue[ntilde]a et al. 2006, p. 47). These activities contribute to 
further habitat fragmentation and reduction. In terms of habitat 
destruction, an influx of settlers displaced from the Departments of 
Antioquia, Tolima, and Cundinamarca, due to violence and public 
disorder in these Departments, are the principal threat to the 
mountainous regions in these Departments (Urue[ntilde]a et al. 2006, p. 
42).
    The decline in blue-billed curassow population numbers (see 
Population estimates, above) is inextricably linked to habitat loss. 
The blue-billed curassow became increasingly rare during the 20th 
Century, as much of the lower-elevation forests in their historic range 
of the R[iacute]o Magdalena and R[iacute]o Cauca Valleys were 
deforested, forcing the blue-billed curassow to move to higher 
elevations (Cuervo and Salaman 1999, p. 8). By the 1980s, the species 
had disappeared from a large portion of its previous range (Collar et 
al. 1992, pp. 61-62), which historically encompassed approximately 
106,700 km\2\ (41,197 mi\2\) (Cuervo 2002, p. 141). In 2002, it was 
estimated that, within the three prior generations (30 years), the 
species had lost 88 percent of its original habitat and that the 
remaining suitable habitat had been reduced to 13,300 km\2\ (5135 m2) 
(Cuervo 2002, p. 141). The current range of the blue-billed curassow is 
estimated to be 2,090 km\2\ (807 mi\2\) (BLI 2007d, p.2) (see also 
``Small Population Size,'' Factor E).
    Deforestation and fragmentation caused by human encroachment are 
ongoing throughout the blue-billed curassow's range, including: 
Antioqu[iacute]a (on the slopes of the Serran[iacute]a de San Lucas and 
Bajo Cauca-Nech[iacute] Regional Reserve area); Santander and 
Boyac[aacute] Departments (on the slopes of the Serran[iacute]a de las 
Quinchas); and in the southeastern Department of Cauca (in northeastern 
and lower Cauca Valley), where timber extraction and mining continue 
(Urue[ntilde]a et al. 2006, p. 42). Human activities that are 
contributing to habitat loss include: forest clearing for subsistence 
agriculture, cash crops (such as coffee), and grazing ([Aacute]lvarez 
2005, p. 2042; BLI 2007d, p. 3; C[aacute]rdenas and Rodr[iacute]guez 
Becerra 2004, p. 355; Oldham and Massey 2002, pp. 9-12; Urue[ntilde]a 
et al. 2006, p. 42); habitat alteration, human population displacement, 
and hunting as a result of armed conflict ([Aacute]lvarez 2001, p. 305; 
[Aacute]lvarez 2003, pp. 51-52); habitat

[[Page 32312]]

destruction and alteration as a result of fire ([Aacute]lvarez 2005, p. 
2041; Moreno et al. 2006, p. 1); habitat loss for dams and reservoir 
development (Cuervo 2002, p. 139; Kreger 2005, pp.5-6); illicit crop 
cultivation (such as the coca plant (Erythroxylum coca)) 
([Aacute]lvarez 2001, pp. 1086-1087; [Aacute]lvarez 2007, pp. 133-135; 
C[aacute]rdenas and Rodr[iacute]guez Becerra 2004, p. 355; Oldham and 
Massey 2002, pp. 9-12); gold mining activities (Cuervo 2002, p. 139); 
habitat pollution due to oil development and distribution 
([Aacute]lvarez 2005, p. 2041; C[aacute]rdenas and Rodr[iacute]guez 
Becerra 2004, p. 355); and increased access and habitat destruction 
resulting from road development (Cuervo 2002, pp. 139-140). Roads 
create barriers to animal movements, expose animals to traffic hazards, 
and increase human access into habitat, thus facilitating further 
exploitation and habitat destruction (Hunter 1996, 158-159). Local 
human populations have recently settled in forested areas that 
previously provided habitat for blue-billed curassows. This human 
settlement is accelerating habitat loss and fragmentation with only 5 
percent of the species' restricted range now covered by forest (Brooks 
and Gonzalez-Garcia 2001, pp. 183-184), and is leaving only fragmented, 
disjunct, and isolated populations in the remaining four or five 
patches of tropical humid and premontane forests ([Aacute]lvarez 2003, 
p. 51; Brooks and Strahl 2000, pp. 14-15; Collar et al. 1994, pp. 61-
62; Cuervo and Salaman 1999, p. 7; Donegan and Huertas 2005, p. 29).
    Illegal drugs and their eradication: The cultivation of illegal 
crops (including coca) poses additional threats to the environment 
beyond encouraging the destruction of montane forests (Balslev 1993, p. 
3). Van Schoik and Schulberg (1993, p. 21) noted that coca crop 
production destroys the soil quality by causing the soil to become more 
acidic, which depletes the soil nutrients and ultimately impedes the 
regrowth of secondary forests in abandoned fields. Although Colombia 
continues to be the leading coca bush producer (United Nations Office 
of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) et al. 2007, p. 7), since 2003, cocaine 
cultivation has remained stable at about 800 km\2\ (309 mi\2\) of land 
under cultivation (UNODC et al. 2007, p. 8). This stabilization of 
production is partially attributed to alternative development projects 
that were implemented between 1999 and 2004 to encourage pursuits other 
than illegal crop cultivation (UNODC et al. 2007, p. 77). This is also 
attributed to heightened eradication efforts. Between 2002 and 2004, 
aerial spraying occurred over more than 1,300 km\2\ (502 mi\2\) 
annually, peaking in 2004, when 1,360 km\2\ (525 mi\2\) of illicit 
crops were sprayed (UNODC and the Government of Colombia (GOC) 2005, p. 
11). In 2006, eradication efforts were undertaken on over 2,130 km\2\ 
(822 mi\2\) of land, which included sraying of 1,720 km\2\ (664 mi\2\) 
and manual eradication on the remaining land. Eradication efforts 
undertaken in 2006 occurred over an area 2.7 times greater than the net 
cultivation area (UNODC et al. 2007, p. 8). Drug eradication efforts in 
Colombia have further degraded and destroyed primary forest habitat by 
using nonspecific aerial herbicides to destroy illegal crops 
([Aacute]lvarez 2005, p. 2042; BLI 2007d, p. 3; C[aacute]rdenas and 
Rodr[iacute]guez Becerra 2004, p. 355; Oldham and Massey 2002, pp. 9-
12). Herbicide spraying has introduced harmful chemicals into blue-
billed curassow habitat and has led to further destruction of the 
habitat by forcing illicit growers to move to new, previously untouched 
forested areas ([Aacute]lvarez 2002, pp. 1088-1093; [Aacute]lvarez 
2005, p. 2042; [Aacute]lvarez 2007, pp. 133-143; BLI 2007d, p. 3; 
C[aacute]rdenas and Rodr[iacute]guez Becerra 2004, p. 355; Oldham and 
Massey 2002, pp. 9-12). Between 1998 and 2002, cultivation of illicit 
crops increased by 21 percent each year, with a concomitant increase in 
deforestation of formerly pristine areas of approximately 60 percent 
([Aacute]lvarez 2002, pp. 1088-1093).
    Effects of habitat fragmentation: A study conducted on the effects 
of habitat fragmentation on Andean birds within western Colombia 
determined two primary conditions that increased a species' 
vulnerability to habitat fragmentation and susceptibility to local 
extirpation and extinction: (1) species that were located at the upper 
or lower limit of their altitudinal or geographical distribution (as is 
the case for the blue-billed curassow, which formerly occupied the now-
cleared lower elevation forests and is relegated to isolated forest 
fragments within its current range), and (2) species that were large 
fruit-eating birds with limited distributions and narrow habitat 
preferences (also traits of the blue-billed curassow) (Kattan and 
[Aacute]lvarez-Lopez 1996, pp. 5-6). The study also determined that 31 
percent of the historical bird populations in western Colombia had 
become extinct or locally extirpated by 1990, largely as a result of 
habitat fragmentation from deforestation and human encroachment (Kattan 
and [Aacute]lvarez-Lopez 1996, p. 5; Kattan et al. 1994, p. 141). The 
most direct physical consequence of habitat fragmentation is loss of 
habitat heterogeneity; habitat heterogeneity is a characteristic 
preferred by the blue-billed curassow (see Habitat and Life History, 
above) (Kattan and [Aacute]lvarez-Lopez 1996, p. 6). Local reports 
indicate an overall declining trend characterized by recent rapid 
declines of all the populations of blue-billed curassows (BLI 2007d, p. 
1; Cuervo 2002, p. 138; Strahl et al. 1995, p. 25). Moreover, the 
ability of the blue-billed curassow to repopulate an isolated patch of 
suitable habitat following decline or extirpation is highly unlikely 
due to the species' small overall population size, its tendency to 
avoid degraded habitats, and the large distances between the remaining 
primary forest fragments in addition to the species' reticence to cross 
large areas of open habitat (Cuervo and Salaman 1999, p. 7; Hanski 
1998, pp. 45-46).
    In addition to the direct detrimental effect of habitat loss, blue-
billed curassows and other cracids are susceptible to indirect effects 
of habitat disturbance and fragmentation (Brooks and Strahl 2000, p. 
10; Silva and Strahl 1991, p. 38). A study conducted in northwestern 
Colombia suggests that habitat destruction and fragmentation may 
increase a species' vulnerability to predation (Arango-V[eacute]lez and 
Kattan 1997, pp. 140-142) (Factor C). Habitat fragmentation, in 
combination with growing numbers of human settlements, has made the 
species' habitat more accessible and more vulnerable to hunting (Factor 
B) and predation (Factor C). Habitat loss also compounds the species' 
decline in population numbers (estimated to be between 1,000 and 2,500 
individuals) (BLI 2004b, p. 1) (see Factor E, Small population size).
    Refugia: Several areas within the blue-billed curassow's current 
range are designated as national parks or other types of preserves, 
including Tayrona and Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta National Parks (both 
in Antioqu[iacute]a Department) (Cuervo 2002, p. 140) and the Colorados 
Sanctuary (Bol[iacute]var Department), which protects part of the 
Serran[iacute]a de San Jacinto (BLI 2007d, pp. 2-3; Urue[ntilde]a et 
al. 2006, p. 42). Experts consider the most important refuges for this 
species, containing the largest remaining areas of suitable habitat, to 
be in the following areas (arranged geographically, from north to 
south): (1) Serran[iacute]a de San Lucas, (2) Paramillo National Park, 
(3) Bajo Cauca-Nech[iacute] Regional Reserve, and (4) El Pauj[iacute]l 
Bird Reserve (BLI 2007d, p. 3; Cuervo 2002, p. 139-140; Urue[ntilde]a 
et al. 2006, p. 42), four of the five locations where the species has 
been observed in the 21st Century (see Current Range, above). The 
habitat within these refugia underserves

[[Page 32313]]

the needs of the species for various reasons (including past and 
ongoing habitat destruction and incomplete habitat inclusion), as 
enumerated below. In addition, inadequate regulatory mechanisms hamper 
protection of the species and its habitat (Factor D).
    (1) Serran[iacute]a de San Lucas (Antioqu[iacute]a) is not a 
protected area, but is one of the largest remaining tracts of forest 
that is the least disturbed (WWF 2001b, p. 1). Even so, only a few 
isolated forest patches survive above 1,000 m (3,280 ft) in the 
northern lowlands (Antioqui[aacute] Department) (Donegan and Salaman 
1999, p. 4). Ongoing pressures on this habitat include human 
encroachment for natural resources, colonization, ranching, logging, 
and crop production, as well as pollution of the Magdelena and Cauca 
Rivers (WWF 2001b, p. 3). In 1996, there was a gold rush that led to 
deforestation for logging, settlements, conversion to agriculture, and 
coca production (BLI 2007d, p 3). Using satellite imagery and 
fieldwork, Cuervo (2002, p. 140) determined that deforestation on the 
eastern slopes of the Serran[iacute]a de San Lucas was extensive 
between 1995 and 1996. In 2005, highway construction was underway as 
part of a national plan to connect the East Andes, the West Andes, and 
the Pacific ports, including roadbuilding through the Serran[iacute]a 
de San Lucas and adjacent lowlands ([Aacute]lvarez 2005, p. 2042). 
Because the species prefers pristine habitat, this ongoing habitat 
alteration negatively impacts the integrity of this location and the 
survival of the species therein.
    (2) The Paramillo National Park (Antioqu[iacute]a and 
C[oacute]rdoba Departments), created in 1977, encompasses an area 4600 
km\2\ (1776 mi\2\) in size and includes moist and cloud forest habitats 
(Corantioquia 2008, p. 1). However, it only protects the upper 
elevational limit of the habitat occupied by the species, where the 
species is rarer (Cuervo 2002, p. 140). This Park is inhabited by an 
indigenous community (Ember[aacute]), for whom the Park was created. 
Farmers also inhabit the interior regions of the Park (BLI 2007a, p. 1-
2). The areas to the south of the Park have undergone intense habitat 
disturbance from logging, drug crop production, and inundation from 
flooding caused by the construction of the Urr[aacute] Dam (Cuervo 
2002, p. 139). Deforestation has occurred throughout a large portion of 
the Park's buffer zone as well as in the extreme southern reaches 
within Park boundaries (Cuervo 2002, p. 140). Between 2003 and 2004, 
cocaine cultivation within the Paramillo National Park went from 
1.1km\2\ to 4.6 km\2\ (UNODC and GOC 2005, p. 45). The Urr[aacute] Dam 
was constructed on the Sin[uacute] River between 1993 and 1998; the 
Sin[uacute] River Valley was part of the blue-billed curassows' 
historic range (BirdLife International (BLI) 2007a, p. 1; Cuervo and 
Salaman 1999, p. 7; del Hoyo 1994, p. 361). The reservoir flooded the 
area and led to displacement of human populations and other habitat 
alterations, including fish kills caused by blocked spawning and 
migratory routes (NGO Working Group on Export Development Canada 2003, 
p.31).
    (3) The Bajo Cauca-Nech[iacute] Regional Reserve (Antioqu[iacute]a 
and C[oacute]rdoba Departments), created in 1999, is located within a 
large tract (450 km\2\ (174 mi\2\)) of forested land at an elevation of 
800 m (2,625 ft). Bajo Cauca is the second most populated region in the 
Department of Antioquia. Logging is important in this region, and the 
Reserve allows commercial exploitation of wood (Fundaci[oacute]n Viztaz 
2007, p. 2). Surveys are scant in this area, which is believed to be 
home to many species as yet unidentified by science (Cuervo 2002, p. 
137; Donegan and Salaman 1999, p. 12). Although the Reserve provides 
suitable habitat for the species, and the blue-billed curassow is 
presumed to inhabit this area, it has not been confirmed within the 
Reserve (BLI 2007d, p. 3).
    (4) El Pauj[iacute]l Bird Reserve (Santander and Boyac[aacute] 
Departments) is a private reserve established in Serran[iacute]a de las 
Quinchas (WorldTwitch Colombia 2004, p.3). In the early 1990s, the 
Serran[iacute]a de las Quinchas (Boyac[aacute] Department, central 
Colombia) was considered one of the last remaining well-preserved cloud 
forests and the largest tract of lowland wet forest in the region, with 
up to 500 km\2\ (193 mi\2\) of forest remaining. Within a decade, the 
forest had dwindled to 120 km\2\ (46 mi\2\) (WorldTwitch Colombia 2004, 
p. 3). In 2002, the largest known subpopulation of blue-billed curassow 
was located in the Serran[iacute]a de las Quinchas and became regarded 
as the stronghold of the species (BLI 2007d, p. 2). El Pauj[iacute]l 
Bird Reserve was created in 2004 specifically to protect the blue-
billed curassow and its habitat (BLI 2007b, p. 2). Comprising 10 km\2\ 
(3.9 mi\2\) of lowland tropical forest up to elevations of 700 m (2297 
ft), the Reserve includes suitable habitat for the species. However, 
collection of eggs and chicks are ongoing within the region (Cuervo 
2002, p. 139; Urue[ntilde]a et al. 2006, p. 42) (Factor B), and there 
are questions as to the effectiveness of this Reserve to protect the 
species (Factor D).

Summary of Factor A

    The blue-billed curassow prefers undisturbed habitat, and the 
remaining small populations are limited to four or five small, 
disjunct, and isolated areas in seven different Departments. Within the 
past three generations, or 30 years, the species is estimated to have 
lost 88 percent of its habitat and half of its population. 
Deforestation and conversion of primary forests for human settlements 
and agriculture has led to habitat fragmentation throughout the 
species' range and to isolation of remaining populations. Habitat loss 
and fragmentation were factors in the species' historical decline (over 
the past 50 years) and caused localized extirpations, and continue to 
be factors negatively affecting the blue-billed curassow in the wild. 
Human encroachment into the species' preferred primary forest habitat 
has resulted in habitat alteration and disturbance activities that have 
caused declines in the blue-billed curassow population. Cultivation of 
illegal drug crops, such as cocaine, leads to further deforestation and 
alters soil compositions, hindering regeneration of abandoned fields. 
In addition, drug eradication programs involving the aerial spraying of 
non-specific herbicides lead to further environmental degradation and 
destruction of primary forest habitat. Three of the four most important 
refugia continue to undergo habitat destruction, and regulatory 
mechanisms are inadequate to mitigate the primary threats to this 
species (Factor D). A private refuge, the El Pauj[iacute]l Bird 
Reserve, was formed to protect the blue-billed curassow and its 
habitat, which includes a large amount of suitable habitat, but may be 
lacking in its ability to adequately protect the species (Factors B and 
D). Habitat fragmentation contributes to the species' vulnerability to 
hunting (discussed under Factor B) and predation (discussed under 
Factor C) by increasing human and predator access to the habitat. The 
species' historic range, which encompassed approximately 106,700 km\2\ 
(41,197 mi\2\), has been reduced to 2,090 km\2\ (807 mi\2\). Experts 
estimate that 88 percent of this habitat loss has occurred within the 
last three generations, or 30 years. Habitat destruction and 
fragmentation of the remaining primary forest habitat is expected to 
continue, as human encroachment and associated activities continue 
within the blue-billed curassow's range. Therefore, we find that the 
present destruction, modification, and curtailment of habitat

[[Page 32314]]

are threats to the blue-billed curassow throughout all of its range.

B. Overutilization for Commercial, Recreational, Scientific, or 
Educational Purposes

    Blue-billed curassows are hunted by indigenous people and local 
residents for subsistence, sport, trade, and entertainment (Brooks and 
Gonzalez-Garcia 2001, p. 183; Brooks and Strahl 2000, p. 10; Cuervo and 
Salaman 1999, p. 9; Throp 1964, p. 127; Urue[ntilde]a et al. 2006, p. 
42). Cracids, including the blue-billed curassow, are considered 
particularly vulnerable to hunting pressures and are among those 
species most rapidly depleted by hunting (Redford 1992, p. 419). 
Several factors contribute to the species' vulnerability to hunting and 
collection: their large size, ease of location during the breeding 
season, trusting nature, and low productivity (1-2 eggs) relative to 
other Galliformes (del Hoyo 1994, p. 336). Cracids are also slow to 
reproduce, with a replacement rate of at least 6 years (Silva and 
Strahl 1991, p. 50), which makes it difficult for the species to 
rebound from hunting pressures.
    Hunting affects the blue-billed curassow in all life stages. In 
1999, hunters in Antioqu[iacute]o (where the blue-billed curassow is 
known on the slopes of the Serran[iacute]a de San Lucas and Bajo Cauca-
Nech[iacute] Regional Reserve area) reported killing as many as 20 
blue-billed curassows within the prior 20 years (Donegan and Salaman 
1999, p. 21). In 2004, it was reported that hunting had abated 
somewhat, because productive hunting grounds had become too remote from 
villages and because the communities have access to domestic meat (Melo 
and Ochoa 2004, as cited in Urue[ntilde]a et al. 2006, p. 42). However, 
both eggs and chicks continue to be collected in some areas (such as 
Serran[iacute]a de las Quinchas, where El Pauj[iacute]l Reserve is 
located) to be sold at local markets (Cuervo 2002, p. 139; 
Urue[ntilde]a et al. 2006, p. 42), despite measures to protect the 
species from collection (Factor D). In 1999, live trapped birds 
(typically chicks) sold for up to US$100 (greater than the average 
monthly income) (Donegan and Salaman 1999, p. 21). These birds are 
either consumed or maintained as captive animals. The blue-billed 
curassow, as well as other cracids (e.g., chachalacas (Ortalis spp.) 
and guans (Penelope spp.)) serve as a major source of protein for 
indigenous people and attract a great deal of ecotourism (Brooks and 
Strahl 2000, p. 8). People colonizing forested areas capture juvenile 
birds as pets and hold them in captivity in fenced yards or in cages 
(Cuervo and Salaman 1999, p. 8; Donegan and Salaman 1999, p. 21). 
Indigenous people also collect feathers and other body parts of 
curassows for rituals, ornamentation, arrowheads, and for sale to 
tourists (Silva and Strahl 1991, p. 38).
    Most hunting occurs during the mating season, when males are more 
easily located by their booming mating calls (Cuervo and Salaman 1999, 
p. 9; del Hoyo 1994, p. 336), which can be heard from up to 500 m (0.31 
mi) away (Ochoa-Quintero et al. 2005, pp. 42, 44). The direct take of 
males leads to disequilibrium of sex ratios for this species, which 
forms monogamous pairs (Cuervo and Salaman 1999, p. 9; Todd et al. 
2008), and it also leads to the disruption of mating activities (Cuervo 
and Salaman 1999, p. 9; del Hoyo 1994, p. 336). Researchers attribute 
hunting pressure as the cause for the near extinction of the blue-
billed curassow population in the San Salvador Valley (Strewe and 
Navarro 2003, p. 32). Researchers also attribute to hunting the absence 
of blue-billed curassows from parts of its historical range where 
suitable habitat (primary forest) still exists to hunting (Brooks and 
Strahl 2000, p. 10). In 1998, for instance, no males were observed 
during field surveys, prompting researchers to conclude that hunting 
continued to be a serious risk to the species (BLI 2007d, p. 3).
    Habitat fragmentation and concomitant human encroachment (Factor A) 
have made the species' habitat more accessible and more vulnerable to 
hunting. A study conducted in French Guiana provided a quantitative 
estimate of the effect of hunting on a related cracid species, the 
black curassow (Crax alector) (del Hoyo 1994, p. 336). The black 
curassow has similar habitat requirements (undisturbed primary tropical 
to subtropical humid forest at 0-1,400 m (0-4600 ft) elevation) as the 
blue-billed curassow (BLI 2007e). The estimated population density of 
black curassows in non-hunted areas was between 7 and 9 birds per 1 
km\2\ (0.4 mi\2\); in areas with intermittent hunting, the numbers fell 
to between 0.5 and 2.25 birds; and in areas where hunting was regular, 
numbers fell to between 0.5 and 0.73 birds (del Hoyo 1994, p. 336). We 
believe that the effects of hunting on the blue-billed curassow would 
result in similar population reductions based on its similarity of 
habitat requirements and life history traits.
    In 1988, Colombia listed the blue-billed curassow in Appendix III 
of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild 
Fauna and Flora (CITES) (UNEP-WCMC 2008c). An Appendix-III listing 
requires that: (1) the listing range country (in this case, Colombia) 
must issue an export permit for all exports of the species; (2) 
specimens for these exports must be legally obtained; (3) live 
specimens must be transported such that risk of injury, damage, and 
cruelty are minimized; (4) exports from any other range countries 
require a certificate of origin; and (5) re-exports require a re-export 
certificate issued by the country of re-export (UNEP-WCMC 2008a). 
According to the World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC), a total 
of 12 live birds have been traded internationally since 1990 (UNEP-WCMC 
2008e). This trade included imports of two individuals into the United 
States and five birds into Mexico in the early 1990s. Therefore, 
commercial international trade in wild specimens over the past 20 years 
has not been extensive.
    The remaining CITES-documented trade has consisted of exports of 
captive-bred specimens from the United States to Colombia and Belgium. 
The blue-billed curassow has been collected from the wild for use in 
zoos and in captive-breeding programs, both domestically and abroad. A 
small number of birds have been collected by the Cali Zoo and Santa Fe 
de Medellin Zoo in Colombia (Cuervo 2002, p. 142), and small 
collections are held in the United States, including the Houston Zoo 
and San Diego Zoo, as well as in Japan and Mexico (Brooks and Strahl 
2000, p. 15; Cuervo 2002, p. 142). The Cali and Houston Zoo collections 
are being used for captive breeding, which we consider vital to 
conserving and recovering this species (Factor E). International trade 
for zoos and captive-breeding purposes does not contribute to the 
endangerment of the species. We believe that this limited amount of 
international trade, controlled via CITES, is not a threat to the 
species.

Summary of Factor B

    The blue-billed curassow is hunted and collected from the wild at 
all life stages throughout its current range. Blue-billed curassow eggs 
and chicks are collected for food and sale in local markets, or are 
often captured and held in captivity as pets or as a future food 
source. Hunting results in the direct removal of eggs, juveniles, and 
adults from the population. Blue-billed curassows are slow to 
reproduce, produce a low clutch size, and exhibit a poor replacement 
rate (see Habitat and Life History). Hunting can destroy pair bonds and 
remove potentially reproductive adults from the breeding

[[Page 32315]]

pool. The species is particularly vulnerable to hunting and collection 
pressures due to the ease in locating this large bird during its 
breeding season. The majority of hunting occurs during the mating 
season, when males are heard calling for females, leading to 
disproportionate hunting of males. Hunting disturbances during the 
breeding season disrupt breeding activities, further compounding the 
threats associated with hunting mortalities. There are continued 
reports of hunting pressures on the species; these pressures have been 
and continue to be compounded by ongoing human encroachment into 
previously undisturbed forests (Factor A). Hunting and collection 
negatively affect the global population of the blue-billed curassow, 
due to its small population size and fragmented distribution. Hunting, 
combined with habitat fragmentation (Factor A), increases the 
possibility of local extirpation since the blue-billed curassow is 
unlikely to re-occupy an area that has been depleted through hunting 
because it avoids crossing large, open areas between habitat fragments 
(see Factor E, Likelihood to Disperse). Therefore, we find that 
hunting, collection, and associated disturbances are threats to the 
blue-billed curassow.

C. Disease or Predation

    Disease: We are unaware of information regarding disease or the 
potential for significant disease outbreaks in the blue-billed 
curassow. As a result, we do not consider disease to be a threat to the 
species.
    Predation: According to Delacour and Amadon (1973), predators of 
cracids include snakes (suborder Serpentes), foxes (family Canidae), 
wild cats (Felis silvestris), feral dogs (Canus lupus familiaris), and 
raptors (order Falconiformes). Arango-V[eacute]lez and Kattan (1997, 
pp. 137-143) studied nest predation rates on Andean birds within 
fragmented forest habitats of northwestern Colombia. Although not 
specific to the blue-billed curassow, the study focused on understory 
nesting birds with similar nesting habits and in forest fragment sizes 
similar to where the blue-billed curassow is currently found (Arango-
V[eacute]lez and Kattan 1997, p. 138). The study found that nest 
predation by generalist predators is more prevalent in smaller, 
isolated forest patches. However, in the study, increased predation in 
smaller habitat fragments could not be solely attributed to the ``edge 
effect,'' whereby smaller patch sizes facilitate predators' access and 
ability to capture prey throughout the fragments. Rather, reduced 
habitat patch sizes caused a shift from larger to smaller predators, 
which tended to prey upon the eggs and juveniles of understory birds, 
rendering ground-dwelling birds such as blue-billed curassows 
particularly susceptible (Arango-V[eacute]lez and Kattan 1997, pp. 140-
142). Other studies concerning the effects of habitat fragmentation on 
avian predation show similar results (Hoover et al. 1995, p. 151; 
Keyser 2002, p. 186; Keyser et al. 1998, p. 991; Renjifo 1999, p. 1133; 
Wilcove 1985, p. 1214). Gibbs (1991, p. 157) found that a larger 
proportion of ground-nests and elevated nests were predated in patches 
smaller than 1 km\2\ (0.39 mi\2\) and that ground-nesting birds were 
predated more heavily than elevated-nesting birds. In addition to the 
importance of patch size for influencing the level of predation, the 
composition of the areas surrounding the patch is also important 
(Arango-V[eacute]lez and Kattan 1997, p. 141). For instance, in lowland 
Costa Rica, the edge effect (where predation is greater at the edge of 
forest patches than in the interior of the patch) was greatest in 
forest patches bordered by secondary growth than by pasture (Gibbs 
1991, p. 157).

Summary of Factor C

    Snakes, foxes, feral cats, feral dogs, and raptors are all 
predators of cracids. Predation results in the direct removal of eggs, 
juveniles, and adults from the population. Blue-billed curassows are 
slow to reproduce, produce a low clutch size, and exhibit a poor 
replacement rate (see Habitat and Life History). Predation can destroy 
pair bonds and remove potentially reproductive adults from the breeding 
pool. Studies on similar species in similar Andean habitats indicate 
that vulnerability to predation by generalist predators increases with 
increased habitat fragmentation and smaller patch sizes. Predation 
exacerbates the genetic complications associated with the species' 
small population size (Factor E). Because of the species' small 
population size and inability to recolonize isolated habitat fragments 
(Factor E), predation renders the species vulnerable to local 
extirpation. Therefore, we find that predation, compounded by ongoing 
habitat destruction (Factor A) and hunting (Factor B), is a threat to 
the blue-billed curassow.

D. The Inadequacy of Existing Regulatory Mechanisms

    Regulatory mechanisms may provide species-specific or habitat-
specific protections. An evaluation of the adequacy of regulatory 
mechanisms within Colombia to mitigate or remove the threats to the 
blue-billed curassow is provided below, beginning with species-specific 
and followed by habitat-specific protection mechanisms.
    The Colombian government has enacted and ratified numerous domestic 
and international laws, decrees, and resolutions for managing and 
conserving wildlife and flora (Matallana-T. 2005, p. 121). Colombian 
Law No. 99 of 1993 (Creating the Ministry of the Environment and 
Renewable Natural Resources and organizing the National Environmental 
System (SINA)) sets out the principles governing environmental policy 
in Colombia, and provides that the country's biodiversity be protected 
and used primarily in a sustainable manner (EcoLex 1993, p. 2). 
Resolution No. 584 of 2002 (Species that are endangered wildlife in the 
national territory) provides a list of Colombian wildlife and flora 
that are considered threatened. Threatened is defined as those species 
whose natural populations are at risk of extinction, as their habitat, 
range, or ecosystems that support them have been affected by either 
natural causes or human actions. Threatened species are further 
categorized as critically endangered, endangered, or vulnerable. A 
critically endangered species (CR) is one that faces a very high 
probability of extinction in the wild in the immediate future, based on 
a drastic reduction of its natural populations and a severe 
deterioration of its range; an endangered species (EN) is one that has 
a high probability of extinction in the wild in the near future, based 
on a declining trend of its natural populations and a deterioration of 
its range; and a vulnerable species (VU) is one that is not in imminent 
danger of extinction in the near future, but it could be if natural 
population trends continue downward and deterioration of its range 
continues (EcoLex 2002, p. 10).
    The blue-billed curassow is considered a critically endangered 
species under Colombian law pursuant to paragraph 23 of Article 5 of 
Law No. 99, as outlined in Resolution No. 584 (EcoLex 2002, p. 12). 
This status confers certain protections upon the species. Resolution 
No. 849 of 1973 ([Laws governing] commercial hunting of sa[iacute]nos, 
boas, anacondas and birds throughout the country) and Resolution No. 
787of 1977 ([Laws governing] sport hunting of mammals, birds and 
reptiles of wildlife), regulate and prohibit commercial and sport 
hunting of all wild bird species, respectively, except those 
specifically identified by the Ministry of the Environment or otherwise 
permitted (EcoLex 1973, p.1; EcoLex 1977, p. 3). Because of its status 
as a critically endangered species, the

[[Page 32316]]

Ministry of the Environment does not permit the blue-billed curassow to 
be hunted commercially or for sport. Neither Resolution prohibits 
subsistence hunting. As discussed under Factor B, commercial and sport 
hunting are not threats to this species, but subsistence hunting 
continues to threaten the species throughout its range, including 
within protected areas. Thus, these Resolutions are ineffective at 
reducing the existing threat of subsistence hunting to the blue-billed 
curassow.
    Additional efforts to protect the species from subsistence hunting 
are inadequate. Within El Pauj[iacute]l Reserve, for instance, there 
are penalties for shooting or trapping the species (BLI 2007d, p. 3). 
However, as recently as 2006, it was reported that both chicks and eggs 
continued to be collected in the Serran[iacute]a de las Quinchas 
region, where the Reserve is located, for domestic use and for sale at 
local markets (Cuervo 2002, p. 139; Urue[ntilde]a et al. 2006, p. 42) 
(Factor B). Thus, private efforts to protect the species from hunting 
appear to be inadequate within a region where national laws are 
ineffective at protecting the species from such take.
    The blue-billed curassow is listed in Appendix III of CITES (see 
Factor B). CITES is an international treaty among 174 nations, 
including Colombia (which became a Party in 1981) and the United States 
(which became a Party in 1975) (UNEP-WCMC 2008a, p. 1). In the United 
States, CITES is implemented through the U.S. Endangered Species Act 
(Act). The Act designates the Secretary of the Interior as the 
Scientific and Management Authorities to implement the treaty, with all 
functions carried out by the Service. Under this treaty, countries work 
together to ensure that international trade in animal and plant species 
is not detrimental to the survival of wild populations, by regulating 
the import, export, re-export, and introduction from the sea of CITES-
listed animal and plant species (USFWS 2008, p. 1). As discussed under 
Factor B, we do not consider commercial international trade to be a 
threat impacting the blue-billed curassow.
    Colombia has numerous laws and regulations pertaining to forests 
and forestry management, including: the Forestry Law of 1959 (Law 2 - 
[On] forest economy [of the] nation and conservation [of] renewable 
natural resources) (EcoLex 1959); the Forestry Code of 1974 (Decree 
2,811 - National code of renewable natural resources and protection of 
the environment) (Faolex 1974), and the forest plan of 1996 (Decree 
1,791 - Forest Improvement Plan) (Faolex 1996). A new forest law was 
developed and approved in 2006 (Law No. 1,021, General [Forestry] Law). 
The new law seeks to: (1) further promote forest plantations and create 
financial mechanisms for investments, (2) provide for rigorous control 
and expanded sustainable use of natural forests, (3) and regulate and 
further develop forest concessions in the country (International 
Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) 2006, p. 218). However, the ITTO 
considers the Colombian forestry sector to be lacking in law 
enforcement and on-the-ground control of forest resources, with no 
specific standards for large-scale forestry production, no forestry 
concession policies, and a lack of transparency in the application of 
the various laws regulating wildlife and their habitats (ITTO 2006, p. 
222).
    Resource management in Colombia is highly decentralized. Resources 
are managed within local municipalities by one of 33 Autonomous 
Regional Corporations known as CARs (Corporaciones Aut[oacute]nomas 
Regionales) (Matallana-T. 2005, p. 121). CARs are corporate bodies of a 
public nature, endowed with administrative and financial autonomy to 
manage the environment and renewable natural resources (Law 99 of 
1993). The blue-billed curassow is currently known to occur within 
seven different Departments, each of which is managed by a separate 
local entity. These corporations grant concessions, permits, and 
authorizations for forest harvesting (ITTO 2006, p. 219). Forty percent 
of Colombia's public resources are managed by local municipalities, 
making Colombia one of the most decentralized countries in terms of 
forestry management in Latin America (Matallana-T. 2005, p. 121). 
Monitoring of resource use and forest development authorized by these 
corporations is conducted mostly by local nongovernmental 
organizations. Governmental institutions responsible for oversight 
appear to be underresourced and unable to maintain an effective 
presence in the field (ITTO 2006, p. 222). Consequently, there is no 
vehicle for overall coordination of species management for 
multijurisdictional species such as the blue-billed curassow. The 
private Proaves-Colombia Foundation plans to generate a national 
strategy for the conservation of the blue-billed curassow through the 
project, ``Saving the Blue-billed Curassow'' (Quevedo et al. 2005, as 
cited in Urue[ntilde]a et al. 2006, p. 42). In 2004, this project 
evaluated and prioritized threats in Serran[iacute]a de las Quinchas 
region (Machado 2004, as cited in Urue[ntilde]a et al. 2006, p. 42), 
assessed population density and structure (Arias 2005, as cited in 
Urue[ntilde]a et al. 2006, p. 42), studied habitat use and behavioral 
aspects in Pauj[iacute]l de Pico Bird Reserve (Urue[ntilde]a 2005, as 
cited in Urue[ntilde]a et al. 2006, p. 42), and promoted an 
environmental education campaign and the creation of El Pauj[iacute]l 
Bird Reserve (Urue[ntilde]a and Quevedo 2005, as cited in Urue[ntilde]a 
et al. 2006, p. 42). However, a national strategy for the conservation 
of blue-billed curassows is not currently in place, and it is unclear 
if or when it will be enacted, and whether the Colombian government 
will adopt the strategy. Therefore, we are unable to determine that 
this conservation strategy will mitigate threats to the blue-billed 
curassow.
    Currently there are approximately 49 nationally recognized 
protected areas in Colombia (Matallano-T. 2005, p. 121). The five most 
common categories of habitat protection are: (1) National Natural Park 
(an area whose ecosystems have not been substantially altered by human 
exploitation or occupation, and where plant and animal species, or 
complex geomorphological landscapes have historical, cultural, 
scientific, educational, aesthetic, or recreational value); (2) 
Wildlife Sanctuary for Fauna and Flora (an area dedicated to preserve 
species or communities of wildlife, and to conserve genetic resources 
of wildlife); (3) National Natural Reserve (an area that preserves 
flora and fauna and is established for the study of its natural 
wealth); (4) Panoramic Park (a parcel of land of panoramic, cultural or 
natural value preserved for education and relaxation); and (5) Unique 
National Area (a rare or unique ecosystem) (Matallano-T. 2005, p. 121). 
Several areas considered to be important refuges for the blue-billed 
curassow are protected areas and are managed by autonomous 
corporations, including: (1) The Paramillo National Natural Park 
(Antioqu[iacute]a and C[oacute]rdoba Departments) and (2) The Bajo 
Cauca-Nech[iacute] Regional Natural Reserve (Antioqu[iacute]a and 
C[oacute]rdoba Departments) (BLI 2007d, p. 3; Cuervo 2002, p. 139), 
both of which are managed by Corantioquia (Corantioquia 2008, p. 1).
    (1) The Paramillo National Natural Park (Antioqu[iacute]a and 
C[oacute]rdoba Departments) is a large Park, but no protective measures 
have been implemented to curb human impacts on the habitat and species 
by the indigenous and farming residents within the park (BLI 2007a, pp. 
1-2; BLI 2007d, p. 3) (Factor A). Cocaine cultivation is occurring 
within the Park boundaries (UNODC and GOC 2005, p. 45). Dam 
construction on the Sin[iacute] River, part of the species' historic 
range (BLI

[[Page 32317]]

2007a, p. 1; Cuervo and Salaman 1999, p. 7; del Hoyo 1994, p. 361), has 
caused ongoing flooding in the area since its completion in 1998 
(Cuervo 2002, p. 139; NGO Working Group on Export Development Canada 
2003, p. 31). Thus, the designation of this area as a Park has not 
mitigated human-induced habitat destruction (Factor A).
    (2) The Bajo Cauca-Nech[iacute] Regional Natural Reserve 
(Antioqu[iacute]a and C[oacute]rdoba Departments) encompasses suitable 
habitat for the blue-billed curassow, but the species has not been 
confirmed within the Reserve (BLI 2007d, p. 3). Nonetheless, it is 
notable that this Reserve, which is designated to preserve and research 
flora and fauna, allows logging (Fundaci[oacute]n Viztaz 2007, p. 2). 
Thus, should the species be located therein, this Reserve's designation 
as a preserve would not mitigate the threat from habitat destruction 
(Factor A).
    The privately-owned El Pauj[iacute]l Bird Preserve, which was 
established specifically to protect the blue-billed curassow and its 
habitat (BLI 2007d, p. 2) (Factor A), has measures in place to penalize 
shooting or trapping the species (BLI 2007d, p. 3). However, egg and 
chick collection are ongoing within the Serran[iacute]a de las Quinchas 
area, where the private reserve is located (Factor B). Aside from the 
Paramillo National Park, which includes habitat in the upper 
elevational limit of the blue-billed curassow's preferred range (Cuervo 
2002, p. 140), no effective protective measures have been undertaken 
(BLI 2007d, p. 2; Brooks and Gonzalez-Garcia 2001, p. 183) such that 
the regulatory mechanisms in place in these protected areas do not 
mitigate habitat destruction, which is a primary risk factor for this 
species (Factor A). Thus, these protected areas do not provide 
sufficient protections to mitigate the effects from habitat loss 
(Factor A) or reduce threats from hunting and collection (Factor B).

Summary of Factor D

    Colombia has numerous laws and regulatory mechanisms intended to 
protect and manage wildlife and their habitats. The blue-billed 
curassow is considered critically endangered under Colombian law and 
lives within several managed forests or protected areas. However, on-
the-ground enforcement of existing wildlife protection and forestry 
laws and oversight of the local jurisdictions implementing and 
regulating activities are ineffective at mitigating the primary threats 
to the blue-billed curassow. As discussed for Factor A, habitat 
destruction, degradation, and fragmentation continue throughout the 
existing range of the blue-billed curassow. As discussed for Factor B, 
uncontrolled hunting and commercial use of the blue-billed curassow are 
ongoing and continue to negatively affect the continued existence of 
the species. Moreover, the lack of a species conservation strategy and 
the decentralized management of natural resources in Colombia provide 
no overall coordination in the conservation for species such as the 
blue-billed curassow, which ranges in multiple jurisdictions. Despite 
ongoing work toward developing a national conservation strategy for the 
species, it has not yet been developed, it is not known whether it will 
be formally adopted by the Government of Colombia, and we are unable to 
determine that the strategy will be effective in reducing the threats 
to this species on a local or rangewide basis. Therefore, we find that 
the existing regulatory mechanisms currently in place for the blue-
billed curassow do not reduce or remove the factors threatening the 
species.

E. Other Natural or Manmade Factors Affecting the Continued Existence 
of the Species

    Three additional factors affect the blue-billed curassow: its 
limited ability to disperse to unoccupied habitat, the species' small 
population size and captive-breeding programs.
    Likelihood to Disperse: The blue-billed curassow exhibits several 
characteristics that make it unlikely that the species would disperse 
into isolated habitat fragments to repopulate extirpated patches of 
suitable habitat. The blue-billed curassow requires a large home range 
of primary tropical forest (Cuervo 2002, pp. 138-140). The habitat 
patches within the blue-billed curassow's current range are described 
by researchers as fragmented, disjunct, and isolated (Collar et al. 
1992, p. 154; Cuervo and Salaman 1999, p. 7; del Hoyo 1994, p. 361; 
Donegan and Huertas 2005, p. 29; Salaman et al. 2001, p. 183). The 
species will rarely cross narrow deforested corridors, such as those 
caused by roads or oil pipelines, and it will not cross large open 
areas between forest fragments (Cuervo and Salaman 1999, p. 7). In 
addition to the species' small overall population size (see below), 
researchers believe it is unlikely that the blue-billed curassow would 
repopulate an isolated patch of suitable habitat following decline or 
extirpation of the species from that patch (Cuervo and Salaman 1999, p. 
7; Hanski 1998, pp. 45-46) (see Factor E, Captive Breeding Program).
    Small Population Size: Deforestation and habitat loss throughout 
the blue-billed curassow's historic range has resulted in fragmented, 
disjunct, and isolated populations in the remaining four or five 
patches of tropical humid and premontane forests and caused regional 
extirpations of the blue-billed curassow (Brooks and Gonzalez-Garcia 
2001, p. 183; Collar et al. 1992, pp. 61-62; Cuervo and Salaman 1999, 
p. 7). It is estimated that the largest subpopulation (in the 
Serran[iacute]a de las Quinchas, Boyac[aacute] Department) contains 
between 250 and 999 birds (BLI 2007d, p. 2), and that the total 
population is much fewer than 2,000 individuals (Brooks and Gonzalez-
Garcia 2001, p. 184). Cuervo (2002, p. 141) estimated that the species 
had lost more than half of its population over the last three 
generations, or 30 years. Further, it is estimated that, at the current 
rate of decline, the blue-billed curassow could lose up to 79 percent 
of its current population within the next 10 years and could be extinct 
within the next three generations, or 30 years (BLI 2007d, p. 3; Cuervo 
2002, p. 141).
    The blue-billed curassow's restricted and fragmented range, 
combined with its small population size (Cuervo 2002, p. 138; Cuervo 
and Salaman 1999, p. 7; del Hoyo 1994, p. 361), makes the species 
particularly vulnerable to the threat of adverse genetic effects and 
susceptible to extinction through natural or manmade events that 
destroy individuals and their habitat (BLI 2007d, pp. 1-2; Brooks and 
Gonzalez-Garcia 2001, pp. 185-190; Cuervo 2002, p. 140). Meta-
population analysis involves the study of the dynamics of an entire 
population by studying movements within local populations (Hanski 1998, 
p. 41). ``A meta-population composed of extinction-prone local 
populations in a small patch network is necessarily more threatened 
than are meta-populations in large and well connected networks'' 
(Hanski 1998, p. 42). Considering that not all blue-billed curassow 
individuals in a population are breeding at any one time, the actual 
number of individuals contributing to population growth will be a 
smaller number than the total number of individuals.
    Small population sizes render species vulnerable to any of several 
risks, including loss of genetic variation, inbreeding depression, and 
accumulation of deleterious genes. Inbreeding can have individual or 
population-level consequences either by increasing the phenotypic 
expression (the outward appearance or observable structure, function, 
or behavior of a living organism) of recessive,

[[Page 32318]]

deleterious alleles or by reducing the overall fitness of individuals 
in the population (Charlesworth and Charlesworth 1987, p. 238; Shaffer 
1981, p. 131). Small, isolated populations of wildlife species are also 
susceptible to demographic problems (Shaffer 1981, p. 131), which may 
include reduced reproductive success of individuals and chance 
disequilibrium of sex ratios. Chance disequilibrium of sex ratios would 
be further exacerbated by preferential hunting of male birds (Factor 
B). This species' risk of extinction is further compounded by ongoing 
collection of eggs and chicks, and by hunting-related disturbances that 
may disrupt breeding pairs (Factor B). Once a population is reduced 
below a certain number of individuals, it tends to rapidly decline 
towards extinction (Franklin 1980, pp. 147-148; Gilpin and Soul[eacute] 
1986, p. 25; Holsinger 2000, pp. 64-65; Soul[eacute] 1987, p.181).
    Captive-Breeding Program: A captive-breeding program is being 
developed within the species' range (see Current Range and 
Distribution, above)by Fundaci[oacute]n Ecolombia, based at the 
Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre in Los Farallones (Antioqu[iacute]a 
Department, Colombia). The captive-held population includes three males 
and two females. The program has met with little success because 
attempts to breed the species in captivity have been unsuccessful to 
date (two sterile eggs laid in 2003 and none since). The species is 
historically known to be a poor breeder in captivity (Throp 1964, p. 
127). The program is exploring artificial insemination for future 
breeding (Wildlife Protection Foundation (WPF) 2007, p. 2). The Houston 
Zoo, however, which has maintained cracids since the 1960s, has bred 
the species for 30 years and has successfully raised at least 10 blue-
billed curassows in captivity (Houston Zoo 2008, p. 2; Todd et al. 
2008, p. 1). The Houston Zoo also conducts outreach and breeding 
research. While this has resulted in limited exports of captive-bred 
birds for scientific purposes (i.e., to zoos; see also Factor B), the 
number of birds in captivity has dropped worldwide. In addition, the 
number of specimens originally imported into the United States was 
small (Houston Zoo 2008, p. 2), which would limit their conservation 
value for reintroduction into the wild. Thus, the captive breeding 
program is not currently contributing to reintroduction, but serves a 
conservation value by providing specimens for zoos that conduct 
outreach and breeding research. Further, reintroduction would appear to 
be important for recovery of this species because the species is not 
likely to disperse into or repopulate suitable habitat on its own.

Summary of Factor E

    The blue-billed curassow's small population size increases its 
vulnerability to genetic risks associated with small population sizes 
that negatively impact the species' long-term viability and increase 
the possibility of localized extirpations of the remaining fragmented 
populations. Further, the species is unlikely to repopulate areas of 
suitable habitat from which a subpopulation has been extirpated because 
it avoids crossing the disturbed areas that separate the remaining 
suitable habitat for this species. Range-country attempts at captive 
breeding have been unsuccessful, and the stock in U.S. captive-breeding 
programs is limited; therefore, the captive-breeding program is not 
contributing to reintroduction of the species in the wild and so is not 
currently mitigating the problem of small population size. Therefore, 
we believe that, in combination with the risks to the species from 
habitat destruction (Factor A), hunting (Factor B), and predation 
(Factor C), the blue-billed curassow is vulnerable to localized 
extirpation or extinction from which the species would be unable to 
recover, due it its small population size and apparent inability to 
repopulate fragmented, isolated habitats such as those currently 
present within this species' range.

Status Determination for the Blue-Billed Curassow

    The five primary factors that threaten the survival of the blue-
billed curassow are: (1) habitat destruction, fragmentation, and 
degradation (Factor A); (2) overexploitation due to hunting and 
collecting of eggs and chicks (Factor B); (3) predation (Factor C); (4) 
inadequacy of regulatory mechanisms to reduce the threats to the 
species (Factor D); and (5) small population size and isolation of 
remaining populations (Factor E).
    The direct loss of habitat through widespread deforestation and 
conversion of primary forests to human settlement and agricultural uses 
has led to the fragmentation of habitat throughout the range of the 
blue-billed curassow and isolation of the remaining populations (Factor 
A). The species' historic range, which encompassed approximately 
106,700 km\2\ (41,197 mi\2\), has been reduced to 2,090 km\2\ (807 
mi\2\). Experts estimate that 88 percent of this habitat loss has 
occurred within the last three generations, or 30 years. The best 
available information indicates that the species' population was 
reduced by 50 percent in the 30 years prior to 2002 and that ongoing 
habitat destruction and degradation are continuing at a rate that would 
lead to the extinction of the blue-billed curassow in the next 30 years 
if measures are not taken to ameliorate the loss of habitat. Thus, 
habitat loss poses an imminent threat of extinction and is a factor 
that currently endangers the species.
    The blue-billed curassow is hunted or collected, whole or in parts, 
in all life stages (eggs, juveniles, adults, feathers, and other body 
parts) throughout its current range by both indigenous people and by 
local settlers for both sustenance and sport; for domestic use in 
rituals; and for sale to tourists (Factor B). Several life-history 
traits of the species contribute to its vulnerability to hunting and 
collection: its large size, ease of location during breeding season, 
trusting nature, low productivity (1-2 eggs), and a replacement rate of 
6 years (taking an individual of the species an average of 6 years to 
replace itself). Adults are hunted mainly during the breeding season, 
when males are most vulnerable and more easily located by their loud 
mating calls that are audible at long distances. The direct take of 
males disrupts sex ratios in this species, which forms monogamous 
pairs, and this take also disrupts mating activities. Hunting pressure 
has caused severe depletion or near extirpation in portions of its 
historical range, despite the continued availability of suitable 
habitat (primary forest). The effects of hunting are exacerbated by 
ongoing habitat fragmentation (Factor A), which increases accessibility 
into the species' habitat, rendering it more vulnerable to hunting. 
Concomitantly, increased conversion of primary forest habitat has 
encouraged further human settlement within the blue-billed curassow's 
habitat. Hunting poses an imminent threat of extinction and is a factor 
that currently endangers the species.
    Blue-billed curassows are vulnerable to predation by generalist 
predators, including snakes, foxes, feral cats, feral dogs, and raptors 
(Factor C). Habitat fragmentation (Factor A) contributes to this 
vulnerability, because research indicates that predation increases with 
increased habitat fragmentation and smaller patch sizes. Predation 
leads to the direct removal of eggs, juveniles, and adults from the 
population, exacerbating risks associated with the species' small 
population size (see below). Predation can destroy pair bonds and 
remove potentially reproductive adults from the breeding pool. The 
blue-billed curassow is slow

[[Page 32319]]

to reproduce and produces a low clutch size, and predation exacerbates 
this species' already poor replacement rate (see Habitat and Life 
History).
    The threats from habitat destruction, hunting, and predation are 
compounded by the species' small population size (Factor E). The blue-
billed curassow's population has been reduced by 50 percent within the 
last 30 years. The species' low population estimate of fewer than 2,000 
individuals, combined with its restricted, fragmented, and isolated 
habitat, makes the species particularly vulnerable to numerous human 
factors (e.g., agricultural development, armed conflict, fire, dams and 
reservoir development, increased human settlement, illicit drug 
production and control, mining activities, oil development and 
distribution, and road development). Further, the species' reticence to 
cross large open areas makes it unlikely that the species would 
repopulate suitable habitat in remaining isolated forest patches that 
are separated by large distances, all of which put the species at a 
risk of extinction.
    Finally, despite numerous laws and regulatory mechanisms (Factor D) 
to administer and manage wildlife and their habitats, on-the-ground 
enforcement of these laws and oversight of the local jurisdictions 
implementing and regulating activities within the species' habitat are 
inadequate to mitigate the effects of habitat loss (Factor A) and 
hunting (Factor B). Habitat destruction and hunting continues within 
the species' range and, aside from El Pauj[iacute]l Bird Preserve, no 
other areas provide effective protective measures for protecting the 
blue-billed curassow from ongoing hunting or its habitat from ongoing 
destruction.
    We have carefully assessed the best available scientific and 
commercial information regarding the past, present, and potential 
future threats faced by the blue-billed curassow. We consider the 
ongoing threats to the blue-billed curassow, habitat destruction 
(Factor A), hunting (Factor B), and predation (Factor C), exacerbated 
by the species' small population size and limited dispersal ability 
(Factor E), and compounded by inadequate regulatory mechanisms to 
mitigate these threats (Factor D), to be equally present and of the 
same magnitude throughout the species' entire current range. Based on 
this information, we determine that the blue-billed curassow is 
endangered throughout its range. Therefore, we are proposing to list 
the blue-billed curassow as an endangered species.

II. Brown-Banded Antpitta (Grallaria milleri)

Species Description

    The brown-banded antpitta is a member of the Ground-Antbird Family 
(Formicariidae), is approximately 18 cm (7 in) long from bill to tail, 
and endemic to the west slope of the central Andes of Colombia (Krabbe 
and Schulenberg 2003, p. 682; Fjelds[auml] and Krabbe 1990, p. 414; 
Hilty and Brown 1986, p. 422). The species is locally known as 
``Tororoi'' (Beltr[aacute]n and Kattan 2002). This bird is a uniform 
dark brown, with a dingy white throat and underbelly.

Taxonomy

    The brown-banded antpitta was first taxonomically described by 
Chapman in 1911 and placed in the Ground-Antbird Family 
(Formicariidae). The type specimen (the actual specimen that was first 
described by Chapman) was obtained from Laguneta (Quind[iacute]o 
Department) (Beltr[aacute]n and Kattan 2002, p. 327). Laguneta is, 
therefore, referred to as the ``type locality.''

Habitat and Life History

    The brown-banded antpitta currently inhabits the humid understory 
and forest floor habitats of mid-montane and cloud forests between 
2,400 and 2,600 m (7,874 and 8,530 ft) with high density of herbaceous 
plants and shrubs (Krabbe and Schulenberg 2003, p. 719; Kattan and 
Beltr[aacute]n 1999, p. 272). The species has been observed in older 
(30-year-old) secondary-growth forest habitats and alder (Alnus 
acuminata) plantations (Cuervo 2002, pp. 326-327; Krabbe and 
Schulenberg 2003, p. 719).
    Researchers consider antpitta life histories to be among the least 
known of Neotropical bird species (Dobbs et al. 2001, p. 225). The 
brown-banded antpitta, as with other antpittas, is a secretive species, 
with a low population density and high habitat specificity (Kattan and 
Beltr[aacute]n 2002, p. 232). Antpittas are considered to be nearly 
flightless (Krabbe and Schulenberg 2003, p. 698) and their dispersal 
capabilities are not well known (Cuervo 2002, p. 327), except that one 
banded individual traveled a distance of 0.041 km\2\ (0.02 mi\2\) 
(Kattan and Beltr[aacute]n 2002, p. 234). This ground-dwelling species 
lives either singly or in pairs (Beltr[aacute]n and Kattan 2002, p. 
327) and has a high territorial fidelity (Cuervo 2002, p. 327). It can 
be seen running along the forest floor picking up prey (Krabbe and 
Schulenberg 2003, p. 719), which apparently consists of beetles 
(Coleoptera spp.) and earthworms.
    Nothing is known about the brown-banded antpitta's reproductive 
ecology, except that its peak reproductive period is between March and 
May (Beltr[aacute]n and Kattan 2002, pp. 326-327) and that both parents 
feed the young (del Hoyo 2003, p. 719). Drawing from studies on similar 
species, including the Colombian species, scaled antpitta (Grallaria 
guatimalensis) and chestnut-crowned antpitta (Grallaria ruficapilla), 
antpittas tend to nest on fallen logs, on the forks of tree trunks, or 
atop the crowns of low-growing palms, situated at nearly groundlevel to 
no higher than 3 m (10 ft) off the ground (Dobbs et al. 2001, p. 226; 
Wiedenfeld 1982, p. 581). The typical clutch size for antpittas is 
considered to be two eggs (Dobbs et al. 2001, p. 227; Wiedenfeld 1982, 
p. 581). Antpitta nests are roughly circular cups, loosely constructed 
of dead leaves that are generally hard to distinguish from the 
surroundings (Dobbs et al. 2001, p. 227; Wiedenfeld 1982, p. 581). 
Antpittas appear to rely on camouflage, both to hide the location of 
their nests (Wiedenfeld 1982, p. 580), as well as in response to 
disturbance, when birds remain absolutely still to avoid detection by 
potential predators (Dobbs et al. 2001, p. 226).

Historical Range and Distribution

    The brown-banded antpitta was historically known from a single 
location, near Laguneta in the central Andes (centrally located in the 
Department of Quind[iacute]o), which ranges in altitude from 1,859 m 
(6,100 ft) in the surrounding valleys to 3,140 m (10,300 ft) at its 
highest point (Chapman 1917, pp. 35-36, 396). In 1917, the valley 
leading to Laguneta was described as gently rising until about 2,530 m 
(8,300 ft), when the terrain rose steeply up to 2,896 ft (9,500 ft). 
The vegetation was described as open, with scattered palms and little 
other vegetation until about 2,835 m (9,300 ft), where the forest began 
(Chapman 1917, p. 36). At 3,140 m (10,300 ft), the forest was described 
as dense with little undergrowth, except in occasional clearings 
dominated by dense shrubs so thick as to be impenetrable without a 
knife (Chapman 1917, p. 35). Eleven specimens were collected between 
1911 and 1942; the species was last observed and collections were made 
at the type locality at Laguneta in 1942 (Beltr[aacute]n and Kattan 
2002, p. 325; Collar et al. 1992, p. 698).
    Chapman (1917, p. 36) described the practice of slash-and-burn 
agriculture around Laguneta in 1917, noting that much of the hillside 
between 2,530 and 2,835 m (8,300-9,300 ft) was bare and close-cropped, 
having been burned and cleared. By 1994, the forested area providing 
habitat for the brown-banded

[[Page 32320]]

antpitta in and around the type locality near Laguneta had been mostly 
destroyed (Collar et al. 1994, p. 136), and despite subsequent surveys 
(in 1986, 1988, and 1991), the species was not observed there. In 1992, 
researchers considered the brown-banded antpitta to be locally 
extirpated, if not extinct throughout its range (Collar et al. 1992, p. 
689; Cuervo 2002, pp. 326-327; Kattan and Beltr[aacute]n 1997, pp. 367-
369). Although the brown-banded antpitta was rediscovered in 1994 
(Kattan and Beltr[aacute]n 1997, pp. 367-369), researchers continue to 
consider the species to be locally extinct (extirpated) from its type 
locality of Laguneta (Quind[iacute]o Department) (Beltr[aacute]n 2002 
in litt., as cited in Beltr[aacute]n and Kattan, p. 327) due to 
extensive deforestation (Beltr[aacute]n and Kattan 2002, p. 327).

Current Range and Distribution

    The current range of the brown-banded antpitta is described as 
humid understory and forest floors of mid-montane and cloud forests, 
preferring altitudes between 2,400 and 2,600 m (7,874 and 8,530 ft), in 
areas with a high density of herbs and shrubs (Krabbe and Schulenberg 
2003, p. 719; Kattan and Beltr[aacute]n 1999, p. 272). The current 
range is estimated to be 300 km\2\ (116 mi\2\) (BLI 2007f, p. 1). The 
species is known today from only three areas in the upper R[iacute]o 
Magdalena valley. The first area is the humid forests in the Central 
Andes of Colombia's Ucumar[iacute] Regional Park (Risaralda 
Department), where it was first sighted in 1994 (Kattan and 
Beltr[aacute]n 1997, pp. 369-370) and recently observed in 2000 
(Beltr[aacute]n and Kattan 2002, p. 326). The site is approximately 44 
km\2\ (17 mi\2\) in the Ot[uacute]n River watershed (Kattan and 
Beltr[aacute]n 1999, p. 273). The second areas is the south-east slope 
of Volc[aacute]n Tolima in the R[iacute]o Toche Valley on private land 
(the house of La Carbonera) (Tolima Department), where it was first 
observed in 1998 and recently observed in 2000 (Beltr[aacute]n and 
Kattan 2002, p. 325). This location is 0.05 km\2\ (0.02 mi\2\) in size 
at elevations ranging from 2,750 to 2,900 m (9,022 to 9,514 ft) 
(Beltr[aacute]n and Kattan 2002, p. 326). The third area is the 
R[iacute]o Blanco river basin (Caldas Department), where it was most 
recently observed in 2000 (Beltr[aacute]n and Kattan 2002, p. 326). 
This site is a strip of land less than 200 linear km (124 linear mi) on 
the Central Cordilla, between 2,300 and 3,100 m (7,546 and 10,171 ft) 
in elevation (BLI 2004c, p. 2; Kattan and Beltr[aacute]n 2002, p. 238). 
Experts consider the most important refuges for this species to be: (1) 
the Ucumar[iacute] Regional Park (Risaralda Department), (2) the 
R[iacute]o Toche Valley (Tolima), (3) the R[iacute]o Blanco river basin 
(Caldas Department), and (4) the Reserve of Ca[ntilde]on and 
Quind[iacute]o Departments, where suitable habitat exists but the 
species may be extirpated. These refugia are further discussed under 
Factor A, below.

Population Estimates

    There have been few quantitative surveys of the brown-banded 
antpitta. Available population information is provided for the four 
areas considered to be important refugia for the species (as discussed 
in Factor A). The population located within the Ucumar[iacute] Regional 
Park has been surveyed twice. In the first survey, conducted from 1994 
to 1997, 11 brown-banded antpittas were captured and banded. In a 
subsequent survey of a 0.17-1-km\2\- (0.07-0.62-mi\2\) area within the 
Ucumar[iacute] Regional Park during 1995-2000, Kattan and 
Beltr[aacute]n (2002, p. 232-3) captured and banded 36 brown-banded 
antpittas. Based on these surveys, the subpopulation within the 0.63 
km\2\ (0.24 mi\2\) Park was estimated to include up to 106 individuals, 
averaging to approximately 1.3 individuals per 0.01 km\2\ (0.004 mi\2\) 
(Kattan and Beltr[aacute]n 1997, pp. 367-369; Kattan and Beltr[aacute]n 
1999, p. 276). Thus, this subpopulation contains at least 36, and 
possibly as many as 106 individuals.
    Qualitative surveys conducted from 1998 to 2000 in the R[iacute]o 
Toche Valley determined that the brown-banded antpitta is uncommon and 
local (Beltr[aacute]n and Kattan 2002, p. 326). One individual was 
observed in 1999 (Cuervo in litt., as cited in Beltr[aacute]n (2002 p. 
326). There is no information on the estimated population size of 
brown-banded antpitta within the R[iacute]o Toche. Thus, this 
subpopulation contains at least one individual, but there is no 
estimate of the upper limit of the population.
    A census of the population in the R[iacute]o Blanco river basin was 
undertaken in June 2000, within an approximately 5-km (3-mi) transect. 
Researchers inferred the presence of at least 30 individuals, based on 
vocalizations they elicited in response to recordings of the species' 
alarm call (Beltr[aacute]n and Kattan 2002, p. 326). There is no 
information on the estimated population size of brown-banded antpitta 
within the R[iacute]o Blanco area. Thus, this population may contain 30 
individuals, but the upper limit of the population estimate is unknown.
    The species is not currently known to inhabit the Reserve del 
Ca[ntilde]on del Quind[iacute]o. Although the species was observed 
there in 1911 and 1942 (Beltr[aacute]n and Kattan 2002, p. 325; Collar 
et al. 1992, p. 698) and the area contains suitable habitat, the 
species has not been observed there since 1942 (Beltr[aacute]n and 
Kattan 2002, p. 235).
    The IUCN estimates that the largest subpopulation contains 424 
individuals (BLI 2007f, p. 4), but it is unclear as to which 
subpopulation this estimate refers. The global population of brown-
banded antpitta is estimated by the IUCN to be larger than 250 
individuals, but not more than 999 birds (BLI 2007f, p. 1), equating to 
approximately 338 to 756 individuals (BLI 2007f, p. 4). It is estimated 
that the species has lost up to 9 percent of its population in the last 
10 years, or 3 generations, and that this rate of decline will continue 
over the next 10 years (BLI 2007f, p. 4). Additional information on the 
population size of this species is provided in the discussion of Factor 
E, below.

Conservation Status

    The brown-banded antpitta is identified as an endangered species 
under Colombian law pursuant to paragraph 23 of Article 5 of the Law 99 
of 1993, as outlined in Resolution No. 584 of 2002 (EcoLex 2002, p. 
12). The IUCN has classified the species as ``Endangered'' since 1994 
because it is known from very few locations and occupies a very small 
range (BLI 2004c, p. 1).

Summary of Factors Affecting the Brown-Banded Antpitta

A. The Present or Threatened Destruction, Modification, or Curtailment 
of the Habitat or Range

    The brown-banded antpitta inhabits the humid understory and forest 
floor habitats of mid-montane and cloud forests between 1,800 and 2,600 
m (5,905 and 8,530 ft) that have a high density of herbs and shrubs 
(Krabbe and Schulenberg 2003, p. 719; Kattan and Beltr[aacute]n 1999, 
p. 272). The current range is estimated to be 300 km\2\ (116 mi\2\) 
(BLI 2007f, p. 1), and the species is known today in only three 
locations: (1) Urcuma[iacute] Regional Park (Kattan and Beltr[aacute]n 
1997, pp. 369-370) (Risaralda Department), (2) the south-east slope of 
Volc[aacute]n Tolima in the R[iacute]o Toche Valley (Tolima 
Department), and (3) the R[iacute]o Blanco catchment (Caldas 
Department). These locations are discussed further under Refugia, 
below.
    Deforestation rates and patterns: Colombia has experienced 
extensive deforestation in the last half of the 20th Century as a 
result of habitat conversion for human settlements, road building, 
agriculture, and timber extraction. A 23-year study, from 1973 to 1996, 
demonstrated that these activities reduced the amount of primary forest 
cover in Colombia by approximately

[[Page 32321]]

3,605 hectares (ha) (8,908 acres (ac)) annually, representing a nearly 
one-third total loss of primary forest habitat (Vi[ntilde]a et al. 
2004, pp. 123-124). Beginning in the 1980s, habitat loss increased 
dramatically as a result of influxes of people settling in formerly 
pristine areas (Perz et al. 2005, pp. 26-28; Vi[ntilde]a et al. 2004, 
p. 124). More recent studies indicate that the rate of habitat 
destruction is accelerating. Between the years 1990 and 2005, Colombia 
lost approximately 52,800 ha (130,471 ac) of primary forest annually 
(Butler 2006a, pp. 1-3; FAO 2003a, p. 1). Human activities, such as 
encroachment, cultivation, grazing, and infrastructural development, 
have resulted in extensive deforestation and environmental degradation 
of primary forests in the R[iacute]o Magdalena valley, part of the 
brown-banded antpitta's range (Cuervo and Salaman 1999, p. 8; Ocampo 
and Botero 2000, pp. 76-78). These studies and activities in Colombia 
are described in greater detail above for the blue-billed curassow 
(Factor A, Deforestation Rates and Patterns).
    A study conducted on the effects of habitat fragmentation on Andean 
birds within western Colombia determined that 31 percent of the 
historical bird populations in western Colombia had become extinct or 
locally extirpated by 1990, largely as a result of habitat 
fragmentation from deforestation and human encroachment (Kattan and 
[Aacute]lvarez-Lopez 1996, p. 5; Kattan et al. 1994, p. 141). 
Deforestation has led to local extirpation of the brown-banded antpitta 
in its type locality, near Laguneta in the central Andes 
(Quind[iacute]o Department), where the natural vegetation has been 
reduced to 10 percent of its former area (Beltr[aacute]n 2002 in litt., 
as cited in Beltr[aacute]n and Kattan, p. 327). Deforestation continues 
in mid-montane and cloud forests in the Departments Caldas and 
Risaralda, where this species has been observed (Dolphijn 2005, p. 2). 
Human encroachment and ongoing deforestation throughout this species' 
current range are discussed under Refugia, below.
    In addition to the direct detrimental effect of habitat loss, there 
are several indirect effects of habitat disturbance and fragmentation 
(Brooks and Strahl 2000, p. 10; Silva and Strahl 1991, p. 38). Roads 
create barriers to animal movement, expose animals to traffic hazards, 
and increase human access into habitat, facilitating further 
exploitation and habitat destruction (Hunter 1996, 158-159). 
Researchers have observed that road building and other infrastructure 
improvements in previously remote forested areas have increased 
accessibility and facilitated further habitat destruction, 
exploitation, and human settlement ([Aacute]lvarez 2005, p. 2042; 
C[aacute]rdenas and Rodr[iacute]guez Becerra 2004, pp. 125-130; Etter 
et al. 2006, p. 1; Hunter 1996, 158-159; Vi[ntilde]a et al. 2004, pp. 
118-119).
    Illegal drugs and their eradication: Illegal drug crops are 
cultivated within the brown-banded antpitta's range. In 2003, nearly 80 
percent of the heroin entering the United States came from opium 
(Papaver somniferum) farms in the Department of Tolima (Forero and 
Weiner 2003, p. 1). Cocaine cultivation occurs in other parts of the 
species' range. In 2003, authorities first detected cocaine being 
cultivated in Caldas, traditionally the center of the Colombian coffee-
growing industry; it was estimated that less than 1 km\2\ of land was 
under cocaine cultivation (0.54 km\2\ (0.21 mi\2\)). By 2004, 
cultivation had risen 563 percent, covering a 36 km\2\- (14 mi\2\-) 
area (UNODC and GOC 2005, p. 27). Coca crops deplete the soil of 
nutrients, which hampers regeneration following abandonment of fields 
(Van Schoik and Schulberg 1993, p. 21). Drug eradication efforts in 
Colombia have further degraded and destroyed primary forest habitat by 
using nonspecific aerial herbicides to destroy illegal crops 
([Aacute]lvarez 2005, p. 2042; BLI 2007d, p. 3; C[aacute]rdenas and 
Rodr[iacute]guez Becerra 2004, p. 355; Oldham and Massey 2002, pp. 9-
12). Herbicide spraying has introduced harmful chemicals into brown-
banded antpitta habitat and has led to further destruction of the 
habitat by forcing illicit growers to move to new, previously untouched 
forested areas ([Aacute]lvarez 2002, pp. 1088-1093; [Aacute]lvarez 
2005, p. 2042; [Aacute]lvarez 2007, pp. 133-143; BLI 2007d, p. 3; 
C[aacute]rdenas and Rodr[iacute]guez Becerra 2004, p. 355; Oldham and 
Massey 2002, pp. 9-12). Between 1998 and 2002, cultivation of illicit 
crops increased by 21 percent each year, with a concomitant increase in 
deforestation of formerly pristine areas of approximately 60 percent 
([Aacute]lvarez 2002, pp. 1088-1093).
    Refugia: The most important refugia for the brown-banded antpitta 
include: (1) Ucumar[iacute] Regional Park, (2) the R[iacute]o Toche 
Valley, (3) the R[iacute]o Blanco catchment, and (4) Reserva 
Departamental del Ca[ntilde]on del Quind[iacute]o. These refugia are 
discussed below.
    (1) Ucumar[iacute] Regional Park (Risaralda Department) covers an 
area of approximately 44 km\2\ (17 mi\2\) in the Ot[uacute]n River 
watershed, with elevations ranging from 1,700 to 2,600m (5,577 to 8,530 
ft) (Beltr[aacute]n and Kattan 2002, pp. 325-326; Kattan and 
Beltr[aacute]n 1999, p. 273; Kattan et al. 2006, pp. 301-302). The 
brown-banded antpitta prefers habitat within the upper range limits of 
this Park, at altitudes between 2,400 and 2,600 m (7,874 and 8,530 ft) 
(Krabbe and Schulenberg 2003, p. 719; Kattan and Beltr[aacute]n 1999, 
p. 272). Most of the forested habitat within the park was cleared in 
the 1960s for cattle ranching, leaving the remaining natural forests 
only on the steepest slopes (Kattan and Beltr[aacute]n 1999, p. 273). 
Much of the Park has been allowed to naturally regenerate, and 
plantations of alder (Alnus acuminata) and ash (Fraxinus chinensis) are 
overgrown with natural vegetation (Kattan and Beltr[aacute]n 1997, p. 
369). The Park also contains a small area of private pasturelands 
(Kattan and Beltr[aacute]n 1997, p. 369), and agricultural expansion, 
selective logging, and firewood collection are ongoing in the region 
(BLI 2008a, p. 1).
    (2) In R[iacute]o Toche Valley (Tolima Department), on the south-
east slope of Volc[aacute]n Tolima, the brown-banded antpitta is 
considered uncommon and local (Beltr[aacute]n and Kattan 2002, p. 326; 
BLI 2004c, p. 2; Kattan and Beltr[aacute]n 2002, p. 238). This habitat 
is described as fragmented, and it is estimated that the natural cover 
has been reduced by 15 percent at elevations between 1,900 and 3,200 m 
(6,234 and 10,499 ft). The majority of suitable habitat is above 2,200 
m (7,218 ft) in elevation, and Kattan and Beltr[aacute]n (2002, p. 238) 
consider it to be of sufficient size to support a population of brown-
banded antpitta, making this an important area of suitable habitat for 
the species (p. 327).
    (3) R[iacute]o Blanco catchment (Caldas Department) comprises a 
strip less than 200 km (124 mi) long on the Central Cordilla, between 
2,300 and 3,100 m (7,546 and 10,171 ft) (Beltr[aacute]n and Kattan 
2002, p. 325; BLI 2004c, p. 2; Kattan and Beltr[aacute]n 2002, p. 238). 
The area is considered to be of sufficient size to support the species 
(Kattan and Beltr[aacute]n 2002, p. 238). However, the species has only 
been observed at this location once, in the year 2000 (Beltr[aacute]n 
and Kattan 2002, p. 328).
    (4) Reserva Departamental del Ca[ntilde]on del Quind[iacute]o 
(Quind[iacute]o Department): The Department of Conservation and 
Management of Alto Quind[iacute]o owns and manages this 56-km\2\ (22-
mi\2\) reserve, which ranges in elevation from 2,600 to 4,000 m (ft) 
(8,530 to 13,123 ft) (Corporaci[oacute]n Aut[oacute]noma Regional del 
Quind[iacute]o 2008). The type locality for the brown-banded antpitta 
(Laguneta) is located in the Department of Quind[iacute]o 
(Beltr[aacute]n and Kattan 2002, p. 325). Beltr[aacute]n and Kattan 
(2002, pp. 238, 327) believe that this Reserve comprises habitat 
suitable for the brown-banded

[[Page 32322]]

antpitta (as described under Current Range, above) and represents an 
important habitat conservation area for the species (Beltr[aacute]n and 
Kattan 2002, p. 327). However, the species has not been observed in 
Quind[iacute]o since 1942 (Beltr[aacute]n and Kattan 2002, p. 325; 
Collar et al. 1992, p. 698) and is considered to be locally extinct 
there (Beltr[aacute]n 2002 in litt., as cited in Beltr[aacute]n and 
Kattan 2002, p. 327).
    Nearly all the other forested habitat below 3,300 m (10,827 ft) in 
the Central Andes where the brown-banded antpitta occurred historically 
has been deforested and cleared for agricultural land use (BLI 2004c, 
p. 2). The remaining forests providing suitable habitat for the brown-
banded antpitta have become fragmented and isolated and are either 
surrounded by or being converted to pasture and agricultural crops 
(e.g., coffee plantations, potatoes, and beans) (BLI 2004c, p. 2). 
Approximately 85 percent of forested habitat at altitudes between 1,900 
m (6,234 ft) and 3,200 m (10,499 ft) has been converted to other land 
uses (BLI 2004c, p. 2; Cuervo 2002, p. 327; Stattersfield et al. 1998, 
p. 205). In 1998, forest conversion within the range of the brown-
banded antpitta was projected to continue (Stattersfield et al. 1998, 
p. 205). Cuervo (2002, p. 328) estimated that the available suitable 
habitat for this species totals no more than 500 km\2\ (310 mi\2\); 
BirdLife International estimated that the species currently occupies an 
area 300 km\2\ (116 mi\2\) in size (BLI 2007f, p. 1).
    Deforestation has greatly affected the current population size and 
distributional range of the brown-banded antpitta (Collar et al. 1992, 
p. 698; Kattan and Beltr[aacute]n 1997, p. 367). The species was 
thought to be extinct or on the verge of extinction (Beltr[aacute]n and 
Kattan 2002, pp. 326-327; Collar et al. 1992, p. 689; Kattan and 
Beltr[aacute]n 1997, pp. 367-369), until its rediscovery in 1994 
(Kattan and Beltr[aacute]n 1997, pp. 367-369). The brown-banded 
antpitta is now confirmed within three localities, including the 
Ucumar[iacute] Regional Park, the R[iacute]o Toche Valley, and the 
R[iacute]o Blanco basin. These habitats are characterized as 
heterogeneous and fragmented (Beltr[aacute]n and Kattan 2002, p. 327; 
Kattan and Beltr[aacute]n 2002, p. 237). The species is considered 
extirpated from its type locality (Beltr[aacute]n 2002 in litt., as 
cited in Beltr[aacute]n and Kattan, p. 327), despite the existence of 
suitable habitat (Beltr[aacute]n and Kattan 2002, p. 328), suggesting 
that the species is unable to recolonize areas from which it has been 
extirpated.

Summary of Factor A

    The brown-banded antpitta prefers the humid understory and forest 
floor habitats of mid-montane and cloud forests between 2,400 and 2,600 
m (7,874 and 8,530 ft) and has been observed in older (30-year-old) 
secondary-growth forest habitats and alder plantations. Habitat 
destruction, alteration, conversion, and fragmentation continue to be 
factors affecting the brown-banded antpitta. The direct loss of habitat 
through widespread deforestation and conversion of primary forests for 
human settlement and agricultural uses has led to the habitat 
fragmentation throughout the brown-banded antpitta's range. Cultivation 
of illegal drug crops, such as cocaine, leads to further deforestation 
and alters soil compositions, hindering regeneration of abandoned 
fields. In addition, drug eradication programs involving the aerial 
spraying of nonspecific herbicides lead to further environmental 
degradation and destruction of primary forest habitat. The current 
populations are small, very localized, and limited to a narrow 
elevational band that contains fragmented, disjunct, and isolated 
habitat. The species does not appear capable of recolonizing areas of 
suitable habitat that are isolated from extant locations (see Factor E, 
Likelihood to Disperse).
    Historically, the species was known only in one location, near 
Laguneta, which had been reduced to 10 percent of its original 
vegetative cover by 1994. Currently, the species' range is estimated to 
be 300 km\2\. The destruction and fragmentation of the remaining 
primary forested habitat is expected to continue, with ongoing human 
encroachment bringing increased population pressures and drug crop 
production, along with infrastructural improvements that facilitate 
encroachment into previously inaccessible areas. Therefore, we find 
that the present destruction, modification, and curtailment of habitat 
are a threat to the brown-banded antpitta throughout all of its range.

B. Overutilization for Commercial, Recreational, Scientific, or 
Educational Purposes

    We are not aware of any information currently available that 
addresses the occurrence of overutilization that may be causing a 
decline of the brown-banded antpitta. Therefore, we do not consider 
overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or 
educational purposes to be a threat to the brown-banded antpitta.

C. Disease or Predation

    Disease: We are unaware of information regarding disease or the 
potential for significant disease outbreaks in the brown-banded 
antpitta. As a result, we do not consider disease to be impacting the 
status of the species in the wild.
    Predation: Both terrestrial and avian predators prey upon 
antpittas, including the mountain coati (Nasuella olivacea), tayra 
(Eira barbara--in the weasel family), squirrel cuckoo (Piaya cayana), 
and crimson-rumped toucanet (Aulacorhynchus haematopygus) (Dobbs et al. 
2001, p. 231). Brown-banded antpittas are a ground dwelling, nearly 
flightless species (Beltr[aacute]n and Kattan 2002, p. 327; Krabbe and 
Schulenberg 2003, p. 719). Antpittas generally react non-
confrontationally in response to potential predators, relying on 
camouflage as a defense mechanism. Nesting birds rarely call from atop 
their nests (Wiedenfeld 1982, p. 580); they rely on their cryptic 
plumage and remain still to avoid detection when potential predators 
approach (Dobbs et al. 2001, pp. 226, 230). As discussed in detail 
above for the blue-billed curassow (Factor C, Predation), research on 
Andean understory nesting birds that are similar to the ground-dwelling 
brown-banded antpitta (Beltr[aacute]n and Kattan 2002, p. 327) 
indicated that predation rates increase in isolated and fragmented 
forest habitats, especially smaller forest patches that facilitate 
predator access to the understory (Arango-V[eacute]lez and Kattan 1997, 
p. 138; Gibbs 1991, p. 157; Hoover et al. 1995, p. 151; Keyser et al. 
1998, p. 991; Keyser 2002, p. 186; Renjifo 1999, p. 1133; Wilcove 1985, 
p. 1214).

Summary of Factor C

    Mountain coatis, tayras, squirrel cuckoos, and crimson-rumped 
toucanets are known antpitta predators. Predation results in the direct 
removal of eggs, juveniles, and adults from the population. The brown-
banded antpitta produces a low clutch size (see Habitat and Life 
History), and predation can remove potentially reproductive adults from 
the breeding pool. Moreover, habitat fragmentation has occurred and is 
ongoing throughout the brown-banded antpitta's range (Factor A). 
Studies on similar species in similar Andean habitats indicate that 
vulnerability to predation increases with increased habitat 
fragmentation and smaller patch sizes. The brown-banded antpitta does 
not have sophisticated anti-predator response mechanisms, making this 
species particularly vulnerable to an increased

[[Page 32323]]

risk of predation. Predation exacerbates the genetic complications 
associated with the species' small population size (Factor E). Because 
of the species' small population size and inability to recolonize 
isolated habitat fragments (Factor E), predation renders the species 
vulnerable to local extirpation. Therefore, we find that predation, 
exacerbated by ongoing habitat destruction (Factor A), is a threat to 
the brown-banded antpitta.

D. The Inadequacy of Existing Regulatory Mechanisms

    Regulatory mechanisms may provide species-specific or habitat-
specific protections. An evaluation of the adequacy of regulatory 
mechanisms within Colombia to mitigate or remove the threats to the 
brown-banded antpitta is provided below, beginning with species-
specific and followed by habitat-specific protection mechanisms.
    Colombia has enacted numerous laws to protect species and their 
habitats (Matallana-T. 2005, p. 121). The brown-banded antpitta is 
listed as an endangered species under Colombian Law 99 of 1993 (EcoLex 
1993, p. 2) and Resolution No. 584 of 2002 (EcoLex 2002, pp. 10, 12). A 
full description of these laws and the categorization of threatened 
species in Colombia were provided above, as part of the Factor D 
analysis for the blue-billed curassow. This threat status confers 
protections upon the species, including protection from commercial take 
under Resolution No. 849 of 1973 and Resolution No. 787 of 1977 (EcoLex 
1973, p.1; EcoLex 1977, p. 3). Hunting is not a threat to this species. 
Therefore, this law is not effective at reducing the primary threat to 
the species--habitat destruction.
    Colombia has enacted numerous forestry laws and forestry management 
practices (Law No. 2 (EcoLex 1959); Decree No. 2,811 (Faolex 1974); 
Decree No. 1,791 (Faolex 1996); Law No. 1,021 (EcoLex 2006)). 
Weaknesses in the implementation of these laws and the decentralized 
nature of Colombian resource management are described in detail above 
for the blue-billed curassow (Factor D) (ITTO 2006, pp. 218-9, 222; 
Matallana-T. 2005, pp. 121-122). The brown-banded antpitta ranges in 
multiple Departments (currently known in Risaralda, Caldas, and 
Tolima), all of which are administered by different autonomous 
Corporaci[oacute]nes. Habitat destruction, the primary threat to the 
brown-banded antpitta, is ongoing throughout the species' range (Factor 
A). The lack of a national conservation strategy for the brown-banded 
antpitta, combined with decentralized natural resource management in 
Colombia, may hamper conservation of the brown-banded antpitta. The 
existing laws and the decentralized nature of forestry management are 
ineffective at protecting the brown-banded antpitta and its habitat 
even within protected areas (Brooks and Gonzalez-Garcia 2001, p. 183).
    Colombia has several categories of national habitat protection 
(Matallana-T. 2005, p. 121-122), which were described above, as part of 
the Factor D analysis for the blue-billed curassow (Matallana-T. 2005, 
p. 121-122). Of the four areas identified as refugia for the brown-
banded antpitta, two are considered protected areas under Colombian 
law: (1) the Ucumar[iacute] Regional Park and (2) Reserva del 
Ca[ntilde]on del Quind[iacute]o.
    (1) The Ucumar[iacute] Regional Park (Risaralda Department) is 
managed by the Corporaci[oacute]n Aut[oacute]noma Regional de Risaralda 
(CARDER) (BLI 2008a, p. 3), with the primary goals of conservation and 
ecotourism. The Park is managed for multiple uses, including 
agriculture and cattle grazing (BLI 2008a, p. 1), and includes 
recreation and commercial areas for activities such as camping and 
freshwater fishing (CARDER 1995, pp. 3-4). According to the management 
plan for the Park that was instituted in 1995, recreational and 
commercial activities are permitted only when they do not significantly 
alter the environment (CARDER 1995, pp. 3-4). However, according to 
BirdLife International (2008a, p. 3), there has been little in the way 
of conservation planning, and the habitat within the protected area 
continues to undergo pressures from agricultural expansion, firewood 
collection, and selective cutting. Consequently, the threat from 
habitat destruction (Factor A) is not reduced or ameliorated.
    (2) Reserva del Ca[ntilde]on del Quind[iacute]o (Quind[iacute]o 
Department) is managed by the Corporaci[oacute]n Aut[oacute]noma 
Regional del Quind[iacute]o (2008, p. 1). According to the management 
plan for the Department of Quind[iacute]o <www.crq.gov.co/documentos/
PAT_CRQ_2007_2009.pdf, between 2007 and 2009, forestry 
planning will commence for the entire Department with the goal of 
completing forest plans for four different areas within the Department 
by the end of 2009. There is no information to indicate which areas 
will be included in this initial planning development phase. Therefore, 
we are unable to determine what protections may exist for the brown-
banded antpitta within this Reserve. Moreover, as discussed under 
Factor A, although this Reserve contains suitable habitat for the 
brown-banded antpitta (Beltr[aacute]n and Kattan 2002, p. 328), there 
are no known populations of the brown-banded antpitta within this 
Reserve (Beltr[aacute]n and Kattan 2002, p. 325; Collar et al. 1992, p. 
698). Threfore, the threat from habitat destruction (Factor A) is not 
reduced or ameliorated within this area.

Summary of Factor D

    Colombia has numerous laws and regulatory mechanisms to administer 
and manage wildlife and their habitats. The brown-banded antpitta is 
listed as endangered under Colombian law and lives within forested or 
protected areas that are regulated by law. However, on-the-ground 
enforcement of existing wildlife protection and forestry laws and 
oversight of the local jurisdictions implementing and regulating 
activities are ineffective at mitigating the primary threat to the 
brown-banded antpitta. As discussed for Factor A, habitat destruction, 
degradation, and fragmentation continue throughout the existing range 
of the brown-banded antpitta. Under Colombian law, there are two 
protected areas containing suitable habitat for the brown-banded 
antpitta. The species is known to occur in only one of these areas, 
wherein resources are managed for commercial and recreational uses. 
Conservation planning within both areas is lacking, so that the 
existence of these protected areas does not mitigate the threat of 
habitat loss. Therefore, we find that the existing regulatory 
mechanisms currently in place are inadequate to mitigate the primary 
threats to the brown-banded antpitta.

E. Other Natural or Manmade Factors Affecting the Continued Existence 
of the Species

    Two additional factors affect the brown-banded antpitta: 
itslikelihood to disperse and their small population size.
    Likelihood to Disperse: The brown-banded antpitta exhibits several 
characteristics indicative of its vulnerability to local extirpation 
and inability to recolonize previously inhabited locations, despite the 
presence of suitable habitat. This ground-dwelling species 
(Beltr[aacute]n and Kattan 2002, p. 327) has a high territorial 
fidelity and, although dispersal capabilities are not well-known 
(Cuervo 2002, p. 327) except those in the banding study by Kattan and 
Beltr[aacute]n (2002, p. 234), the farthest known distance traveled by 
any one individual bird was 0.041 km\2\ (0.02 mi\2\). This suggests 
that the brown-banded antpitta is unable to repopulate an isolated 
patch of suitable habitat following decline or local extirpation of 
that patch (Cuervo and Salaman 1999, p.

[[Page 32324]]

7; Hanski 1998, pp. 45-46). The local extirpation of this species from 
its type locality in Laguneta, Quind[iacute]o (Beltr[aacute]n and 
Kattan 2002, p. 327), and the lack of recolonization despite the 
existence of suitable habitat in the Ca[ntilde]on del Quind[iacute]o 
Reserve, support the hypothesis that the species may be incapable of 
dispersing to suitable habitat fragments without human intervention. To 
the best of our knowledge, there are no recovery or reintroduction 
programs in place for this species.
    Small Population Size: There have been few quantitative studies of 
brown-banded antpitta populations. A total of 48 individuals have been 
directly observed at two locations (Ucumar[iacute] Regional Park and 
R[iacute]o Toche) (Cuervo in litt., as cited in Beltr[aacute]n 2002 p. 
326; Kattan and Beltr[aacute]n 1997, pp. 367-369; Kattan and 
Beltr[aacute]n 1999, p. 276; Kattan and Beltr[aacute]n 2002, pp. 232-
233), 30 have been inferred at one location (R[iacute]o Blanco) 
(Beltr[aacute]n and Kattan 2002, p. 326), and up to 106 have been 
predicted to occur in one subpopulation within the brown-banded 
antpitta's current range (Ucumar[iacute] Regional Park) (Kattan and 
Beltr[aacute]n 1997, pp. 367-369; Kattan and Beltr[aacute]n 1999, p. 
276; Kattan and Beltr[aacute]n 2002, pp. 232-233). From work at 
Ucumar[iacute] Regional Park, Kattan and Beltr[aacute]n (1997, pp. 367-
369; Kattan and Beltr[aacute]n 1999, p. 276) predicted a population 
density of approximately 1.3 individuals per .01 km\2\ (0.004 mi\2\).
    The IUCN has estimated the brown-banded antpitta's total population 
size to be more than 250 and fewer than 999 adult individuals in a 300-
km\2\ (116-mi\2\) area (BLI 2007f, p. 1). However, this is a 
categorical approximation based on the following extrapolation: an 
expected average of 2.5 to 5.6 individuals per square kilometer 
multiplied by 45 percent of the extent of occurrence (300 km\2\) (116 
mi\2\) (BLI 2007f, p. 1), leading to estimated population numbers 
between 338 and 756 individuals (BLI 2007f, p. 4). While this density 
is well within Kattan and Beltr[aacute]n's (1997, pp. 367-369; Kattan 
and Beltr[aacute]n 1999, p. 276) predicted population density of 1.3 
individuals per .01 km\2\ (116 mi\2\), it should be noted that 
extrapolating population sizes based on the availability of suitable 
habitat may result in an overestimate for the brown-banded antpitta for 
several reasons: (1) the species may not be randomly distributed within 
the given habitat; (2) extrapolation does not take into account human-
induced threats, such as disturbance or hunting; and (3) not all 
individuals within the population are breeding at any one time, so that 
the actual number of individuals contributing to population growth will 
be a smaller number than the total number of individuals. In a review 
by Jetz et al. (2008, p. 110) of 1,158 well-studied bird species in 
Australia, North America, and southern Africa, Jetz et al. (2008, p. 
115) found that most species occurred in only 40-70 percent of the 
predicted range. They further noted that narrow-ranging species, such 
as the brown-banded antpitta, are particularly subject to population 
size overestimation, because they are unlikely to be randomly 
distributed within the habitat (Jetz et al. 2008, p. 116). Moreover, 
at-risk species, existing in declining, fragmented populations (as is 
the case for the brown-banded antpitta) are often absent from suitable 
but suboptimal habitat, thus exacerbating range overestimates (Jetz et 
al. 2008, p. 115). For instance, although suitable habitat exists in 
the species' type locality (Laguneta) in the Ca[ntilde]on del 
Quind[iacute]o Reserve, the species has not been observed there since 
1942 and is considered extirpated from this locality (Beltr[aacute]n 
and Kattan 2002, p. 327; Collar et al. 1992, p. 698). Thus, the species 
appears to be incapable of repopulating suitable habitat on its own 
accord (Beltr[aacute]n and Kattan 2002, p. 328; Jetz et al. 2008, p. 
115) and the existence of suitable habitat does not connote the 
presence of the species. This conclusion is supported by Beltr[aacute]n 
and Kattan (2002, p. 328), who noted that, out of a potential habitat 
of 855 km\2\ (330 mi\2\), the species did not occupy two of the seven 
historical localities, prompting them to reduce the estimated area of 
occupancy to no more than 500 km\2\. Thus, ground-truthing is essential 
to accurate population-size estimations. The IUCN is reviewing this 
situation to improve upon conservation assessments (Jetz et al. 2008, 
p. 117), and although it may be an overestimate, the figure ranging 
from 338 to 756 individuals represents the best information on 
population size.
    Based on genetic considerations, in the absence of quantitative 
studies specific to this species, a generally accepted approximation of 
minimum viable population size is described by the 50/500 rule (Shaffer 
1981, p. 133; Soul[eacute] 1980, pp. 160-162). According to this rule, 
the minimum viable population size is defined as the minimum number of 
individuals that is sufficient to respond over time to unexpected 
environmental conditions within the species' habitat (Shaffer 1981, pp. 
132-133; Soul[eacute] 1980, pp. 160-162). This rule states that an 
effective population size (Ne) of 50 individuals is the 
minimum size required to avoid imminent risks from inbreeding. 
Ne represents the number of animals in a population that 
actually contribute to reproduction, and is often much smaller than the 
census, or total number of individuals in the population (N). 
Furthermore, the rule states that the long-term fitness of a population 
requires an Ne of at least 500 individuals, so that it will 
not lose its genetic diversity over time and will maintain an enhanced 
capacity to adapt to changing conditions. Therefore, an analysis of the 
fitness of this population would be a good indicator of the species' 
overall survivability. The available information for 2007 indicates 
that the total global population of the brown-banded antpitta may range 
between 338 and 756 individuals (BLI 2007f, p. 4); 338 is above the 
minimum effective population size required to avoid risks from 
inbreeding (Ne = 50), and 756 is above the upper threshold 
for long-term fitness (Ne = 500).
    Given that the global population size is a qualitative assessment 
that may be an overestimate, that the actual number of breeding pairs 
is unknown but smaller than this number, and that the species exists in 
subpopulations that are unlikely to disperse into other locations, it 
is beneficial to analyze the fitness of the subpopulations that have 
been quantitatively assessed. The best-studied subpopulation is located 
within the Ucumar[iacute] Regional Park. A total of 47 individuals have 
been directly observed, and researchers estimate that the area may 
support as many as 106 individuals (Kattan and Beltr[aacute]n 1997, pp. 
367-369; Kattan and Beltr[aacute]n 1999, p. 276; Kattan and 
Beltr[aacute]n 2002, pp. 232-233). Forty-seven is just below the 
minimum effective population size required to avoid risks from 
inbreeding (Ne = 50 individuals). Moreover, the upper 
estimate of 106 individuals (not all of which will be reproducing) is 
approximately one-fifth of the upper threshold (Ne = 500 
individuals) required for long-term fitness of a population that will 
not lose its genetic diversity over time and will maintain an enhanced 
capacity to adapt to changing conditions. Therefore, we currently 
consider the species to be at risk due to the lack of near- and long-
term viability.
    Small population sizes render species vulnerable to genetic risks 
that can have individual or population-level consequences on the 
genetic level and can increase the species' susceptibility to 
demographic problems, as explained in more detail above for the blue-
billed curassow (Factor E, Small Population Size) (Charlesworth and 
Charlesworth 1987, p. 238; Shaffer 1981, p. 131). Once a population is 
reduced below a certain

[[Page 32325]]

number of individuals, it tends to rapidly decline towards extinction 
(Franklin 1980, pp. 147-148; Gilpin and Soul[eacute] 1986, p. 25; 
Holsinger 2000, pp. 64-65; Soul[eacute] 1987, p. 181).
    The brown-banded antpitta's restricted range, combined with its 
small population size (Cuervo and Salaman 1999, p. 7; Cuervo 2002, p. 
138; del Hoyo 1994, p. 361) and low prospect for dispersal 
(Beltr[aacute]n and Kattan 2002, p. 326; BLI 2004c, p. 2; Cuervo and 
Salaman 1999, p. 7; del Hoyo 1994, p. 361; Kattan and Beltr[aacute]n 
1997, pp. 369-370; Kattan and Beltr[aacute]n 1999, p. 273; Kattan and 
Beltr[aacute]n 2002, p. 238) makes the species particularly vulnerable 
to the threat of adverse natural (e.g., genetic, demographic, or 
stochastic) and manmade (e.g., habitat alteration and destruction) 
events that destroy individuals and their habitats (Brooks and 
Gonzalez-Garcia 2001, pp. 185-190; Holsinger 2000, pp. 64-65; Primack 
1998, pp. 279-308; Young and Clarke 2000, pp. 361-366).

Summary of Factor E

    The brown-banded antpitta's small population size increases its 
vulnerability to genetic risks associated with small population sizes 
that negatively impact the species' long-term viability and increase 
the possibility of localized extirpations of the remaining fragmented 
populations. Further, the species is unlikely to repopulate areas of 
suitable habitat from which it has been locally extirpated because it 
exhibits high territorial fidelity and has never repopulated suitable 
existing habitat within the Department of Quind[iacute]o, where the 
species' type locality (Laguneta) is located and the species has not 
been observed since 1942. Consequently, we believe that, in combination 
with the risks to the species from habitat destruction (Factor A) and 
predation (Factor C), the brown-banded antpitta is vulnerable to 
localized extirpation or extinction from which the species would be 
unable to recover, due it its small population size and apparent 
inability to repopulate fragmented, isolated habitats such as that 
currently present within this species' range.

Status Determination for the Brown-Banded Antpitta

    The four primary factors that threaten the survival of the brown-
banded antpitta are: (1) habitat destruction, fragmentation, and 
degradation (Factor A); (2) predation (Factor C); (3) inadequacy of 
regulatory mechanisms to reduce the threats to the species (Factor D); 
and (4) small population size and isolation of remaining populations 
(Factor E).
    The direct loss of habitat through widespread deforestation and 
conversion of primary forests to human settlement and agricultural uses 
has led to the fragmentation of habitat throughout the range of the 
brown-banded antpitta and isolation of the remaining populations. The 
species has been locally extirpated in its type locality and has 
experienced a 55 percent reduction of suitable habitat, and its range 
is estimated to be 300 km\2\ (116 mi\2\).
    Brown-banded antpittas are vulnerable to predation by mountain 
coatis, tayras, squirrel cuckoos, and crimson-rumped toucanets (Factor 
C). Habitat fragmentation (Factor A) contributes to this vulnerability, 
because research indicates that predation increases with increased 
habitat fragmentation and smaller patch sizes. Predation leads to the 
direct removal of eggs, juveniles, and adults from the population, 
exacerbating risks associated with the species' small population size 
and the risk of local extirpation (Factor E). Brown-banded antpittas, 
as with other antpittas, produce a low clutch size (see Habitat and 
Life History) and predation can destroy pair bonds and remove 
potentially reproductive adults from the breeding pool.
    The threats from habitat destruction (Factor A) and predation 
(Factor C) are compounded by the species' small population size (Factor 
E). The brown-banded antpitta has undergone a population decline that 
is closely associated with a reduction in range caused by habitat 
destruction (Factor A). The brown-banded antpitta's small population 
size of between 338 and 756 individuals is likely to be an overestimate 
based on the fact that population sizes for narrow-ranging species are 
typically overestimated when based on extent of occurrence. The 
species' subpopulations, one of which is estimated to include only 46 
to 106 individuals, are isolated from each other. The species' 
confirmed absence from suitable habitat within its historic range, 
combined with the species' high territorial fidelity, suggests that the 
species is incapable of repopulating suitable habitat without human 
intervention. We are unaware of any reintroduction or recovery programs 
for this species. The species' small population size increases its 
vulnerability to natural and human factors (e.g., genetic isolation, 
agricultural development, increased human settlement, and road 
development) that could lead to local extirpation, which the species 
has already experienced in its type locality due to habitat 
destruction. Within the last three generations, or 10 years, the brown-
banded antpitta has undergone up to a 9 percent reduction in population 
size and, at the current level of habitat destruction, this rate of 
decline is projected to continue over the next 10 years. Below a 
certain number, species are unable to recover and, given the small 
number and isolated nature of existing populations, such reductions in 
numbers could lead to extinction of the brown-banded antpitta.
    Although Colombia has adopted numerous laws and regulatory 
mechanisms to administer and manage wildlife and their habitats, on-
the-ground enforcement of these laws and oversight of the local 
jurisdictions implementing and regulating activities are inadequate to 
address the primary threat to this species, which is habitat loss 
(Factor A). Several populations of brown-banded antpitta are within 
sanctuaries or preserves; however, habitat destruction and hunting 
continues within the areas, and regulations are not uniformly enforced, 
monitoring is limited, and management plans are not developed or 
implemented, resulting in ineffective protective measures for 
conservation of the species.
    We have carefully assessed the best available scientific and 
commercial information regarding the past, present, and potential 
future threats faced by the brown-banded antpitta. We consider the 
ongoing threats to the brown-banded antpitta, habitat destruction 
(Factor A) and predation (Factor C), exacerbated by the species' small 
population size and limited dispersal ability (Factor E), and 
compounded by inadequate regulatory mechanisms to mitigate these 
threats (Factor D), to be equally present and of the same magnitude 
throughout the species' entire current range. Based on this 
information, we conclude that the brown-banded antpitta is in danger of 
extinction throughout all of its range. Therefore, we are proposing to 
list the brown-banded antpitta as an endangered species.

III. Cauca Guan (Penelope perspicax)

Species Description

    The Cauca guan, a member of the Cracid family, is endemic to the 
central and western slopes of the Andes of Colombia (Brooks and Strahl 
2000, p. 13; Delacour and Amadon 2004, pp. 133-135; Hilty and Brown 
1986, p. 125). It is a large bird, measuring approximately 76 cm (30 
in) in length (Hilty and Brown 1986, p. 125). The

[[Page 32326]]

species is locally known as ``Pava Caucana'' (Renjifo 2002, p. 124; 
Rios et al. 2006, p. 17). The Cauca guan is described as a ``drab'' 
brown-gray, with a chestnut-colored rear part and tail, and a bright 
red dewlap (a flap of skin hanging beneath its lower jaw) (BLI 2007h, 
p. 1).

Taxonomy

    The Cauca guan was first taxonomically described by Bangs in 1911 
and placed in the Cracidae family (BLI 2007h, p. 1).

Habitat and Life History

    The Cauca guan has been observed in mature tropical humid forests 
and in fragmented secondary forests, forest edges, and plantations of 
the exotic Chinese ash (Fraxinus chinensis) trees that are located 
within 1 km (0.62 mi) of primary forest (Kattan et al. 2006, p. 299; 
Renjifo 2002, p. 127; Rios et al. 2006, pp. 17-18). Older reports 
indicate that the species once inhabited dry forests in the Cauca, 
Pat[iacute]a, and Dagua River valleys (Renjifo 2002, p. 126). The Cauca 
guan requires large territories for foraging (Kattan 2004, p. 11), but 
today is relegated mostly to small forest fragments (Kattan et al. 
2006, p. 301). This species, as with other guans, tends to aggregate 
within its habitat, generally based on resource availability. For 
instance, Cauca guans tend to congregate around fruit trees at certain 
times of year. Thus, depending on the time of year, improper sampling 
might tend to overestimate or underestimate the population (Kattan et 
al. 2006, p. 305). Cauca guans are reportedly timid in the presence of 
humans (Rios et al. 2006, p. 21).
    Cauca guans feed mostly on fruit and leaves (including those of the 
non-native Chinese ash trees) and occasionally on invertebrates and 
flowers (Mu[ntilde]oz et al. 2006, p. 49; Renjifo 2002, p. 127; Rios et 
al. 2006, pp. 17-18). Although primarily terrestrial, the species is 
occasionally found in the upper stories of forests obtaining food. 
Because fruit availability within a forest is spatially and temporally 
variable, guans must undergo regional movements in pursuit of fruiting 
plants. The species is usually found singly, in pairs, or in groups of 
up to six individuals. The largest recorded gathering of Cauca guans 
was 30 individuals (Rios et al. 2006, p. 16). There are two breeding 
seasons coinciding with the rainy seasons, one at the beginning of the 
year and another in August (Rios et al. 2006, p. 17). Nests are 
circular cups made of leaves and small branches (Renjifo 2002, p. 127), 
and the typical clutch size is two eggs, which is considered low. Guans 
remain paired during the breeding period and until chicks are 1 year in 
age; this is considered a long fledging period (Rios et al. 2006, p. 
17). Cracids are also slow to reproduce, with a replacement rate of at 
least 6 years (Silva and Strahl 1991, p. 50).

Historical Range and Distribution

    The Cauca guan's historical distribution included the east slopes 
of the West Andes and the Cauca, Pat[iacute]a, and Dagua Valleys, in 
the Departments of Cauca, Quind[iacute]o, Risaralda, and Valle de 
Cauca. The historic range is estimated to have been approximately 
24,900 km\2\ (9,614 mi\2\) (Renjifo 2002, p. 128). In the early part of 
the 20th Century, the Cauca guan inhabited the dry forests of the 
Cauca, Dagua, and Pat[iacute]a Valleys (Renjifo 2002, p. 128). The 
Cauca Valley lies between the central and western Andes and spans the 
Departments of Cauca, Valle de Cauca, Quind[iacute]o, and Risaralda 
(WWF 2001a, p. 1). The Dagua Valley lies on the Pacific side of the 
western Andes, in Valle de Cauca; it is described as an isolated valley 
of dry forest that changes in elevation from 400 to 2,000 m (1,312 to 
6,562 ft) and is surrounded at upper elevations by humid forest to the 
west and cloud forest to the north, south, and east (Silva 2003, p. 4). 
The Pat[iacute]a Valley lies between the central and western Andes in 
the Department of Cauca, in southwestern Colombia; it has a mean 
altitude of 600-900 m (1,969-2,953 ft) (WWF 2001c, p. 1). This area was 
once covered in wetlands, humid forests, and dry forests. Today, most 
of the dry forests have been eliminated and highly fragmented, such 
that continuous forest exists only above 2,000 m (6,562 ft) (Renjifo 
2002, p. 128).
    From the beginning of the 20th Century through the 1950s, the 
species was considered common (BLI 2007h, p. 1; Renjifo 2002, p. 126). 
Between the 1970s and 1980s, there was extensive deforestation in the 
Cauca Valley, and the species went unobserved during this time, leading 
researchers to suspect that the Cauca guan was either extinct or on the 
verge of extinction (Brooks and Strahl 2000, p. 14; del Hoyo 1994, pp. 
337, 349; Hilty 1985, p. 1004; Hilty and Brown 1986, p. 125). The 
species was rediscovered in 1987 (Renjifo 2002, p. 124).

Current Range and Distribution

    Today, the Cauca guan inhabits the eastern and western slopes of 
the West and Central Andes Mountain ranges, in the Departments of 
Cauca, Quind[iacute]o, Risaralda, and Valle de Cauca (BLI 2007h, p. 1; 
Kattan et al. 2006, pp. 299, 301; Renjifo 2002, pp. 124-126). Since 
1987, most observations of this species have been at elevations ranging 
from 1,400 to 2,000 m (4,593 to 6,562 ft) (Renjifo 2002, pp. 124-125), 
with an occasional sighting at altitudes well below (i.e., 816 m (2,677 
ft)) or well above (i.e., 2,690 m (8,825 ft)) this altitudinal range 
(Mu[ntilde]oz et al. 2006, p. 54; Renjifo 2002, pp. 124-125; Rios et 
al. 2006, p. 17). The Ucumar[iacute] Regional Park is considered the 
stronghold of the species (BLI 2007h, p. 1) (see Population Estimates).
    The habitat consists primarily of forest fragments, and although 
continuous cover remains at elevations above 2,000 m (6,562 ft) (Kattan 
et al. 2006, p. 303), researchers have not ascertained whether the 
species inhabits these higher-altitude contiguous forest areas (Renjifo 
2002, p. 129). The current range of the species totals less than 750 
km\2\ (290 mi\2\), of which only 560 km\2\ (216 mi\2\) is considered 
suitable habitat (BLI 2007h, p. 1; Kattan et al. 2006, p. 299; Rios et 
al. 2006, p.17).

Population Estimates

    Cauca guan populations are characterized as small, ranging from 
only tens of individuals or, in rare instances, hundreds (Renjifo 2002, 
p. 12). BirdLife International reported that the largest subpopulation 
contained an estimated 50 to 249 individuals; however, they do not 
specify to which population this refers, and these figures are not 
found in any of the other literature regarding population surveys of 
the Cauca guan. Ucumar[iacute] Regional Park has been considered the 
stronghold of the species (BLI 2007h, p. 1). Sixteen individuals were 
counted in 1990, and the species was characterized as ``common'' in 
plantations in 1994-1995 (Wege and Long 1995, p. 141). Since then, 
there have been scant sightings of Cauca guan there (Renjifo 2002, p. 
125; Wege and Long 1995, p. 141), including the observation of one 
individual in the Park in 2004 (Scanlon 2004, pp. 1-3). There have been 
no population surveys within the Park to determine the species' current 
population size therein.
    Munchique National Natural Park (Cauca) is considered to be the 
most important locality for this species in the southern portion of its 
range because of the extensive remaining forest habitat, although 
habitat destruction is ongoing there (see Factor A). The species was 
last recorded in Munchique in 1987, but has not been confirmed there 
since (Kattan et al. 2006, p. 305; Mu[ntilde]oz et al. 2006, p. 54; 
Salaman in litt. 1999, 2000, as cited in BLI 2007h, p. 2).
    Kattan et al. (2006, p. 302) conducted the only two population 
surveys in 2000

[[Page 32327]]

and 2001 (Mu[ntilde]oz et al. 2006 p. 55). They estimated population 
densities at two locations, Ot[uacute]n-Quimbaya Flora and Fauna 
Sanctuary (Risaralda) and Reserva Forestal de Yotoco (Valle de Cauca), 
to be 144-264 individuals and 35-61 individuals, respectively (Kattan 
et al. 2006, p. 304). Kattan et al. (2006, p. 302) also examined 10 
additional localities, based on locality data reported by Renjifo 
(2002, pp. 124-125). Visual confirmations were made at only 2 of the 10 
localities (Reserva La Sirena and Chorro de Plata, both in the 
Department of Valle de Cauca), where the extent and occurrence of the 
populations have yet to be determined (Kattan et al. 2006, p. 303). 
Auditory confirmations were made at 5 of the 10 localities, including: 
La Zulia, Chicoral, Las Brisas, San Antonio, and Planes de San Rafael 
(Kattan et al. 2006, p. 302).
    In 2006, Kattan (in litt., as cited in Mu[ntilde]oz et al. 2006 p. 
55) estimated the global population to be between 196 and 342 
individuals. The IUCN has placed the Cauca guan in the population 
category ranging from 250 to no more than 1,000 (BLI 2007h, pp. 1, 3). 
Overall, the population is considered to be in decline (BLI 2007h, p. 
2; Kattan 2004, p. 6; Renjifo 2002, p. 129).

Conservation Status

    The Cauca guan is listed as endangered under Colombian law (EcoLex 
2002, p. 12). The IUCN categorizes the species as ``Endangered'' due to 
its small, contracted range composed of widely fragmented patches of 
habitat (BLI 2004e, p. 1).

Summary of Factors Affecting the Cauca Guan

A. The Present or Threatened Destruction, Modification, or Curtailment 
of the Habitat or Range

    Historically, Cauca guans were considered common (BLI 2007h, p. 1; 
Renjifo 2002, p. 126). They inhabited the eastern slopes of the west 
Andes and the dry forests of the Cauca, Dagua, and Pat[iacute]a 
Valleys, in the Departments of Cauca, Quind[iacute]o, and Valle del 
Cauca (Renjifo 2002, p. 124) (see Historical Distribution, above), in a 
range extending over approximately 24,900 km\2\ (9,614 mi\2\). 
Extensive habitat destruction and fragmentation since the 1950s has 
resulted in an estimated 95 percent range reduction (Chapman 1917, p. 
195; Collar et al. 1992, p. 126; Kattan et al. 2006, p. 299; Renjifo 
2002, pp. 126-127; Rios et al. 2006, p. 17). As a result, although it 
prefers mature tropical humid forests, the Cauca guan exists primarily 
in fragmented and isolated secondary forest remnants, forest edges, and 
in feral plantations of the exotic Chinese ash trees that are located 
within 1 km (0.62 mi) of primary forest (Kattan et al. 2006, p. 299; 
Renjifo 2002, p. 127; Rios et al. 2006, pp. 17-18). Its current range 
is estimated to be less than 750 km\2\ (290 mi\2\), of which only 560 
km\2\ (216 mi\2\) is considered suitable habitat (BLI 2007h, p. 2; 
Kattan et al. 2006, p. 299; Rios et al. 2006, p. 17). It is estimated 
that more than 30 percent of this loss of habitat has occurred within 
the last three generations, or 30 years (Renjifo 2002, p. 129).
    Deforestation rates and patterns: Colombia has experienced 
extensive deforestation in the last half of the 20th Century as a 
result of habitat conversion for human settlements, road building, 
agriculture, and timber extraction. A 23-year study, from 1973 to 1996, 
demonstrated that these activities reduced the amount of primary forest 
cover in Colombia by approximately 3,605 ha (8,908 ac) annually, 
representing a nearly one-third total loss of primary forest habitat 
(Vi[ntilde]a et al. 2004, pp. 123-124). Beginning in the 1980s, habitat 
loss increased dramatically as a result of influxes of people settling 
in formerly pristine areas (Perz et al. 2005, pp. 26-28; Vi[ntilde]a et 
al. 2004, p. 124). More recent studies indicate that the rate of 
habitat destruction is accelerating. During the period 1990-2005, 
Colombia lost approximately 52,800 ha (130,471 ac) of primary forest 
annually (Butler 2006a, pp. 1-3; FAO 2003a, p. 1). These studies and 
activities are described in greater detail above, as part of the Factor 
A analysis for the blue-billed curassow (Deforestation Rates and 
Patterns).
    Human-induced deforestation and environmental degradation have 
caused the Cauca guan to shift its range and elevational distribution 
to the few remaining forest remnants. The Cauca guan was once 
considered to occur only on the eastern slopes of the West Andes and 
Cauca, Pat[iacute]a, and Dagua Valleys (Renjifo 2002, p. 128). Today, 
the species occurs on the western slopes of the central and western 
Andes of Colombia (BLI 2007h, p. 1; Delacour and Amadon 2004, p. 135; 
Kattan et al. 2006, p. 299; Renjifo 2002, p. 124). During the latter 
half of the 20th Century, much of the lower-elevation forests in the 
R[iacute]o Cauca Valley, where the species was observed most often 
between 1937 and 1963 (Renjifo 2002, p. 124), were deforested. Habitat 
destruction and alteration in the sub-Andean slopes around the Cauca, 
Dagua and Pat[iacute]a Valleys has left only a few hundred hectares 
(100 hectares = 1 km\2\ = 0.39 mi\2\) of isolated, small, fragmented 
forest remnants, and the Cauca guan is absent from most of these 
fragments (Renjifo 2002, p. 128). The species has been extirpated from 
the Cauca and Dagua Valleys, but may still exist in patches within the 
Pat[iacute]a Valley (Renjifo 2002, p. 128). Beginning in 1989, the 
species was observed several times in the Department of Risaralda, in 
an area and at elevations that were not part of the species' historic 
range, but represent the extreme fringe of its former range (Renjifo 
2002, pp. 124-5).
    Habitat destruction and alteration, in addition to shifting the 
species to the fringes of its former range, have caused the Cauca guan 
to shift in its altitudinal distribution (Cuervo and Salaman 1999, p. 
8). Nearly all the forested habitat below 3,300 m (10,827 ft) in the 
Central Andes, where the Cauca guan occurs today, has been deforested 
and cleared for agricultural land use, such as pasture, coffee 
plantations, potatoes, and beans (BLI 2004c, p. 2). Approximately 85 
percent of forested habitat at altitudes between 1,900 m (6,234 ft) and 
3,200 m (10,499 ft) has been converted to other land uses (BLI 2004c, 
p. 2; Cuervo 2002, p. 327; Stattersfield et al. 1998, p. 205). By 1994, 
in Quind[iacute]o, extensive deforestation at elevations between 1,800 
and 2,600 m (5,905 and 8,530 ft) led to the destruction of much of the 
Cauca guan's preferred habitat of mature humid forests (Collar et al. 
1994, p. 136). Prior to the species' rediscovery in 1987, its 
altitudinal range was between 1,300 and 2,100 m (4265 and 6890 ft) (del 
Hoyo 1994, p. 349; Hilty and Brown 1986, p. 125), with occasional 
sightings at lower elevations in the Pat[iacute]a Valley (between 642 
and 650 m (2,106 and 2,133 ft) (Hilty and Brown 1986, p. 125; Renjifo 
2002, pp. 124-125). Since 1987, the Cauca guan has been observed only 
in the remaining and much-restricted forest remnants of the following 
Departments: Cauca (in the years 1987, 1989, and 1992), Quind[iacute]o 
(1995 - 1997), Risaralda (1989, 1995-1997, 2000, 2001), and Valle de 
Cauca (1988, 1999, 2000) (Delacour and Amadon 2004, p. 135; Kattan et 
al. 2006, p. 299; Renjifo 2002, pp. 124-125). Renjifo (2002, pp. 124-
125) provided detailed observation records indicating that reports 
since 1987 ranged in altitude between one sighting at 900 m (2,953 ft) 
in the Pat[iacute]a Valley in 1992, and the rest between 1,350 and 
2,690 m (4,429 and 8,825 ft). In 2006, Mu[ntilde]oz et al. (2006, p. 
54) reported the species' range as being between 1,200 and 2,600 m 
(3,937 and 8,530 ft) and Rios et al. (2006, p. 17) reported the 
species' range as 1,000-2,500 m (3,281-8,202 ft). These ranges

[[Page 32328]]

are consistent with recent observations of the species. Kattan et al. 
(2006, pp. 299, 301) reported its range as 1,000-2,000 m (3,281-6,562 
ft), noting that recent sightings at higher elevations demonstrated 
that the species has shifted its altitudinal range, as deforestation 
throughout much of Cauca, Dagua, and Pat[iacute]a Valley has left only 
isolated forest fragments remaining at elevations below 2,000 m (6,562 
ft). Although continuous cover remains in some locations above 2,000 m 
(6,562 ft) (Kattan et al. 2006, p. 303), researchers are uncertain 
whether the species inhabits these areas (Renjifo 2002, p. 129). The 
mid-montane and cloud forests in the Department of Risaralda, where 
this species was observed as recently as the year 2000 (Renjifo 2002, 
p. 124), continue to undergo deforestation (Dolphijn 2005, p. 2). In 
Cauca, timber extraction and mining are ongoing (Urue[ntilde]a et al. 
2006, p. 42). Deforestation and habitat alteration are ongoing 
throughout the Cauca guan's limited range of 560 km\2\ (216 mi\2\).
    Illegal drugs and their eradication: Cocaine and opium have been 
cultivated throughout the Cauca guan's range. The cultivation of 
illegal crops (including coca and opium) in Colombia destroys montane 
forests (Balslev 1993, p. 3). Coca production destroys the soil quality 
by causing the soil to become more acidic, which depletes the soil 
nutrients and ultimately impedes the regrowth of secondary forests in 
abandoned fields (Van Schoik and Schulberg 1993, p. 21). As of 2004, 
the estimated total amount of land under cultivation for cocaine 
equaled 80,000 ha (197,683 ac); 4,000 ha (9,884 ac) of land are under 
opium cultivation (UNODC et al. 2007, pp. 7-8). These figures include 
habitat within the Cauca guan's range. Between 2003 and 2004, cocaine 
cultivation areas decreased from 1,445 to 1,266 ha (3,571 to 3,128 ac) 
in Cauca, and increased 22 percent from 37 ha (91 ac) to 45 ha (111 ac) 
in Valle de Cauca (UNODC and GOC 2005, p. 15). At the same time, opium 
cultivation decreased in Cauca from 600 ha (1,483 ac) to 450 ha (1,112 
ac) (UNODC 2005, p. 50).
    Colombia continues to be the leading coca bush producer (UNODC et 
al. 2007, p. 7). However, since 2003, cocaine cultivation has remained 
stable at about 800 km\2\ (309 mi\2\) of land under cultivation (UNODC 
et al. 2007, p. 8). This is attributed, in part, to the implementation 
of alternative development projects, which encourage people to pursue 
alternative vocations to planting illegal crops (UNODC et al. 2007, p. 
77). In 2004, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the 
Government of Colombia reported that no coca had been cultivated in the 
Departments of Quind[iacute]o and Risaralda since the year 2000 (UNODC 
and GOC 2005, p. 48). This was attributed to alternative development 
programs being implemented between 1999 and 2007, for which US$200,000 
was provided to Quind[iacute]o and US$800,000 to Risaralda (UNODC and 
GOC 2005, p. 48). During the same period, at least US$12.1 million 
(mill) was spent in alternative development programs in Cauca, where 
coca production decreased, and another 1.6 mill was spent in Valle de 
Cauca, where coca production increased (UNODC and GOC 2005, p. 48).
    This stabilization of the amount of land under cultivation for 
illegal drugs is also attributed to heightened eradication efforts. 
Between 2002 and 2004, aerial spraying occurred over more than 1,300 
km\2\ (502 mi\2\) annually, peaking in 2004, when 1,360 km\2\ (525 
mi\2\) of illicit crops were sprayed (UNODC and GOC 2005, p. 11). In 
2006, eradication efforts were undertaken on over 2,130 km\2\ (822 
mi\2\) of land, consisting of 1,720 km\2\ (664 mi\2\) of land being 
sprayed and manual eradication being used on the remaining land. 
Eradication efforts undertaken in 2006 occurred over an area 
representing 2.7 times more land than the net cultivation area (UNODC 
et al. 2007, p. 8). In Cauca alone, 1,811 ha (4,475 ac) of coca fields 
and 435 ha (1,075 ac) of opium fields were sprayed or manually 
eradicated in 2004 (UNODC 2005, p. 66).
    Drug eradication efforts in Colombia have further degraded and 
destroyed primary forest habitat by using nonspecific aerial herbicides 
to destroy illegal crops ([Aacute]lvarez 2005, p. 2042; BLI 2007d, p. 
3; C[aacute]rdenas and Rodr[iacute]guez Becerra 2004, p. 355; Oldham 
and Massey 2002, pp. 9-12). Herbicide spraying has introduced harmful 
chemicals into Cauca guan habitat and has led to further destruction of 
the habitat by forcing illicit growers to move to new, previously 
untouched forested areas ([Aacute]lvarez 2002, pp. 1088-1093; 
[Aacute]lvarez 2005, p. 2042; [Aacute]lvarez 2007, pp. 133-143; BLI 
2007d, p. 3; C[aacute]rdenas and Rodr[iacute]guez Becerra 2004, p. 355; 
Oldham and Massey 2002, pp. 9-12). Between 1998 and 2002, cultivation 
of illicit crops increased 21 percent each year, with a concomitant 
increase in deforestation of formerly pristine areas of approximately 
60 percent ([Aacute]lvarez 2002, pp. 1088-1093).
    Effects of habitat fragmentation: The Cauca guan requires large 
territories for foraging (Kattan 2004, p. 11), but today is relegated 
mostly to small forest fragments (Kattan et al. 2006, p. 301), making 
it more susceptible to habitat disturbance, further fragmentation, and 
destruction from human activity (Brooks and Strahl 2000, p. 10; Silva 
and Strahl 1991, p. 38).
    An analysis of the effects of habitat fragmentation on Andean birds 
within western Colombia established that 31 percent of the historical 
bird populations in western Colombia had become extinct or locally 
extirpated by 1990, largely as a result of habitat fragmentation from 
deforestation caused by human encroachment (Kattan and [Aacute]lvarez-
Lopez 1996, p. 5; Kattan et al. 1994, p. 141). Kattan and 
[Aacute]lvarez-Lopez (1996, pp. 5-6) also identified two conditions 
that increase a species' vulnerability to extinction or local 
extirpation as a result of habitat fragmentation: (1) species at the 
upper or lower limit of their altitudinal distribution (which is the 
case for the Cauca guan) are more susceptible to local extirpation and 
extinction, and (2) large fruit-eating birds with limited distributions 
and narrow habitat preferences were most vulnerable to extinction (also 
the case for the Cauca guan). Deforestation has eradicated the Cauca 
guan from much of its historic range and has led to local extirpation 
(Collar et al. 1994, pp. 61-62; Kattan et al. 2006, p. 299) in the 
Cauca and Dagua Valleys (Renjifo 2002, p. 128), such as in San Antonio 
(Valle de Cauca), where the species has not been observed since 1917 
(Renjifo 2002, p. 124). Moreover, in light of the species' 
characteristics, the Cauca guan is unlikely to repopulate an isolated 
patch of suitable habitat following decline or local extirpation (see 
Factor E, Likelihood to Disperse).
    The Cauca guan, as with other cracids, is susceptible to indirect 
effects of habitat disturbance and fragmentation (Silva and Strahl 
1991, p. 38; Brooks and Strahl 2000, p. 10). A study conducted in 
northwestern Colombia demonstrated that habitat destruction and 
fragmentation may increase a species' vulnerability to predation 
(Arango-V[eacute]lez and Kattan 1997, pp. 140-142) (Factor C). In 
addition, habitat fragmentation, combined with continuing human 
encroachment, increases the species' vulnerability to hunting (Factor 
B). Habitat fragmentation may affect population densities by shifting 
the availability of resources, such as food (Kattan et al. 2006, p. 
305). Habitat fragmentation also compounds problems for species with 
small population sizes, such as the Cauca guan, which has an estimated 
population between 196 and 342 individuals (Kattan in litt., as cited 
in Mu[ntilde]oz et al. 2006 p. 55) (Factor E).

[[Page 32329]]

    Refugia: The Cauca guan has recently been confirmed in the 
following locations: (1) Ot[uacute]n-Quimbaya Flora and Fauna 
Sanctuary; (2) Reserva La Sirena; (3) Reserva Forestal de Yotoco; (4) 
Chorro de Plata; and (5) Munchique National Natural Park (Delacour and 
Amadon 2004, p. 135; Kattan et al. 2006, p. 299, 305; Renjifo 2002, pp. 
124-125). These locations are discussed below.
    (1) Ot[uacute]n-Quimbaya Flora and Fauna Sanctuary (Department of 
Risaralda), a 4.9-km\2\ (1.9-mi\2\) reserve in the Department of 
Risaralda, contains a habitat mosaic of old-growth fragments and 
regenerating secondary forests, including abandoned ash plantations 
that cover 0.18 km\2\ (0.07 mi\2\) (CARDER 2000, p. 1; Kattan and 
Beltr[aacute]n 1997, p. 369; Kattan et al. 2006, p. 303). Most of the 
forested habitat in the area was cleared in the 1960s for cattle 
ranching, leaving the remaining natural forests only on the steepest 
slopes (Kattan and Beltr[aacute]n 1999, p. 273). In population surveys 
conducted by Kattan et al. (2006, p. 304) in 2000 and 2001, this 
subpopulation was estimated to include between 144 and 264 individuals. 
Kattan (2004, pp. 12-13) also advised that the Ot[uacute]n-Quimbaya 
Sanctuary was not large enough to provide the space and resources 
needed to sustain a viable Cauca guan population.
    This Sanctuary is adjacent to the Ucumar[iacute] Regional Park 
(Kattan et al. 2006, p. 302), which covers an area of approximately 44 
km\2\ (17 mi\2\), with elevations ranging from 1,700 to 2,600 m (5,577 
to 8,530 ft) (Kattan and Beltr[aacute]n 1999, p. 273; Kattan et al. 
2006, pp. 301-302). Ucumar[iacute] Regional Park has been considered 
the stronghold of the species since the late 1990s (BLI 2007h, p. 1) 
(see Population Estimates, above). The largest number of Cauca guan 
individuals observed at this site was 16 in 1990 (Wege and Long 1995, 
p. 141), and a single individual was sighted in 2004 (Scanlon 2004, pp. 
1-3); however, there have been no population surveys within the Park to 
determine the current population size. Subsistence hunting was 
reportedly prevalent within the Park in the late 1990s (Collar et al. 
1992, p. 60; del Hoyo 1994, p. 349; Strahl et al. 1995, p. 81) (Factors 
B and D).
    (2) Reserva La Sirena (Valle de Cauca) is located above 2,000 m 
(6,562 ft) and consists of fragmented riparian forest in various stages 
of succession (Kattan et al. 2006, pp. 302-303). Reserva La Sirena has 
an environmental education center, around which are located some 
protected areas as well as continuous forest above 2,000 m (6,562 ft). 
Visual confirmation of the Cauca guan was made in this locality in 
surveys conducted in 2000 and 2001, but the extent and occurrence of 
the population have yet to be determined (Kattan et al. 2006, p. 303).
    (3) Reserva Forestal de Yotoco (Valle de Cauca) is an isolated 5.6-
km\2\ (2.16-mi\2\) reserve on the eastern slopes of the Western Andes, 
ranging in altitude from 1,400 to 1,600 m (4,593 to 5,249 ft) (Kattan 
et al. 2006, p. 302). In population surveys conducted by Kattan et al. 
(2006, p. 304) in 2000 and 2001, this subpopulation was estimated to 
include between 35 and 61 individuals. One of the last remaining humid 
tropical forests in the Valle de Cauca, the forest is mostly 
wellconserved, but human impacts are evidenced by an asphalt highway 
running through the middle of the Reserve and numerous footpaths 
crossing the Reserve to connect to coffee plantations, which, along 
with pasturelands, surround the forest (BLI 2007h, p. 13).
    (4) Chorro de Plata (Valle de Cauca) is a 2-km\2\ (0.77-mi\2\) 
forest located at 1,200 m (3937 ft) (Kattan et al. 2006, p. 299; 
Renjifo 2002, p. 302). Visual confirmation of the Cauca guan was made 
in this locality in surveys conducted in 2000 and 2001, but the extent 
and occurrence of the population have yet to be determined (Kattan et 
al. 2006, p. 303).
    (5) Munchique National Natural Park (Cauca) is considered an 
important locality in the southern portion of the species' range, 
because the species was historically seen there several times and 
because suitable habitat still exists there (Kattan et al. 2006, pp. 
305-306). However, the Cauca guan has not been confirmed there since 
1987 (Kattan et al. 2006, p. 305; Mu[ntilde]oz et al. 2006, p. 54; 
Salaman in litt. 1999, 2000, as cited in BLI 2007h, p. 2) (see 
Population Estimates, above). Moreover, the location of this Park 
within the Pacific Region makes it particularly accessible and 
vulnerable to exploitation because of the numerous rivers in this part 
of the country, which facilitate movement of people and products 
through the region (Ojeda et al. 2001, pp. 308-309). In the 1960s and 
1970s, the harvest of native ``naranjilla'' or ``lulo'' fruits (Solanum 
quitoense) became an important part of the local economy, which 
deterred logging. However, logging resumed in the 1980s after a fungal 
pathogen--anthracnose (Colletotrichum acutatum) (Caicedo and Higuera 
2007, p. 41)-- and invasion by a lepidopteran pest--tomato fruit borer 
(Neoleucinodes elegantalis) (Eiras and Blackmer 2003, p. 1)--destroyed 
the crops (BLI 2006, p. 2). Human pressures in the Pacific Region 
include unsustainable logging, colonization, and cash crop cultivation 
(Ojeda et al. 2001, pp. 308-309). Efforts are underway to replant lulo 
fruit trees to encourage a sustainable local economy, enhance local 
involvement in conservation, and provide technical skills for 
integrated pest management. However, logging is ongoing within the 
Park, and human population pressures and associated deforestation, as 
well as dam construction, are ongoing in the area (BLI 2007h, p. 2).
    There are several areas of suitable habitat in which the Cauca guan 
has not been observed, but that could serve as important potential 
habitat for the species (see Factor E, Likelihood to Disperse), 
including: (1) Bosques del Oriente del Risaralda, (2) Ca[ntilde]on del 
R[iacute]o Barbas y Bremen, (3) Finca la Betulia Reserva la 
Patasola,and (4) Reserva Natural Cajib[iacute]o. These areas are 
described below.
    (1) Bosques del Oriente del Risaralda (Risaralda): This 23 km\2\ 
(8.9 mi\2\) forest is located on the western slopes of the Central 
Andes, in eastern Risaralda. It ranges in altitude between 1,300 and 
3,800 m (5,905 and 12,467 ft). This high-altitude forest is important 
for the hydrology in lower-elevation areas, including the Ot[uacute]n-
Quimbaya Flora and Fauna Sanctuary (Department of Risaralda), where the 
Cauca guan has been observed. The forest has been recovering from 
deforestation for the past 30 years and includes a contiguous patch of 
montane and premontane forest over 85 percent of the area. About 15 
percent of the land is zoned for grazing and agriculture, leading to 
ongoing degradation of these deforested areas, along with conversion 
for human settlements within the forest (BLI 2007h, p. 6).
    (2) Ca[ntilde]on del R[iacute]o Barbas y Bremen (Risaralda): This 
51-km\2\ (20-mi\2\) forest is located on the western slopes of the 
Central Andes. It ranges in altitude between 1,600 and 2,100 m (5,249 
and 6890 ft). This area includes most of the Reserva Forestal Bremen 
(BLI 2007h, p. 9), where the Cauca guan was observed several times 
between 1995 and 1997 (Renjifo 2002, pp. 124-125). The Bremen Forest 
Reserve was established in the 1970s to protect important waterways and 
is protected within the regional system of protected areas in the 
coffee-growing region. Today, the Bremen forest is comprised of 3.4 
km\2\ (1.31 mi\2\) of natural forest and 4.2 km\2\ (1.62 mi\2\) of 
exotic plantation forests, which are now being allowed to regenerate to 
natural forest. A sustainable forestry management plan was implemented 
in 1996, and plans are underway to connect the isolated forest patches 
within the Ca[ntilde]on. Currently, the forest patches within the 
Ca[ntilde]on del R[iacute]o Barbas

[[Page 32330]]

y Bremen are surrounded by cattle ranches and tree plantations, 
primarily including eucalyptus (Eucalyptus spp.) and Mexican weeping 
pine (Pinus patula). There is no further information on the progress of 
this project. Currently, the forests located within the Ca[ntilde]on 
are isolated from each other, and urbanization, agricultural 
activities, and deforestation are ongoing within the area. The forest 
is also in close proximity to a main highway in the region--the highway 
between Armenia and Pereira. A survey of the Ca[ntilde]on in 2003 did 
not reconfirm the presence of the Cauca guan within this area (BLI 
2007h, p. 9).
    (3) Finca la Betulia Reserva la Patasola (Quind[iacute]o): This 17-
km\2\ (7-mi\2\) forest is located on the western slopes of the Central 
Andes. It ranges in altitude between 2,050 and 2,600 m (6,726 and 8,530 
ft). Most of this Reserve is covered by primary forest interspersed 
with scrub forest and streams. As of 2003, the Cauca guan has been 
reported but not confirmed within this Reserve. The western border of 
this Reserve abuts the Ot[uacute]n-Quimbaya Flora and Fauna Sanctuary 
(BLI 2007h, p. 12), where the population is estimated to be between 144 
and 264 individuals (Kattan et al. 2006, p. 304).
    (4) Reserva Natural Cajib[iacute]o (Cauca): This 0.52-km\2\ (0.2-
mi\2\) reserve is located on the slopes of the West Andes. It ranges in 
altitude between 1,100 and 1,250 m (3,609 and 4,101 ft). The habitat is 
mainly secondary forest, interspersed with agricultural fields 
(sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum), coffee, bananas, and corn (Zea 
mays)) and cattle ranching. This Reserve has been altered by human 
encroachment and indiscriminate logging. The Cauca guan was not 
confirmed in this location in a 2003 survey (BLI 2007h, p. 15).
    These refugia are limited in size, isolated from each other, and 
undergoing varying levels of human encroachment and deforestation 
(Brooks and Strahl 2000, pp. 13-14; Collar et al. 1994, pp. 61-62; del 
Hoyo 1994, pp. 337, 349; Kattan et al. 2006, p. 301; Renjifo 2002, p. 
128). In addition, regulatory mechanisms within these areas are 
inadequate to protect the species from ongoing habitat destruction 
(Factor D).

Summary of Factor A

    The habitat preferred by the Cauca guan--humid forests or secondary 
forests, forest edges, and plantations in proximity to humid forests--
has been largely destroyed by cultivation, grazing, human settlements, 
road building, and other human activities. The species' range has been 
reduced from 24,900 km\2\ (9,614 mi\2\) to approximately 560 km\2\ (216 
mi\2\), much of this within the past 30 years. Habitat fragmentation 
has isolated remaining populations, relegated the species to the edges 
of its former range, and led to a shift in the species' altitudinal 
range. Habitat destruction, alteration, conversion, and fragmentation 
have been factors in the Cauca guan's historical decline (which 
commenced in the second half of the 20th Century) and continue to be 
factors in the species' decline, even in areas designated as protected 
(see also Factor E). Therefore, we find that the present destruction, 
modification, and curtailment of habitat are a threat to the Cauca guan 
throughout all of its range.

B. Overutilization for Commercial, Recreational, Scientific, or 
Educational Purposes

    Cracids are considered particularly vulnerable to hunting pressures 
and are among those species most rapidly depleted by hunting (Redford 
1992, p. 419). Several factors contribute to the sensitivity of Cauca 
guans to hunting, including: their large size, ease of locating them 
during their breeding season, their trusting nature, their low 
productivity (1-2 eggs) relative to other Galliformes, their long 
generation time, their dependence upon specific habitat, and their poor 
dispersal qualities (Brooks 1999, p. 43; del Hoyo 1994, p. 336; Silva 
and Strahl 1991, p. 38). This species, as with other guans, tends to 
aggregate within its habitat, generally based on resource availability. 
For instance, Cauca guans tend to congregate around fruit trees at 
certain times of year (Kattan et al. 2006, p. 305). This aggregation of 
individuals may facilitate hunters in catching larger numbers of the 
species. Cracids are also slow to reproduce, with a replacement rate of 
at least 6 years (Silva and Strahl 1991, p. 50).
    The Cauca guan, as well as other cracids (e.g., chachalacas 
(Ortalis sp.), serve as a major source of protein for indigenous people 
(Brooks and Strahl 2000, p. 8). The Cauca guan is hunted by local 
residents for sustenance, although this activity is illegal (del Hoyo 
1994, p. 337; Mu[ntilde]oz et al. 2006, p. 50; Renjifo 2002, p. 128; 
Rios et al. 2006, pp. 22-23) (Factor D). The species is sought after by 
hunters because it is the largest bird in its area of distribution 
(Renjifo 2002, p. 128). Rios et al. (2006, pp. 22-23) interviewed local 
settlers near the Ot[uacute]n-Quimbaya Flora and Fauna Sanctuary (in 
Risaralda), where the population is estimated to be between 144 and 264 
individuals (Kattan et al. 2006, p. 304), who admitted to hunting the 
Cauca guan within the Sanctuary, claiming to take between two and four 
birds per month. This equates to approximately 100 Cauca guans per year 
(Rios et al. 2006, p. 23).
    Subsistence hunting may play a role in the decline or possible 
local extirpation of the species from at least two locations. In the 
late 1990s, subsistence hunting was widespread in the Ucumar[iacute] 
Regional Park and Munchique National Natural Park (Collar et al. 1992, 
p. 60; del Hoyo 1994, p. 349; Strahl et al. 1995, p. 81). The Cauca 
guan may have been locally extirpated from the Munchique National 
Natural Park (Cauca) (BLI 2007h, p. 2: Renjifo 2002, p. 124), where the 
species was last observed in 1987 (Renjifo 2002, p. 124). Despite 
subsequent searches of the area (Wege and Long 1995, p. 149), there 
have been no recent confirmations at this locality (Kattan et al. 2006, 
p. 305; Mu[ntilde]oz et al. 2006, p. 54; Salaman in litt. 1999, 2000, 
as cited in BLI 2007h, p. 2). Ucumar[iacute] Regional Park is 
considered the stronghold of the Cauca guan (BLI 2007h, p. 1). Although 
Renjifo (2002, p. 128) notes that the species has recuperated within 
this Park, there have only been scant reports of Cauca guan sightings 
there between 1994 and 2004 (Renjifo 2002, p. 125; Scanlon 2004, pp. 1-
3; Wege and Long 1995, p. 141), and no population surveys have been 
undertaken there (see Population Estimates, above).
    Habitat fragmentation and concomitant human encroachment (Factor A) 
have made the species' habitat more accessible and the species more 
vulnerable to hunting. A study conducted in French Guiana provided a 
quantitative estimate of the effect of hunting on a related cracid 
species, the black curassow (Crax alector) (del Hoyo 1994, p. 336). The 
black curassow has similar habitat requirements (undisturbed primary 
tropical to subtropical humid forest at 0-1,400 m (0-4,600 ft) 
elevation) as the Cauca guan (BLI 2007e). The estimated population 
density of black curassows in non-hunted areas was between 7 and 9 
birds per 1 km\2\ (0.4 mi\2\); in areas with intermittent hunting, the 
numbers fell to between 0.5 and 2.25 birds; and in areas where hunting 
was regular, numbers fell to between 0.5 and 0.73 birds (del Hoyo 1994, 
p. 336). We believe that the effects of hunting on the Cauca guan would 
result in similar population declines based on similarities of habitat 
and species characteristics.

Summary of Factor B

    Cracids serve as a major food source in Colombia, and the Cauca 
guan, as the largest cracid living within its area of

[[Page 32331]]

distribution, is sought after by locals. Hunting results in the direct 
removal of eggs, juveniles, and adults from the population. Cauca guans 
are slow to reproduce, produce a low clutch size, require a long 
fledging period, and exhibit a poor replacement rate (see Habitat and 
Life History, above). Hunting can destroy pair bonds and remove 
potentially reproductive adults from the breeding pool. Hunting is 
facilitated by habitat fragmentation (Factor A), which increases access 
to the forest by hunters. The Cauca guan is hunted throughout its 
current range, including within protected areas, and hunting may be 
responsible for a decline or local extirpation of the species from at 
least two of these protected areas (Ucumar[iacute] Regional Park and 
Munchique National Natural Park). Therefore, we find that subsistence 
hunting for domestic consumption is a threat to the Cauca guan 
throughout its range.

C. Disease or Predation

    Disease: We are unaware of any information regarding disease or the 
potential for significant disease outbreaks in the Cauca guan 
populations. As a result, we do not consider disease to be a threat to 
the species.
    Predation: Predators of cracids include snakes, foxes, feral cats, 
feral dogs, and raptors (Delacour and Amadon 1973). Cauca guans are 
also slow to reproduce, with a long fledging period (up to 1 year) and 
a replacement rate of at least 6 years (Rios et al. 2006, p. 17; Silva 
and Strahl 1991, p. 50). Cauca guans require large territories for 
foraging (Kattan 2004, p. 11), but today are relegated mostly to small 
forest fragments (Kattan et al. 2006, p. 301). As discussed in detail 
above for the blue-billed curassow (Factor C, Predation), studies have 
shown that habitat fragmentation increases the potential predation 
pressure within habitat fragments by facilitating the predators' access 
throughout the fragment and because smaller fragments support smaller 
predators, which tend to depredate on the more vulnerable life-history 
stages of the Cauca guan, eggs and juveniles (Arango-V[eacute]lez and 
Kattan 1997, pp. 137-143; Gibbs 1991, p. 157; Hoover et al. 1995, p. 
151; Keyser et al. 1998, p. 991; 2002, p. 186; Renjifo 1999, p. 1133; 
Wilcove 1985, p. 1214).

Summary of Factor C

    Snakes, foxes, feral cats, feral dogs, and raptors are all 
predators of cracids. Predation results in the direct removal of eggs, 
juveniles, and adults from the population. Cauca guans are slow to 
reproduce, produce a low clutch size, require a long fledging period, 
and exhibit a poor replacement rate (see Habitat and Life History, 
above). Predation can destroy pair bonds and remove potentially 
reproductive adults from the breeding pool. Cauca guan habitat is 
fragmented and small (Factor A), and studies on similar species in 
similar Andean habitats indicate that vulnerability to predation by 
generalist predators increases with increased habitat fragmentation and 
smaller patch sizes. Predation exacerbates the genetic complications 
associated with the species' small population size (Factor E). Because 
of the species' small population size and inability to recolonize 
isolated habitat fragments (Factor E), predation renders the species 
vulnerable to local extirpation. Therefore, we find that predation, 
exacerbated by ongoing habitat destruction (Factor A) and hunting 
(Factor B), is a threat to the Cauca guan.

D. The Inadequacy of Existing Regulatory Mechanisms

    Regulatory mechanisms may provide species-specific or habitat-
specific protections. An evaluation of the adequacy of regulatory 
mechanisms within Colombia to mitigate or remove the threats to the 
Cauca guan is provided below, beginning with species-specific and 
followed by habitat-specific protection mechanisms.
    Colombia has enacted numerous laws to protect species and their 
habitats (Matallana-T. 2005, p. 121). The Cauca guan is listed as an 
endangered species under Colombian Law 99 of 1993 (EcoLex 1993, p. 2) 
and Resolution No. 584 of 2002 (EcoLex 2002, pp. 10, 12). A full 
description of these laws and the categorization of threatened species 
in Colombia were provided above, as part of the Factor D analysis for 
the blue-billed curassow. This threat status confers protections upon 
the species, including protection from commercial take under Resolution 
No. 849 of 1973 and Resolution No. 787 of 1977 (EcoLex 1973, p.1; 
EcoLex 1977, p. 3). Neither Resolution prohibits subsistence hunting. 
As discussed under Factor B, commercial and sport hunting are not 
threats to this species, but subsistence hunting continues to threaten 
the species throughout its range, including within protected areas. 
Hunting may play a role in the decline or possible local extirpation of 
the species from two protected areas, Munchique National Natural Park 
and Ucumar[iacute] Regional Park, where subsistence hunting was 
widespread in the 1990s (Collar et al. 1992, p. 60; del Hoyo 1994, p. 
349; Strahl et al. 1995, p. 81) (Factor B). Cauca guans have not been 
observed in Munchique National Natural Park since 1987 (BLI 2007h, p. 
2: Renjifo 2002, p. 124), despite subsequent searches of the area (Wege 
and Long 1995, p. 149). Similarly, since 1994, there have been only 
scant sightings of Cauca guans in the Ucumar[iacute] Regional Park 
(Renjifo 2002, p. 125; Scanlon 2004, pp. 1-3; Wege and Long 1995, p. 
141) (see Population Estimates, above). Researchers have indicated that 
local residents continue to hunt the Cauca guan despite the illegality 
of this activity (del Hoyo 1994, p. 337; Mu[ntilde]oz et al. 2006, p. 
50; Renjifo 2002, p. 128; Rios et al. 2006, pp. 22-23), even within 
areas designated as ``protected'' under Colombian law (see also next 
paragraph). For instance, settlers in the Ot[uacute]n-Quimbaya Flora 
and Fauna Sanctuary admit to taking between 24 and 48 Cauca guans a 
year (Rios et al. 2006, pp. 22-23) (Factor B). Thus, these Resolutions 
are ineffective at reducing the existing threat of subsistence hunting 
to the Cauca guan.
    Colombia has enacted numerous forestry laws and forestry management 
practices (Law No. 2 (EcoLex 1959); Decree No. 2,811 (Faolex 1974); 
Decree No. 1,791 (Faolex 1996); Law No. 1,021 (EcoLex 2006)). 
Weaknesses in the implementation of these laws and the decentralized 
nature of Colombian resource management are described in detail above 
for the blue-billed curassow (Factor D) (ITTO 2006, pp. 218-9, 222; 
Matallana-T. 2005, pp. 121-122). Experts consider these decentralized 
management mechanisms to be ineffective at protecting the Cauca guan 
from habitat destruction (Factor A) or hunting (Factor B) (Mu[ntilde]oz 
et al. 2006, p. 50). Habitat destruction and hunting are ongoing 
throughout the species' range, indicating that forestry regulations are 
ineffective at mitigating the threats to the Cauca guan from habitat 
destruction (Factor A) or hunting (Factor B).
    Colombia has several categories of national habitat protection 
(Matallana-T. 2005, p. 121-122), which were described above, as part of 
the Factor D analysis for the blue-billed curassow (Matallana-T. 2005, 
p. 121-122). The Cauca guan occurs within national parks (including the 
Ucumar[iacute] Regional Park, last confirmed Cauca guan sighting in 
2004 (Scanlon 2004, pp. 1-3), and Munchique National Natural Park, 
confirmed in 1987 (Kattan et al. 2006, p. 305; Mu[ntilde]oz et al. 
2006, p. 54; Salaman in litt. 1999, 2000, as cited in BLI 2007h, p. 
2)); reserves (Reserva Forestal de Bremen, confirmed in 1997 (Renjifo 
2002, pp. 124-125), Reserva Forestal de Yotoco, confirmed in 2000-2001 
(Renjifo 2002,

[[Page 32332]]

pp. 124-125), and Reserva La Sirena, confirmed in 2000-2001 (Kattan et 
al. 2006, p. 302)); and sanctuaries (Ot[uacute]n-Quimbaya Flora and 
Fauna Sanctuary, confirmed in 2000-2001 (Kattan et al. 2006, p. 302)). 
Within the last 20 years, the Cauca guan population may have declined 
or been extirpated from at least two Parks, the Munchique National 
Natural Park and the Ucumar[iacute] Regional Park, where the species 
has not been observed since 1987 (Renjifo 2002, pp. 124-125) and 2004 
(Scanlon 2004, pp. 1-3), respectively. These Parks were subject to 
subsistence hunting in the late 1990s (Collar et al. 1992, p. 60; del 
Hoyo 1994, p. 349; Strahl et al. 1995, p. 81), and subsistence hunting 
of Cauca guan continues in these and other protected areas, such as 
Ot[uacute]n-Quimbaya Flora and Fauna Sanctuary (Rios et al. 2006, pp. 
22-23) (Factor B). In addition, logging, population pressure and 
agriculture are ongoing within these Parks. Ucumar[iacute] Regional 
Park, considered the stronghold for the species (BLI 2007h, p. 2), 
continues to be managed for multiple uses (including pasture land and 
other commercial ventures) (Factor A). In light of the multiple land 
uses allowed within the Park, and the ongoing human-induced habitat 
destruction, the Park provides little or no protection to the species 
from the threat of habitat destruction (Factor A).
    The Cauca guan ranges in multiple Departments (currently known in 
Cauca, Quind[iacute]o, Risaralda, Valle de Cauca), each of which 
administers their own natural resources under different autonomous 
Corporaci[oacute]nes (ITTO 2006, p. 219; Law 99 of 1993). We are 
unaware of any coordinated species management plan. Therefore, in view 
of the decentralized resource management structure, the absence of a 
conservation strategy for the species, the threats to the Cauca guan 
from habitat destruction (Factor A) and hunting (Factor B) are not 
mitigated.

Summary of Factor D

    Colombia has numerous laws and regulatory mechanisms to administer 
and manage wildlife and their habitats. The Cauca guan is listed as 
endangered under Colombian law and occurs within several protected 
areas. However, on-the-ground enforcement of existing wildlife 
protection and forestry laws and oversight of the local jurisdictions 
implementing and regulating activities are ineffective at mitigating 
the primary threats to the Cauca guan. As discussed for Factor A, 
habitat destruction, degradation, and fragmentation continue throughout 
the existing range of the Cauca guan. As discussed for Factor B, 
uncontrolled subsistence hunting of the Cauca guan is ongoing and 
continues to negatively affect the continued existence of the species. 
Moreover, the lack of a species conservation strategy and the 
decentralized management of natural resources in Colombia provide no 
overall coordination in the conservation of species such as Cauca 
guans, which range in multiple jurisdictions. Therefore, we find that 
the existing regulatory mechanisms currently in place are inadequate to 
mitigate the primary threats to the Cauca guan.

E. Other Natural or Manmade Factors Affecting the Continued Existence 
of the Species

    Two additional factors affect the Cauca guan: Its minimal 
likelihood for dispersal and the species' small population size.
    Likelihood to Disperse: The Cauca guan exhibits characteristics 
indicative of an inability to disperse into isolated habitat fragments 
and recolonize patches of suitable habitat that have undergone a 
localized extirpation. The Cauca guan prefers habitat of mature humid 
forests (Collar et al. 1994, p. 136), has generally been found only in 
secondary habitats that are situated within 1 km (0.62 mi) of primary 
forest (Renjifo 2002, p. 127), and is reported as timid in the presence 
of humans (Rios et al. 2006, p. 21). The remaining suitable habitat 
available to the Cauca guan is limited to a few disjunct and isolated 
forest fragments only a few hundred hectares (100 hectares = 1 km\2\ = 
0.39 mi\2\) in size (Kattan 2004, p. 6; Kattan et al. 2006, p. 301; 
Renjifo 2002, p. 128).
    Existing habitat for the Cauca guan is fragmented, with large 
distances between the remaining primary forest fragments (Cuervo and 
Salaman 1999, p. 7; Hanski 1998, pp. 45-46) and an ever-growing human 
presence in and around the species' existing habitat (BLI 2004c, p. 2; 
Cuervo 2002, p. 327; Cuervo and Salaman 1999, p. 8; Renjifo 2002, pp. 
124-128; Stattersfield et al. 1998, p. 205). Without human 
intervention, the Cauca guan is unlikely to repopulate an isolated 
patch of suitable habitat following decline or local extirpation. 
Evidence for the Cauca guan's inability to disperse across fragmented 
habitat patches is provided by the fact that there are several areas of 
suitable habitat, located near previously reported localities for the 
species, in which the Cauca guan has not been observed (see Factor A, 
Refugia).
    Small Population Size: Habitat destruction (Factor A) and hunting 
(Factor B) have affected the current population size and distributional 
range of the Cauca guan (Collar et al. 1992, pp. 126-127; Collar et al. 
1994, p. 60). By the 1980s, the species was believed extinct or on the 
verge of extinction (Brooks and Strahl 2000, p. 14; del Hoyo 1994, pp. 
337, 349; Hilty 1985, p. 1004; Hilty and Brown 1986, p. 125). The Cauca 
guan is now confirmed only in several isolated locations. Overall, the 
population is considered to be in decline, with the current isolated 
populations ranging from tens of individuals to a few hundred 
individuals at best (BLI 2007h, p. 2; Kattan 2004, p. 6; Renjifo 2002, 
p. 129), but there have been few population surveys of the Cauca guan. 
In 2006, Kattan (in litt., as cited in Mu[ntilde]oz et al. 2006 p. 55) 
estimated the global population to be between 196 and 342 individuals. 
Kattan et al. (2006, p. 302) conducted the only two population surveys, 
in 2000 and 2001 (Mu[ntilde]oz et al. 2006 p. 55). They estimated 
population densities at two locations, Ot[uacute]n-Quimbaya Flora and 
Fauna Sanctuary (Risaralda) and Reserva Forestal de Yotoco (Valle de 
Cauca), to be between 144 and 264 individuals, and 35 to 61 
individuals, respectively (Kattan et al. 2006, p. 304).
    Small population sizes render species vulnerable to genetic risks 
that can have individual or population-level consequences on the 
genetic level and can increase the species' susceptibility to 
demographic problems, as explained in more detail above for the blue-
billed curassow (Factor E, Small Population Size) (Charlesworth and 
Charlesworth 1987, p. 238; Shaffer 1981, p. 131). Once a population is 
reduced below a certain number of individuals, it tends to rapidly 
decline towards extinction (Franklin 1980, pp. 147-148; Gilpin and 
Soul[eacute] 1986, p. 25; Holsinger 2000, pp. 64-65; Soul[eacute] 1987, 
p. 181).
    In the absence of quantitative studies specific to this species, a 
general approximation of minimum viable population size is the 50/500 
rule, as described above as part of the Factor E analysis for the 
brown-banded antpitta (Shaffer 1981, pp. 132-133; Soul[eacute] 1980, 
pp. 160-162). The total population size of the Cauca guan is estimated 
to be between 196 and 342 individuals. While 196 individuals is above 
the minimum population size required to avoid short-term genetic 
consequences, 342 falls below the threshold minimum number of 500 
individuals required for long-term fitness of a population.
    Moreover, because the Cauca guan exists in isolated forest 
fragments and is unlikely or incapable of dispersing to disjunct 
patches, each disjunct locality likely acts as a subpopulation.

[[Page 32333]]

Therefore, the resiliency of each of these subpopulations will be lower 
than that of the global population. The largest reported subpopulation, 
in Ot[uacute]n-Quimbaya Flora and Fauna Sanctuary, contains between 144 
and 264 individuals (Kattan et al. 2006, p. 304). The lower figure, 144 
individuals, is above the minimum effective population size required to 
avoid imminent risks from inbreeding (Ne = 50). The upper 
limit of the subpopulation, 264 birds, represents the maximum number of 
individuals in the subpopulation, but does not take into account that 
not all members of the population will be reproductive. This figure is 
well below the upper threshold (Ne = 500 individuals) 
required for long-term fitness of a population to ensure that the 
species will not lose its genetic diversity over time and will maintain 
an enhanced capacity to adapt to changing conditions. The only other 
subpopulation figures are for Reserva Forestal de Yotoco, with an 
estimated 35 to 61 individuals (Kattan et al. 2006, p. 304). Both of 
these figures are well below the 50/500 threshold. Therefore, we 
currently consider these subpopulations (and the species as a whole) to 
be at risk from genetic complications due to the lack of short- and 
long-term viability.
    The Cauca guan's small population size, combined with its 
restricted range and inability to repopulate suitable habitat following 
local extirpations (Cuervo and Salaman 1999, p. 7; del Hoyo 1994, p. 
361; Renjifo 2002, p. 138), makes the species particularly vulnerable 
to the threat of adverse natural (e.g., genetic, demographic, or 
environmental) and manmade (e.g., hunting or deforestation) events that 
destroy individuals and their habitat (BLI 2007, pp. 1-2; Holsinger 
2000, pp. 64-65; Renjifo 2002, p. 140; Young and Clarke 2000, pp. 361-
366).

Summary of Factor E

    The Cauca guan is now confirmed only in several isolated locations. 
The Cauca guan is unlikely or incapable of dispersing into suitable 
habitat that is isolated from extant populations, and the species' 
overall small population size makes it vulnerable to genetic and 
demographic risks that negatively impact the species' short- and long-
term viability. The Cauca guan's small population size, restricted 
range, and inability to repopulate suitable habitat following local 
extirpations expose the species to threats associated with adverse 
natural (e.g., genetic, demographic, or environmental) and manmade 
(e.g., hunting or deforestation) events that destroy individuals and 
their habitat. Therefore, we believe that, in combination with the 
risks to the species from habitat destruction (Factor A), hunting 
(Factor B), and predation (Factor C), the Cauca guan is vulnerable to 
localized extirpation or extinction from which the species would be 
unable to recover, due it its small population size and apparent 
inability to repopulate fragmented, isolated habitats such as those 
currently present within this species' range.

Status Determination for the Cauca Guan

    The five primary factors that threaten the survival of the Cauca 
guan are: (1) habitat destruction, fragmentation, and degradation; (2) 
overexploitation due to hunting; (3) predation (Factor C); (4) 
inadequacy of regulatory mechanisms to reduce the threats to the 
species (Factor D); and (5) small population size and isolation of 
remaining populations (Factor E). The Cauca guan, a large, primarily 
terrestrial bird, prefers humid forests or secondary forests, forest 
edges and plantations that are in close proximity (within 1 km (0.62 
mi)) to humid forests.
    Habitat destruction, alteration, conversion, and fragmentation were 
factors in the Cauca guan's historical decline. The species has 
experienced a 95 percent range reduction since the 1950s, such that the 
estimated suitable habitat available to the species is approximately 
560 km\2\ (216 mi\2\). Experts estimate that more than 30 percent of 
this loss of habitat has occurred within the last three generations, or 
30 years. Fifty years ago, the species' historic range was estimated to 
have been an approximately 24,900-km\2\ (9,614-mi\2\) area, 
encompassing humid forests on the eastern slopes of the West Andes and 
the dry forests of the Cauca, Pat[iacute]a, and Dagua Valleys, in the 
Departments of Cauca, Quind[iacute]o, Risaralda, and Valle de Cauca. 
Today, the species has been locally extirpated from the Cauca and Dagua 
Valleys. The Cauca guan inhabits the western slopes of the central and 
western Andes in the few remaining upper-elevation forest remnants at 
altitudes exceeding those reported in the first half of the 20th 
Century. These shifts to the extremes of its range and shifts in 
elevational distribution have resulted from extensive habitat 
destruction throughout the species' range. The dry forests of the 
Cauca, Dauga, and Pat[iacute]a Valleys and the humid forests on the 
slopes of these valleys up to 2,000 m have been largely destroyed for 
cultivation, grazing, human settlements, road building, and other 
human-induced habitat alterations. Cultivation of illegal drug crops, 
such as cocaine, has led to further deforestation and altered soil 
compositions, hindering regeneration of abandoned fields. In addition, 
drug eradication programs involving the aerial spraying of non-specific 
herbicides have led to further environmental degradation and habitat 
destruction (Factor A).
    Although the Cauca guan, which is listed in Colombia as endangered, 
occurs on lands designated by the Colombian government as ``protected 
areas,'' and it is illegal to commercially hunt the species, the 
existing laws and their enforcement are inadequate (Factor D) to 
mitigate the effects of ongoing habitat destruction (Factor A) and 
subsistence hunting (Factor B). Moreover, natural resource management 
within Colombia is highly decentralized, each district managing their 
resources autonomously. Thus, there is no overall coordination for the 
conservation and recovery of the Cauca guan, which ranges in several 
autonomous districts.
    Widespread deforestation and conversion of primary forests has led 
to the fragmentation of habitat throughout the Cauca guan's range. The 
remaining suitable habitat is limited to a few disjunct and isolated 
forest fragments, only a few hundred hectares (100 hectares = 1 km\2\ = 
0.39 mi\2\) in size. Habitat fragmentation affects resource 
availability for the Cauca guan, which requires large territories for 
foraging on its preferred food source: seasonally available fruits. 
Experts believe that remaining refugia, such as the Ot[uacute]n-
Quimbaya Sanctuary, may not be large enough to support viable 
populations, lacking sufficient space and resources needed for this 
large, terrestrial bird.
    Habitat fragmentation also increases the species' susceptibility to 
hunting (Factor B). The Cauca guan is hunted throughout its current 
range. As the largest cracid living within its area of distribution, 
the Cauca guan is sought after by locals as a major food source. 
Despite being illegal (Factor D), subsistence hunting of Cauca guans 
continues throughout its range, including within protected areas. 
Hunting may be responsible for the species' local extirpation from the 
Ucumar[iacute] Regional Park, considered the stronghold for the species 
in the 1990s, and the Munchique National Natural Park.
    Habitat fragmentation exposes the species to greater risk of 
extinction caused by adverse natural (e.g., genetic, demographic, or 
environmental) and manmade (e.g., hunting or deforestation) events 
(Factor E). At the beginning of the 20th Century through the 1950s, the

[[Page 32334]]

species was considered common. Habitat fragmentation has led to the 
isolation of remaining subpopulations, which are estimated to range 
from tens of individuals or a few hundred individuals at most, thus 
affecting the species' resiliency. The total population estimate of 
196-342 individuals falls below the threshold minimum number of 500 
individuals required for long-term fitness of a population. It is 
estimated that the species has lost up to 9 percent of its population 
in the last 10 years. Given that the Cauca guan is likely to act as 
subpopulations and its inability to disperse between fragmented habitat 
patches, the species' effective population size is actually much less 
than the global population estimate would imply. The fitness of the 
subpopulations is vital to understanding the viability of the species. 
The largest subpopulation, estimated to contain between 144 and 264 
individuals, falls below the threshold for long-term viability. The 
other subpopulation for which there is an estimate contains between 35 
and 61 individuals, which figures are below the thresholds for both 
short-term and long-term viability. Thus, the Cauca guan is at risk 
from both near-term genetic complications (such as inbreeding and 
demographic shifts) and the lack of long-term fitness (such as the 
ability to adapt to changing conditions). Because the species exists in 
isolated subpopulations, the risk from near-term genetic consequences, 
such as inbreeding and demographic shifts, is further magnified. These 
potential genetic problems are exacerbated by ongoing human-induced 
threats, such as habitat destruction (Factor A) and hunting (Factor B), 
factors which are not being mitigated by existing regulations (Factor 
D), and are further magnified by the species' inability to repopulate 
isolated, fragmented patches of suitable habitat, where Cauca guan 
populations have undergone decline or local extirpation (Factor E).
    We have carefully assessed the best available scientific and 
commercial information regarding the past, present, and potential 
future threats faced by the Cauca guan. We consider the ongoing threats 
to the Cauca guan, habitat destruction (Factor A), hunting (Factor B), 
and predation (Factor C), exacerbated by the species' small population 
size and limited dispersal ability (Factor E), and compounded by 
inadequate regulatory mechanisms to mitigate these threats (Factor D), 
to be equally present and of the same magnitude throughout the species' 
entire current range. Based on this information, we determine that the 
Cauca guan is in danger of extinction throughout all of its range. 
Therefore, we are proposing to list the Cauca guan as an endangered 
species.

IV. Gorgeted Wood-Quail (Odontophorus strophium)

Species Description

    The gorgeted wood-quail, endemic to Colombia and a member of the 
New World Quail Family (Odontophoridae), is approximately 25 cm (10 in) 
long (del Hoyo 1994, p. 431; Fjelds[auml] and Krabbe 1990, p. 141; 
Hilty and Brown 1986, p. 133). The species is locally known as ``perdiz 
Santandereana'' or ``perdiz de monte'' (Sarria and [Aacute]lvarez 2002, 
p. 158), and may be referred to by the more general term ``forest 
partridge'' in English (BLI 2007g, p. 1). Mainly dark brown with black 
spots on upper parts, the male has a speckled black and white face, and 
a white collar on his throat surrounded on the upper and lower side by 
a band of black. Underparts are rufous-chestnut colored with white 
spotting. The female appears similar to the male; however, the female 
has a black collar surrounded by white bands on her throat (BLI 2007g, 
p. 1).

Taxonomy

    The gorgeted wood-quail was first taxonomically described in 1844 
by Gould, who placed the species in the Odontophoridae family, also 
known as the New World Quails (BLI 2007g, p. 1). The type specimen (the 
actual specimen that was first described by Gould) was obtained in the 
Colombian Department of Cundinamarca (Hilty and Brown 1986, p. 133), 
although details on the location were not provided with the description 
(Warren 1966, p. 318). Therefore, we will refer to the Department of 
Cundinamarca as the ``type locality.''

Habitat and Life History

    The gorgeted wood-quail prefers montane temperate and humid 
subtropical forests dominated by roble, Tabebuia rosea, and secondary-
growth forests in proximity to mature forests (Sarria and 
[Aacute]lvarez 2002, p. 159), especially those dominated by oak 
(Quercus humboldtii). The species is most often found at elevations 
between 1,750 and 2,050 m (5,741 and 6,726 ft) (BLI 2007g, p. 2; 
Donegan and Huertas 2005, p. 29; Donegan et al. 2003, p. 27; Sarria and 
[Aacute]lvarez 2002, pp. 158-159; Turner 2006, p. 22; Wege and Long 
1995, pp. 143-144). Fuller et al. (2000, pp. 27-28) suggested that the 
species' range may be up to 2,500 m (8,202 ft) in elevation. However, 
Sarria and [Aacute]lvarez (2002, p. 160) noted that, despite the 
availability of suitable habitat adjacent to the species' current 
locations, these areas are above the elevational range of the species 
and are not used. Moreover, in the most recent population surveys in 
the Yargu[iacute]es Mountains (Serran[iacute]a de los Yargu[iacute]es), 
which range up to 3,200 m (10,498 ft), researchers heard the species 
vocalizing primarily at elevations between 1,800 and 1,900m (5,905 and 
6,234 ft), and none were heard above 1,950-2,000 m (6,398-6,562 ft) 
(Donegan and Huertas 2005, p. 29; Donegan et al. 2003, p. 29; Donegan 
et al. 2004, p. 19). There are no recorded observations of this species 
at ranges above 2,050 m (6,726 ft) (BLI 2007g, p. 2; Donegan and 
Huertas 2005, p. 29; Donegan et al. 2003, p. 27; Sarria and 
[Aacute]lvarez 2002, p. 160; Turner 2006, p. 22; Wege and Long 1995, 
pp. 143-144). Therefore, we conclude that the species' preferred range 
remains at elevations between 1,750 and 2,050 m (5,741 and 6,726 ft).
    The gorgeted wood-quail is primarily terrestrial (Fuller et al. 
2000, p. 2), living on the forest floor and feeding on fruit, seeds, 
and arthropods (Collar et al. 1992, pp. 171-172; del Hoyo 1994, p. 431; 
Fuller et al. 2000, pp. 27-28). There appear to be two breeding seasons 
per year, coinciding with the rainy seasons from March through May and 
September through November (BLI 2007g, p. 3). Gorgeted wood-quails are 
ground-nesting birds, laying their eggs in a small depression lined 
with vegetation and almost always covered with brush from the 
understory (Sarria and [Aacute]lvarez 2002, p. 159). Similar to other 
wood-quails, gorgeted wood-quails associate in small groups and call to 
other groups by chorusing--singing together (Donegan et al. 2003, p. 
29). Researchers consider this species to be dependent on primary 
forest for at least part of its life cycle (BLI 2007g, p. 3; Sarria and 
[Aacute]lvarez 2002, p. 159).

Historical Range and Distribution

    The gorgeted wood-quail historically occurred on the western slope 
of the East Andes, in the Departments of Santander and Cundinamarca in 
Colombia (del Hoyo 1994, p. 431; Fjelds[auml] and Krabbe 1990, p. 141; 
Hilty and Brown 1986, p. 133). Since the 17th Century, extensive 
logging and land conversion in Cundimarca to agricultural uses nearly 
denuded all the forests of this area below 2,500m (8,202 ft) (BLI 
2007g, p. 3; Hilty and Brown 1986, p. 133). Habitat destruction is 
considered the primary factor that led to the historical decline and 
extirpation of this species from Cundinamarca (Fuller et al. 2000, pp. 
4-5; Wege and Long 1995, p. 146).

[[Page 32335]]

    For many years, the species was known only from two specimens 
collected in 1915 from its type locality in Cundinamarca (Hilty and 
Brown 1986, p. 133). Although the species was reported at this site 
again in 1923 and 1954, it has not been seen there since that time 
(Wege and Long 1995, p. 146). The species was believed extinct until a 
record of a male bird and chicks was reported in 1970 in Santander 
Department in the Cuchilla del Ramo forest (Collar et al. 1992, p. 171; 
Fuller et al. 2000, p. 27).

Current Range and Distribution

    The gorgeted wood-quail is endemic to the west slope of the East 
Andes, in the Magdalena Valley (Donegan and Huertas 2005, p. 29), and 
is known only in the central Colombian Department of Santander (del 
Hoyo 1994, p. 431; Fjelds[auml] and Krabbe 1990, p. 141; Hilty and 
Brown 1986, p. 133). The current range of this species is between 10 
km\2\ (4 mi\2\) (Sarria and [Aacute]lvarez 2002, p. 160) and 27 km\2\ 
(10.42 mi\2\) (BLI 2007g, pp. 2, 5).
    Since 1970, the species has only been reported in the central 
Colombian Department of Santandar, with fewer than 10 sightings. Visual 
observations of this species have been scant; most reports have been 
inferred from auditory detections (Sarria and [Aacute]lvarez 2002, pp. 
158-159). In 1970, the species was observed in Cuchilla del Ramo forest 
(Wege and Long 1995, p. 143), but has not been confirmed there since 
that time (BLI 2007g, p. 2) (see also Factor A). The species has been 
observed and most recently confirmed in three locations: (1) 
Guanent[aacute]-Alto Rio Fonce Flora and Fauna Sanctuary, (2) 
Cachal[uacute] Biological Reserve, and (3) Serran[iacute]a de los 
Yargu[iacute]es. These confirmed sightings are briefly described below.
    (1) Guanent[aacute]-Alto Rio Fonce Flora and Fauna Sanctuary 
(Santander Department): The gorgeted wood-quail was confirmed at this 
location in 1979 (BLI 2007g, p. 2) and again in 1988 (Sarria and 
[Aacute]lvarez 2002, p. 160; Wege and Long 1995, p. 144). In 2004, the 
species was reported in the oak forests within the Province of 
Guanent[aacute] (BLI 2007g, p. 2), but it is unclear whether these 
observations occurred within the Sanctuary.
    (2) Cachal[uacute] Biological Reserve (Santander Department): The 
gorgeted wood-quail was confirmed in this Reserve in 1999, 2000, and 
2001 (BLI 2007g, p. 2; Fuller et al. 2000, p. 27; Sarria and 
[Aacute]lvarez 2002, pp. 158-159).
    (3) Serran[iacute]a de los Yargu[iacute]es (Santander Department): 
The species has also been confirmed at this location in 2003 and 2004 
(BLI 2007g, p. 2; Donegan and Huertas 2005, p. 29; Donegan et al. 2003, 
p. 27; Turner 2006, p. 22). The Serran[iacute]a de los Yargu[iacute]es 
locale reportedly harbors the largest known population and is the 
stronghold for the species (Donegan and Huertas 2005, p. 29; Turner 
2006, p. 22) (see Population Estimates, below).
    Generally speaking, these localities are in two disjunct locations 
within the Department of Santander. Serran[iacute]a de los 
Yargu[iacute]es is in northern Santander and the other two localities 
are adjacent to each other in southern Santander (Donegan and Huertas 
2005, p. 30; Rainforest Alliance 2008, p. 2). These habitats are 
described more fully under Factor A (Refugia).

Population Estimates

    To the best of our knowledge, there have been no quantitative 
studies to determine the species' population size. The population 
estimates for the gorgeted wood-quail are based on qualitative surveys 
and extrapolations using suitable habitat estimates (BLI 2007g, p. 2; 
Donegan and Huertas 2005, p. 29; Donegan et al. 2003, p. 27; Fuller et 
al. 2000, p. 27; Sarria and [Aacute]lvarez 2002, pp. 158-159; Turner 
2006, p. 22). As noted above (see Current Range), a total of 3 adults 
and 2 chicks were observed between 1923 and 1970 (Sarria and 
[Aacute]lvarez 2002, p. 158; Wege and Long 1995, p. 143). The largest 
number of visual confirmations of individual birds has been reported in 
the Reserva Biol[oacute]gico Cachal[uacute]. In 1999, two groups of 7-9 
individuals were observed. Between 2001 and 2002, six groups of 5-11 
individuals were observed (Sarria in litt., as cited in Sarria and 
[Aacute]lvarez 2002, p. 159). Based on these direct observations, the 
population in the Reserva Biol[oacute]gico Cachal[uacute] may consist 
of between 30 and 66 individuals.
    All other population estimates have been inferred from auditory 
calls or suitable habitat extrapolations. It is not unusual to infer 
population estimates for elusive, ground-dwelling species, such as the 
gorgeted wood-quail, for which direct observation is difficult. 
However, extrapolating population estimates based on suitable habitat 
can lead to overestimations of population sizes, especially for narrow-
ranging species, such as the gorgeted wood-quail. The potential for 
overestimation was discussed above, in the analysis of the brown-banded 
antpitta (Factor E, Small Population Size). For instance, researchers 
recently estimated that the Serran[iacute]a de los Yargu[iacute]es 
population may hold a significantly greater number of birds than ever 
known. Given the inferred density of the species (based on auditory 
observation) and the extent of forest cover in the Serran[iacute]a de 
los Yargu[iacute]es, researchers predicted that an excess of 250 
individuals was present at the site (Donegan and Huertas 2005, p. 30; 
Donegan et al. 2004, p. 19). Turner (2006, p. 22) extrapolated the 
population size, based on satellite images of the area, which indicated 
that 30,000 ha (74,131 ac) of forest at elevations between 1,500 and 
2,200 m (4,921 and 7,218 ft) on the western slope and 2,700 and 2,900 m 
(8,858 and 9,514 ft) on the eastern slope were available to the 
species. This yielded a predicted population size of between 1,800 and 
3,300 individuals. However, we believe that this population estimate, 
based on the availability of suitable habitat, may be an overestimate 
for this species for two reasons: (1) the population may not be 
randomly distributed throughout the suitable habitat, as assumed by 
these researchers, and (2) the extrapolation does not take into account 
human-induced threats, such as hunting (Sarria and [Aacute]lavarez 
2002, pp. 160-161) (Factor B). Therefore, until Turner's (2006, p. 22) 
predictions have been ground-truthed, we are unable to consider the 
predicted population estimate of between 1,800 and 3,300 individuals to 
be a reliable reflection of the current population size. Consequently, 
we consider the population estimate of between 189 to 486 individuals 
(BLI 2007g, p. 1) to be the best available estimate of the gorgeted 
wood-quail.

Conservation Status

    The gorgeted wood-quail is identified as a critically endangered 
species under Colombian law (EcoLex 2002, p. 12). The species is 
classified as `Critically Endangered' on the IUCN Red List, due to its 
small and highly fragmented range, with recent population records from 
only two areas (BLI 2004d; BLI 2007g, pp. 1, 5).

Summary of Factors Affecting the Gorgeted Wood-Quail

A. The Present or Threatened Destruction, Modification, or Curtailment 
of the Habitat or Range

    In the early part of the 20th Century, the gorgeted wood-quail was 
known only in the oak forests in the Department of Cundinamarca. 
However, extensive deforestation and habitat conversion for 
agricultural use nearly denuded all the oak forests in Cundinamarca 
below 2,500 m (8,202 ft) (BLI 2007g, p. 3; Hilty and Brown 1986, p. 
133). Deforestation left little remaining suitable habitat for the 
gorgeted wood-quail, which prefers primary forests and tolerates 
secondary-growth forests near primary forests (BLI

[[Page 32336]]

2007g, p. 3; Sarria and [Aacute]lvarez 2002, p. 159) at altitudes from 
1,500 to 2,500 m (4,921 to 8,202 ft) (del Hoyo 1994, p. 431; Fuller et 
al. 2000, pp. 27-28; Hilty and Brown 1986, p. 133). Subsequent surveys 
have not located the species in the Department of Cundinamarca since 
1954 (Collar et al. 1992, p. 171; Fuller et al. 2000, p. 27; Sarria and 
[Aacute]lvarez 2002, p. 158), and researchers consider the gorgeted 
wood-quail to be locally extirpated from Cundinamarca (BLI 2007g, p. 3; 
Fuller et al. 2000, pp. 4-5; Sarria and [Aacute]lvarez 2002, p. 160-
161; Wege and Long 1995, p. 146).
    Deforestation, in combination with hunting (Factor B), may have led 
to the local extirpation of the gorgeted wood-quail from another 
location. After no confirmed reports of the species in nearly 20 years 
(Sarria and [Aacute]lvarez 2002, pp. 158-159), the species was 
rediscovered in Cuchilla del Ramo forest (in the Department of 
Santander) in 1970 (Sarria and [Aacute]lvarez 2002, pp. 158-159; Wege 
and Long 1995, p. 143) and last confirmed there in 1988 (Collar et al. 
1992, p. 172). However the species has not been confirmed at that 
location since that time (BLI 2007g, p. 2; Sarria and [Aacute]lvarez 
2002, pp. 158-159). According to Wege and Long (1995, p. 143), Cuchilla 
del Ramo, an unprotected area on the western slopes of the East Andes, 
has been largely cleared of its forest such that only fragments remain. 
Thus, it is possible that deforestation within the past 30 years has 
led to the extirpation of the gorgeted wood-quail from this location.
    Today, the gorgeted wood-quail is endemic to the western slopes of 
the East Andes in the Department of Santander, Colombia (Collar et al. 
1994, p. 70; del Hoyo 1994, p. 431; Fjelds[auml] and Krabbe 1990, p. 
141; Hilty and Brown 1986, p. 133). The gorgeted wood-quail is 
currently confirmed in three locations (see Refugia, below), and its 
current range is between 10 km\2\ (4 mi\2\) (Sarria and [Aacute]lvarez 
2002, p. 160) and 27 km\2\ (10.42 mi\2\) (BLI 2007g, pp. 2, 5). The 
species has lost 92 percent of its former habitat (Sarria and 
[Aacute]lvarez 2002, p. 160), and habitat loss continues throughout its 
range (BLI 2007g, p. 2; Collar et al. 1992, p. 172; Collar et al. 1994, 
p. 70; Donegan et al. 2003, p. 26; Hilty and Brown 1986, p. 133; Sarria 
and [Aacute]lvarez 2002, pp. 159-160).
    Deforestation rates and patterns: Colombian forests have undergone 
extensive alteration during the 20th Century to establish human 
settlements, build roads, extract timber, and pursue agriculture. 
Between 1973 and 1996, these activities reduced the amount of primary 
forest cover in Colombia by approximately 3,605 ha (8,908 ac) annually, 
representing a nearly one-third total loss of primary forest habitat 
(Vi[ntilde]a et al. 2004, pp. 123-124). Habitat loss accelerated 
dramatically in the 1980s as an influx of people settled in formerly 
pristine forests (Perz et al. 2005, pp. 26-28; Vi[ntilde]a et al. 2004, 
p. 124). Recent studies indicate that the rate of habitat destruction 
is accelerating. Between the years 1990 and 2005, Colombia lost 
approximately 52,800 ha (130,471 ac) of primary forest annually (Butler 
2006a, pp. 1-3; FAO 2003a, p. 1). These studies and activities were 
described in greater detail above, as part of the Factor A analysis for 
the blue-billed curassow (under Deforestation Rates and Patterns). 
Logging is especially common in the flat lower-elevation areas and 
areas below 2,500 m (8,202 ft), where deforestation is nearly complete. 
Logging continues in steeper-sloped areas, where commercially valuable 
trees are still being extracted, and forested areas are being cleared 
for agricultural purposes (Fuller et al. 2000, p. 4; Stattersfield et 
al. 1998, p. 192).
    Human-induced deforestation and environmental degradation have 
caused the gorgeted wood-quail to shift its range from the Department 
of Cundinamarca to the Department of Santander. The species was first 
observed in Santander within Cuchilla del Ramo forest in 1970 (Wege and 
Long 1995, p. 143), but has not been confirmed there since then (BLI 
2007g, p. 2). The presence of the species has been documented only 
about 10 times, and most documentations have been auditory. The species 
has been most recently confirmed in the following three locations: (1) 
Guanent[aacute]-Alto Rio Fonce Flora and Fauna Sanctuary (BLI 2007g, p. 
2; Sarria and [Aacute]lvarez 2002, p. 160; Wege and Long 1995, p. 144), 
(2) Cachal[uacute] Biological Reserve (BLI 2007g, p. 2; Fuller et al. 
2000, p. 27; Sarria and [Aacute]lvarez 2002, pp. 158-159), and (3) the 
Serran[iacute]a de los Yargu[iacute]es (BLI 2007g, p. 2; Donegan and 
Huertas 2005, p. 29; Donegan et al. 2003, p. 27; Turner 2006, p. 22).
    Illegal drugs and their eradication: Cocaine and opium has been 
cultivated throughout the gorgeted wood-quail's range. The cultivation 
of illegal crops (including coca and opium) in Colombia destroys 
montane forests (Balslev 1993, p. 3). Coca crops also destroy the soil 
quality by causing the soil to become more acidic, which depletes the 
soil nutrients and ultimately impedes the regrowth of secondary forests 
in abandoned fields (Van Schoik and Schulberg 1993, p. 21). As of 2004, 
an estimated 80,000 ha (197,683 ac) were under cocaine cultivation and 
4,000 ha (9,884 ac) were under opium cultivation (UNODC et al. 2007, 
pp. 7-8). These figures include habitat within the gorgeted wood-
quail's range. Between 2003 and 2004, cocaine cultivation areas 
increased 25 percent in Cundinamarca, from 57 to 71 ha (140 to 175 ac), 
and by 78 percent in Santander, from 632 to 1,124 ha (1562 to 2777 ac) 
(UNODC and GOC 2005, p. 15).
    Colombia continues to be the leading coca bush producer (UNODC et 
al. 2007, p. 7). However, since 2003, cocaine cultivation has remained 
stable, with about 800 km\2\ (309 mi\2\) of land under cultivation 
(UNODC et al. 2007, p. 8). This stabilization of production is, in 
part, attributed to alternative development projects implemented 
between 1999 and 2004, to encourage pursuits other than illegal crop 
cultivation (UNODC et al. 2007, p. 77). This stabilization of 
production area is also attributed to heightened eradication efforts. 
Between 2002 and 2004, aerial spraying occurred over more than 1,300 
km\2\ (502 mi\2\) of land annually, peaking in 2004, when 1,360 km\2\ 
(525 mi\2\) of illicit crops were sprayed (UNODC and GOC 2005, p. 11). 
In 2006, eradication efforts were undertaken on over 2,130 km\2\ (822 
mi\2\) of land, consisting of 1,720 km\2\ (664 mi\2\) of land being 
sprayed and manual eradication being used on the remaining land. 
Eradication efforts undertaken in 2006 occurred over an area 
representing 2.7 times more land than the net cultivation area (UNODC 
et al. 2007, p. 8). In Santander alone, 1,855 ha (4,583 ac) of coca 
fields were sprayed or manually eradicated in 2004 (UNODC 2005, p. 66). 
Drug eradication efforts in Colombia have further degraded and 
destroyed primary forest habitat by using nonspecific aerial herbicides 
to destroy illegal crops ([Aacute]lvarez 2005, p. 2042; BLI 2007d, p. 
3; C[aacute]rdenas and Rodr[iacute]guez Becerra 2004, p. 355; Oldham 
and Massey 2002, pp. 9-12). Herbicide spraying has introduced harmful 
chemicals into gorgeted wood-quail habitat and has led to further 
destruction of the habitat by forcing illicit growers to move to new, 
previously untouched forested areas ([Aacute]lvarez 2002, pp. 1088-
1093; [Aacute]lvarez 2005, p. 2042; [Aacute]lvarez 2007, pp. 133-143; 
BLI 2007d, p. 3; C[aacute]rdenas and Rodr[iacute]guez Becerra 2004, p. 
355; Oldham and Massey 2002, pp. 9-12). Between 1998 and 2002, 
cultivation of illicit crops increased by 21 percent each year, with a 
concomitant increase in deforestation of formerly pristine areas of 
approximately 60 percent ([Aacute]lvarez 2002, pp. 1088-1093).
    Effects of habitat fragmentation: An analysis of the effects of 
habitat fragmentation on Andean birds within

[[Page 32337]]

western Colombia determined that 31 percent of the historical bird 
populations have become extinct or were locally extirpated by 1990, 
largely as a result of habitat fragmentation from deforestation and 
human encroachment (Kattan and [Aacute]lvarez-Lopez 1996, p. 5; Kattan 
et al. 1994, p. 141). The gorgeted wood-quail, which depends on primary 
forest for at least part of its life cycle (BLI 2007g, p. 3; Sarria and 
[Aacute]lvarez 2002, p. 159), has been extirpated from its type 
locality in Cundinaramaca (Fuller et al. 2000, pp. 4-5; Wege and Long 
1995, p. 146). The study also noted that species at the upper or lower 
limit of their altitudinal distribution are more susceptible to local 
extirpation and extinction (Kattan and [Aacute]lvarez-Lopez 1996, pp. 
5-6). This is the case for the gorgeted wood-quail; the species prefers 
habitat at 1,750-2,050 m (5,741-6,726 ft), most of which has been 
destroyed (BLI 2007g, p. 2; Donegan and Huertas 2005, p. 29; Donegan et 
al. 2003, p. 27; Sarria and [Aacute]lvarez 2002, pp. 158-159; Turner 
2006, p. 22; Wege and Long 1995, pp. 143-144), and it has not been 
documented at higher elevations, despite the availability of suitable 
habitat (BLI 2007g, p. 2; Donegan and Huertas 2005, p. 29; Donegan et 
al. 2003, p. 27; Sarria and [Aacute]lvarez 2002, pp. 158-160; Turner 
2006, p. 22; Wege and Long 1995, pp. 143-144). Another study on the 
effects of habitat fragmentation in Colombia found that habitat 
fragmentation facilitates predation and hunting pressure (Arango-
V[eacute]lez and Kattan 1997, pp. 140-142) (Factors B and C).
    Refugia: The gorgeted wood-quail has been observed, and most 
recently confirmed, in the following three locations: (1) 
Guanent[aacute]-Alto Rio Fonce Flora and Fauna Sanctuary, (2) 
Cachal[uacute] Biological Reserve, and (3) the Serran[iacute]a de los 
Yargu[iacute]es.
    (1) Guanent[aacute]-Alto Rio Fonce Flora and Fauna Sanctuary 
(Santander Department): This 10,420-ha (25,748-ac) humid subtropical 
and temperate oak forest on the western slope of the East Andes was 
declared a protected natural area in 1993 (Andrade and Repizzo 1994, p. 
43; Rainforest Alliance, p. 2; The Nature Conservancy (TNC) 2008, p. 
1). This area has long been considered the largest remaining sizeable 
oak forest tract remaining in the northern area of the East Andes, even 
as recently as the year 2005 (Donegan and Huertas 2005, p. 11; Sarria 
and [Aacute]lvarez 2002, p. 160; Stattersfield et al. 1998, p. 193; 
Wege and Long 1995, p. 144). The gorgeted wood-quail was first observed 
in the Sanctuary in 1979 (BLI 2007g, p. 2) and again 1988 (Sarria and 
[Aacute]lvarez 2002, p. 160; Wege and Long 1995, p. 144). In 2004, the 
species was reported in the oak forests within the Province of 
Guanent[aacute] (BLI 2007g, p. 2), but it is unclear whether these 
observations occurred within the Sanctuary.
    Beginning in the 1960s, habitat conversion accelerated in the East 
Andes (Stattersfield et al. 1998, p. 192). The forests of the Colombian 
East Andes have been extensively degraded (Collar et al., 1992, p. 172; 
Fjelds[auml] and Krabbe 1990; Hilty and Brown 1986, p. 133; 
Stattersfield et al. 1998, p. 192). The western slopes have been 
largely converted to agricultural use and to pastureland for cattle 
(Stattersfield et al. 1998, p. 192), and deforestation continues on the 
lower slopes of the East Andes (Wege and Long 1995, p. 143). Selective 
logging affects birds in the lower part of the Guanent[aacute] Alto Rio 
Fonce (Fuller et al. 2000, p. 28; Sarria and [Aacute]lvarez 2002, p. 
160), including the gorgeted wood-quail. Stattersfield et al. (1998, p. 
192) reported that forest loss below 2,500 m (8,202 ft) has been almost 
complete, although Fuller et al. (2000, p. 28) noted that the forest 
was ``largely intact'' above 1,950-2,200 m (6,398-7,218 ft). However, 
elevations above this altitude would not serve the needs of the 
gorgeted wood-quail, because this species is found most often at 1,750-
2,050 m (5,741-6,726 ft) in altitude (BLI 2007g, p. 2; Donegan and 
Huertas 2005, p. 29; Donegan et al. 2003, p. 27; Sarria and 
[Aacute]lvarez 2002, pp. 158-159; Turner 2006, p. 22; Wege and Long 
1995, pp. 143-144) (see discussion under Habitat and Life History for 
the gorgeted wood-quail).
    (2) Cachal[uacute] Biological Reserve: This 1,300-ha (3,212-ac) 
Reserve (TNC 2008, p. 1) was established in 1997 adjacent to 
Guanent[aacute] Alto Rio Fonce Flora and Fauna Sanctuary (Rainforest 
Alliance 2008, p. 2). It encompasses primarily mature oak forests and 
secondary areas (regenerating pastureland) at altitudes between 1,850 
and 2,750 m (6,070 and 9,022 ft). Most of the secondary areas within 
the Reserve have been regenerating for 20 years. About 4 percent of 
land formerly used for pastureland and slash-and-burn agriculture has 
been left to regenerate within the last 8 years (BLI 2007g, p. 10). The 
species was first observed at this location in 1999 and again in 2000 
and 2001 (BLI 2007g, p. 2; Fuller et al. 2000, p. 27; Sarria and 
[Aacute]lvarez 2002, pp. 158-159).
    While human population pressures in northern Santander have not 
been as great as in other parts of the Andes, 70 percent of the 
subsistence population living locally has had a major influence on the 
upper montane forest system. Slash-and-burn agriculture (clearing small 
plots of land for agriculture and settlement) and subsistence 
extractive activities (such as harvesting wood, plant fibers, and 
animals) have turned the upper montane forests into extraction forests 
(Rainforest Alliance 2008, p. 2). Ongoing slashing and burning on the 
outskirts of the Reserve could further degrade the integrity of the 
habitat within the Reserve (BLI 2007g, p. 11).
    (3) Serran[iacute]a de los Yargu[iacute]es (Yargu[iacute]es 
Mountains): This 175,000-ha (432,425-ac) forest is located in southern 
Santander and ranges in altitude between 200 and 3200 m (656 and 10,499 
ft) (BLI 2007g, p. 12; Donegan and Huertas 2005, p. 30). This area was 
previously unsurveyed for birds, due to political instability and 
occupation by revolutionary armed forces (Donegan and Huertas 2005, pp. 
11, 29-30; Donegan et al. 2004, p. 19; Sarria and [Aacute]lvarez 2002, 
p. 160). The gorgeted wood-quail was first observed in Yargu[iacute]es 
in 2003 and again in 2004 (BLI 2007g, p. 2; Donegan and Huertas 2005, 
p. 29; Donegan et al. 2003, p. 27; Turner 2006, p. 22). This site is 
now considered to be the stronghold for the species (Donegan and 
Huertas 2005, p. 29; Donegan et al. 2004, p. 19; Turner 2006, p. 22) 
(see Population Estimates, above). This forest does not have protected 
status (BLI 2007g, p. 13) and land clearing for slash-and-burn 
agriculture continues to be a problem within the Serran[iacute]a de los 
Yargu[iacute]es (BLI 2007g, p. 13; Donegan and Huertas 2005, p. 29; 
Turner 2006, p. 22).

Summary of Factor A

    Habitat destruction, alteration, conversion, and fragmentation were 
factors in the species' historical decline and continue to be factors 
affecting the gorgeted wood-quail. The direct loss of habitat through 
widespread deforestation and conversion of primary forests for 
agricultural uses has led to a 95 percent range reduction for the 
species, leading to extirpation of the species in its type locality (in 
Cundinamarca) and an apparent shift in the species' range (to 
Santander). The species is known only in three locations, where habitat 
conversion and poaching of the gorgeted wood-quail are ongoing. 
Deforestation, habitat conversion, and drug eradication efforts have 
reduced the amount of suitable habitat at elevations preferred by the 
species, such that its current range is between 10 and 27 km\2\ (4 and 
10 mi\2\). The destruction and fragmentation of the remaining primary 
forested habitat are ongoing throughout the species' range and are 
expected to continue. Therefore, we find that the present

[[Page 32338]]

destruction, modification, and curtailment of habitat are threats to 
the gorgeted wood-quail throughout all of its range.

B. Overutilization for Commercial, Recreational, Scientific, or 
Educational Purposes

    Galliformes such as the gorgeted wood-quail are chiefly terrestrial 
birds that are easily hunted or trapped, and they have been closely 
associated with humans throughout history as a source for food, 
ornamental collection, commercial trade, and recreational hunting 
(Fuller et al. 2000, p. 2). Hunting the gorgeted wood-quail is illegal 
in Colombia (Factor D) and is considered poaching. Poaching for 
subsistence use and for local food trade is ongoing throughout the 
species' range (BLI 2007g, pp. 7, 11-13; Donegan and Huertas 2005, p. 
29; Turner 2006, p. 22) (BLI 2007g, p. 7). Hunting affects birds in the 
lower part of the Guanent[aacute]-Alto Rio Fonce Flora and Fauna 
Sanctuary (Fuller et al. 2000, p. 28; Sarria and [Aacute]lvarez 2002, 
p. 160), including the gorgeted wood-quail. Illegal hunting is an 
ongoing problem on the outskirts of the Cachal[uacute] Biological 
Reserve, where the species has been observed within the past decade 
(BLI 2007g, p. 10; Sarria and [Aacute]lvarez 2002, p. 158). Poaching of 
the gorgeted wood-quail continues to be a problem within the 
Serran[iacute]a de los Yargu[iacute]es, considered the stronghold for 
the species (BLI 2007g, p. 13; Donegan and Huertas 2005, p. 29; Turner 
2006, p. 22). The IUCN Partridge, Quail, and Francolin Specialist Group 
(PQF Specialist Group) considers unregulated hunting to be a factor 
affecting gorgeted wood-quail populations throughout the species' range 
(Fuller et al. 2000, p. 28).
    Hunting, in combination with deforestation, may have led to the 
local extirpation of this species from Cuchilla del Ramo (Department of 
Santander), where the species was first observed in 1970 (Sarria and 
[Aacute]lvarez 2002, pp. 158-159; Wege and Long 1995, p. 143) and last 
confirmed in 1988 (Collar et al. 1992, p. 172). The gorgeted wood-quail 
has not been confirmed at this location again (BLI 2007g, p. 2; Sarria 
and [Aacute]lvarez 2002, pp. 158-159), which may be due to a 
combination of habitat destruction and hunting pressures. This 
unprotected area on the western slopes of the East Andes is severely 
fragmented due to deforestation (Factor A). In addition, active hunting 
was reported in this location in the late 1980s. Collar et al. (1992, 
p. 172) interpreted this level of hunting to imply that the species was 
capable of withstanding some hunting pressure. Andrade (in litt., 
Collar et al. 1992, p. 172) noted that this would be the case only 
where the species is capable of retreating into suitable adjacent 
habitat. However, little suitable habitat is located in this area. 
Thus, hunting, in combination with deforestation, may have led to the 
extirpation of the gorgeted wood-quail from Cuchilla del Ramo.
    In addition, Arango-V[eacute]lez and Kattan (1997, pp. 140-142) 
conducted a study on the effect of habitat fragmentation on birds in 
Colombia and found that habitat fragmentation facilitates hunting 
because smaller habitat patches allow hunters to more easily penetrate 
the entire plot (Arango-V[eacute]lez and Kattan 1997, pp. 140-142).

Summary of Factor B

    The gorgeted wood-quail is hunted (poached) throughout its current 
range for local consumption or local food trade. Hunting results in the 
direct removal of individuals from the population and can remove 
potentially reproductive adults from the breeding pool. This primarily 
terrestrial species is particularly vulnerable to hunting pressures due 
to its small population size (Factor E) and fragmented distribution 
(Factor A). Researchers believe that the gorgeted wood-quail is only 
capable of escaping hunting pressures when adjacent suitable habitat 
exists. There are continued reports of hunting pressures on the 
species; these pressures have been and continue to be exacerbated by 
ongoing human encroachment into previously undisturbed forests (Factor 
A). Hunting, combined with habitat fragmentation (Factor A), increases 
the possibility of local extirpation since the gorgeted wood-quail is 
unlikely to re-occupy an area that has been depleted through hunting 
(Factor E, Likelihood to Disperse). Hunting may have led to the local 
extirpation of the species in a portion of its range. Hunting pressures 
are ongoing and affect the entire population of gorgeted wood-quail. 
Therefore, we find that hunting is a threat to the gorgeted wood-quail 
throughout its range.

C. Disease or Predation

    Disease: We are not aware of any information regarding disease or 
the potential for significant disease outbreaks in gorgeted wood-quail 
populations. As a result, we do not consider disease to be a threat to 
the species.
    Predation: Potential quail predators include feral dogs, tayras, 
dwarf squirrels (Microsciurus sp.), tree squirrels (Sciurus 
granatensis), common opossums (Didelphis marsupialis), kinkajous (Potos 
flavus), Central American agoutis (Dasyprocta punctata), and South 
American coatis (Nasua nasua) (Arango-V[eacute]lez and Kattan 1997, p. 
141). A predation study conducted in the Colombian Andes demonstrated 
that habitat fragmentation increased predation pressure on the eggs of 
the common quail (Coturnix coturnix) when situated within smaller, 
isolated habitat fragments (Arango-V[eacute]lez and Kattan 1997, pp. 
137-143). Similar studies have found that nest predation is more 
prevalent in smaller, isolated forest patches because the small size of 
the patch facilitated predators' access to prey throughout the entire 
plot (Gibbs 1991, p. 157; Hoover et al. 1995, p. 151; Keyser et al. 
1998, p. 991; 2002, p. 186; Renjifo 1999, p. 1133; Wilcove 1985, p. 
1214). Arango-V[eacute]lez and Kattan (1997, pp. 140-142) also found 
that smaller fragments support smaller predators, which tend to 
depredate on eggs and juveniles, rendering understory nesting birds, 
such as the gorgeted wood-quail, particularly vulnerable to predation 
during these life-history stages (Arango-V[eacute]lez and Kattan 1997, 
pp. 140-142). These studies were described in more detail above, as 
part of the Factor C analysis for the blue-billed curassow.

Summary of Factor C

    Feral dogs, tayras, dwarf squirrels, tree squirrels, common 
opossums, kinkajous, Central American agoutis, and South American 
coatis are potential gorgeted wood-quail predators. Predation results 
in the direct removal of individuals from the population and can remove 
potentially reproductive adults from the breeding pool. This primarily 
terrestrial species is particularly vulnerable to predation pressures 
due to its small population size (Factor E) and fragmented distribution 
(Factor A). Habitat fragmentation has occurred and is ongoing 
throughout the species' range. Studies on similar species in similar 
Andean habitats indicate that vulnerability to predation increases with 
increased habitat fragmentation and smaller patch sizes. Predation 
exacerbates the genetic complications associated with the species' 
small population size (Factor E). Because of the species' small 
population size and inability to recolonize isolated habitat fragments 
(Factor E), predation renders the species vulnerable to local 
extirpation. Therefore, we find that predation, exacerbated by ongoing 
habitat destruction (Factor A) and hunting (Factor B), is a threat to 
the gorgeted wood-quail.

[[Page 32339]]

D. The Inadequacy of Existing Regulatory Mechanisms

    Regulatory mechanisms may provide species-specific or habitat-
specific protections. An evaluation of the adequacy of regulatory 
mechanisms within Colombia to mitigate or remove the threats to the 
gorgeted wood-quail is provided below, beginning with species-specific 
and followed by habitat-specific protection mechanisms.
    Colombia has enacted numerous laws to protect species and their 
habitats (Matallana-T. 2005, p. 121). The gorgeted wood-quail is listed 
as a critically endangered species under Colombian Law 99 of 1993 
(EcoLex 1993, p. 2) and Resolution No. 584 of 2002 (EcoLex 2002, pp. 
10, 12). A full description of these laws and the categorization of 
threatened species in Colombia were provided above, as part of the 
Factor D analysis for the blue-billed curassow. Because of its status 
as a critically endangered species, the Ministry of the Environment 
does not permit the gorgeted wood-quail to be hunted commercially or 
for sport under Resolution No. 849 of 1973 and Resolution No. 787 of 
1977 (EcoLex 1973, p.1; EcoLex 1977, p. 3). Neither Resolution 
prohibits subsistence hunting, which is a threat to the species 
throughout its range (Factor B). Gorgeted wood-quail is hunted within 
the Serran[iacute]a de los Yargu[iacute]es, which has no protected 
status (BLI 2007g, p. 13) despite being considered the stronghold for 
the species (Donegan and Huertas 2005, p. 29; Turner 2006, p. 22). 
Thus, these Resolutions are ineffective at reducing the existing threat 
of subsistence hunting to the gorgeted wood-quail (Factor B).
    Colombia has enacted numerous forestry laws and forestry management 
practices (Law No. 2 (EcoLex 1959); Decree No. 2,811 (Faolex 1974); 
Decree No. 1,791 (Faolex 1996); Law No. 1,021 (EcoLex 2006)). 
Weaknesses in the implementation of these laws and the decentralized 
nature of Colombian resource management are described in detail above 
for the blue-billed curassow (Factor D) (ITTO 2006, pp. 218-9, 222; 
Matallana-T. 2005, pp. 121-122). These regulatory mechanisms are 
ineffective at protecting the gorgeted wood-quail (BLI 2007g, p. 13; 
ITTO 2006, p. 222). Habitat destruction continues to be a problem 
within the unprotected forests of Serran[iacute]a de los 
Yargu[iacute]es (BLI 2007g, p. 13), considered the stronghold of the 
species (Donegan and Huertas 2005, p. 29; Turner 2006, p. 22), and on 
the outskirts of the Reserva Biol[oacute]gica Cachal[uacute], where the 
species has also been observed (BLI 2007g, p. 10). Therefore, we 
determine that forestry regulations are not effective in mitigating the 
threats to the gorgeted wood-quail from habitat destruction (Factor A).
    Colombia has several categories of national habitat protection 
(Matallana-T. 2005, p. 121-122), which were more fully described above, 
as part of the Factor D analysis for the blue-billed curassow 
(Matallana-T. 2005, p. 121-122). The gorgeted wood-quail occurs within 
two protected areas: the Guanent[aacute]-Alto Rio Fonce Flora and Fauna 
Sanctuary (Fuller et al. 2000, p. 28; Sarria and [Aacute]lvarez 2002, 
p. 160) and the Cachal[uacute] Biological Reserve (BLI 2007g, p. 10; 
Sarria and [Aacute]lvarez 2002, p. 158). Habitat destruction and 
subsistence hunting (poaching) are ongoing within these protected 
areas, despite being illegal (BLI 2007g, p. 10). Therefore, these 
sanctuaries and reserves provide little or no protection to the species 
from the threats of habitat destruction (Factor A) or poaching (Factor 
B).

Summary of Factor D

    Colombia has adopted numerous laws and regulatory mechanisms to 
administer and manage wildlife and their habitats. The gorgeted wood-
quail is considered critically endangered under Colombian law and lives 
within two protected areas. However, on-the-ground enforcement of 
existing wildlife protection and forestry laws and oversight of the 
local jurisdictions implementing and regulating activities are 
ineffective at mitigating the primary threats to the gorgeted wood-
quail. As discussed for Factor A, habitat destruction, degradation, and 
fragmentation continue throughout the existing range of the gorgeted 
wood-quail. As discussed for Factor B, uncontrolled hunting of the 
gorgeted wood-quail is ongoing and negatively affects the continued 
existence of the species. Therefore, we find that the existing 
regulatory mechanisms currently in place are inadequate to mitigate the 
primary threats of habitat destruction (Factor A) and hunting (Factor 
B) to the gorgeted wood-quail.

E. Other Natural or Manmade Factors Affecting the Continued Existence 
of the Species

    Two additional factors affect the gorgeted wood-quail: its minimal 
likelihood for dispersal and the species' small population size.
    Likelihood to Disperse: The gorgeted wood-quail is currently known 
in three localities in two disjunct locations within the Department of 
Santander: Serran[iacute]a de los Yargu[iacute]es, in northern 
Santander, and Cachal[uacute] Biological Reserve and Guanent[aacute]-
Alto Rio Fonce Flora and Fauna Sanctuary, in southern Santander 
(Donegan and Huertas 2005, p. 30; Rainforest Alliance 2008, p. 2; TNC 
2008, p. 1). Although there is little information on the species' 
dispersal capabilities, the isolated, fragmented nature of the 
remaining suitable habitat is considered by researchers to be a 
hindrance to its ability to disperse because: (1) gorgeted wood-quail 
is primarily a terrestrial species that is found at mid-to-upper-
elevation forests (1,750-2,050 m (5,741-6,726 ft)) on the western 
slopes of the East Andes (BLI 2007g, p. 2; Donegan and Huertas 2005, p. 
29; Donegan et al. 2003, p. 27; Collar et al. 1992, pp. 171-172; del 
Hoyo 1994, p. 431; Fuller et al. 2000, pp. 2, 27-28; Sarria and 
[Aacute]lvarez 2002, pp. 158-159; Turner 2006, p. 22; Wege and Long 
1995, p. 143-144); (2) the species is dependent on mature forest for at 
least part of its life cycle and is not found in secondary habitats 
that are not adjacent to primary forests (BLI 2007g, p. 3; Sarria and 
[Aacute]lvarez 2002, p. 159); (3) researchers believe that the species 
is capable of escaping hunting pressures only when adjacent to suitable 
habitat (Andrade in litt., as cited in Collar et al. 1992, p. 172); (4) 
the species is currently located in two disjunct areas, one in northern 
Santander and the other in southern Santander; and (5) most of the 
habitat below 1,950-2,500 m (6,398-8,202 ft) in the East Andes has been 
destroyed, leaving only isolated, fragmented habitat patches (Fuller et 
al. 2000, p. 28; Stattersfield et al. 1998, p. 192). Because the 
species has not demonstrated an aptitude to disperse into secondary-
growth areas that are not adjacent to primary forest, and given the 
isolated, disjunct nature of remaining forest fragments, the gorgeted 
wood-quail as with other narrow-ranging species found in fragmented 
habitat (Hanski 1998, pp. 45-46), is unlikely or incapable of 
dispersing to suitable habitat that is not adjacent to existing 
locales.
    Small Population Size: Deforestation (Factor A) and overutilization 
(Factor B) have greatly affected the current population size and 
distributional range of the gorgeted wood-quail (Collar et al. 1992, 
pp. 126-127; Collar et al. 1994, p. 60). The species was thought to be 
extinct or on the verge of extinction until its rediscovery in 1970 
(Collar et al. 1992, p. 171; Fuller et al. 2000, pp. 4-5, 27; Wege and 
Long 1995, p. 146). The gorgeted wood-quail is now confirmed in three 
isolated areas: the Sanctuary of Fauna and Flora Guanent[aacute]-Alto 
Rio Fonce, the Natural Reserve

[[Page 32340]]

Cachal[uacute], and the Serran[iacute]a de los Yarigu[iacute]es 
(Donegan and Huertas 2005, pp. 11, 29-30; Donegan et al. 2004, p. 19; 
Sarria and [Aacute]lvarez 2002, p. 160). The population of the gorgeted 
wood-quail is currently estimated to include 189 to 486 individuals, 
with a declining population trend (BLI 2007g, pp. 1, 5).
    The gorgeted wood-quail's restricted range, combined with its small 
population size (Cuervo and Salaman 1999, p. 7; del Hoyo 1994, p. 361; 
Sarria and [Aacute]lvarez 2002, p. 138), makes the species particularly 
vulnerable to the threat of adverse natural (e.g., genetic, 
demographic, or environmental) and manmade (e.g., hunting or 
deforestation) events that destroy individuals and their habitat 
(Holsinger 2000, pp. 64-65; Primack 1998, pp. 279-308; Young and Clarke 
2000, pp. 361-366). Small population sizes render species vulnerable to 
genetic risks that can have individual or population-level consequences 
on the genetic level and can increase the species' susceptibility to 
demographic problems, as explained in more detail above for the blue-
billed curassow (Factor E, Small Population Size) (Charlesworth and 
Charlesworth 1987, p. 238; Shaffer 1981, p. 131). Once a population is 
reduced below a certain number of individuals, it tends to rapidly 
decline towards extinction (Franklin 1980, pp. 147-148; Gilpin and 
Soul[eacute] 1986, p. 25; Holsinger 2000, pp. 64-65; Soul[eacute] 1987, 
p. 181).
    In the absence of quantitative studies specific to this species, a 
general approximation of minimum viable population size is the 50/500 
rule, as described above as part of the Factor E analysis for the 
brown-banded antpitta (Shaffer 1981, pp. 132-133; Soul[eacute] 1980, 
pp. 160-162). The total population size of the gorgeted wood-quail is 
estimated to be between 186 and 486 individuals. While 186 individuals 
is above the minimum population size required to avoid short-term 
genetic consequences, 486 falls just below the threshold minimum number 
of 500 individuals required for long-term fitness of a population and 
does not take into account that not all members of the population will 
be contributing to population growth at any one time.
    Because the gorgeted wood-quail exists in two isolated, disjunct 
habitat fragments, between which they are unlikely to disperse, an 
examination of the fitness of each subpopulation is more appropriate. 
For the purposes of this analysis, although we have reservations about 
the precision of these estimates (see Population Estimates discussion 
above), we will use the following two population estimates: 250 
individuals in Northern Santander and 30-66 individuals in southern 
Santander. Upon examination of these estimates, both populations are 
clearly below the threshold required for long-term fitness in a 
population. The lower limit of the population estimate for the southern 
Santander population is below the threshold required to avoid short-
term risks such as inbreeding and demographic shifts, whereas the upper 
limit is barely above the 50-individual threshold. Therefore, we 
currently consider these subpopulations (and the species as a whole) to 
be at risk due to the lack of short- and long-term viability.

Summary of Factor E

    The gorgeted wood-quail is unlikely or incapable of dispersing into 
suitable habitat that is isolated from extant populations, and the 
species' overall small population size makes it vulnerable to genetic 
and demographic risks that negatively impact the species' short- and 
long-term viability. Habitat destruction through deforestation (Factor 
A) and overutilization through hunting (Factor B) have greatly affected 
the species' current population size. Believed to be extinct or on the 
verge of extinction within the past 30 years, the species is now 
confirmed in 3 areas of 2 disjunct locations. The gorgeted wood-quail's 
small population size, combined with its restricted range and inability 
to repopulate disjunct suitable habitat following local extirpations, 
makes the species particularly vulnerable to the threat of adverse 
natural (e.g., genetic, demographic, or environmental) and manmade 
(e.g., hunting or deforestation) events that destroy individuals and 
their habitat.

Status Determination for the Gorgeted Wood-Quail

    The five primary factors that threaten the survival of the gorgeted 
wood-quail are: (1) Habitat destruction, fragmentation, and degradation 
(Factor A); (2) overexploitation due to hunting (Factor B); (3) 
predation (Factor C); (4) inadequacy of regulatory mechanisms to reduce 
the threats to the species (Factor D); and (5) small population size 
and isolation of remaining populations (Factor E). The gorgeted wood-
quail, a small terrestrial bird, prefers primary montane forests or 
adjacent secondary forests at altitudes between 1,750 and 2,050 m 
(5,741 and 6,726 ft). The species' historic range has been reduced by 
92 percent, extirpating the species from its type locality in the 
Department of Cundinamarca and causing the species to shift to the 
extremes of its range and elevational distribution (Factor A). The 
estimated suitable habitat available to the species is approximately 
10-27 km\2\ (4-10 mi\2\).
    Within the past decade, the gorgeted wood-quail has been confirmed 
in only three locations: Serran[iacute]a de los Yargu[iacute]es, in 
northern Santander, and adjacent localities in the Guanent[aacute]-Alto 
Rio Fonce Flora and Fauna Sanctuary and Cachal[uacute] Biological 
Reserve, in southern Santander. Much of the primary forest, mid-
elevation habitat preferred by the species has been destroyed by human 
activities, such as slash-and-burn agriculture, grazing, and extractive 
industries (Factor A). Illegal crop production, which continues 
throughout the species' range, has altered soil compositions, hindering 
regeneration of abandoned fields. In addition, drug eradication 
programs involving the aerial spraying of non-specific herbicides have 
further degraded the environment and destroyed primary forest habitat.
    In combination, these threats exacerbate the negative consequences 
to the species. For example, habitat fragmentation (Factor A) increases 
the species' vulnerability to hunting (Factor B). Poaching, in 
combination with habitat destruction, may have led to the local 
extirpation of the gorgeted wood-quail from Cuchilla del Ramo. This 
population was only discovered in 1970 and, amidst ongoing habitat 
destruction and hunting pressures, has not been observed there since 
1988. Thus, deforestation and hunting within the past 30 years may have 
led to the extirpation of the gorgeted wood-quail from this location.
    Habitat fragmentation also exposes the species to greater risk of 
extinction caused by adverse natural (e.g., genetic, demographic, or 
environmental) and manmade (e.g., hunting or deforestation) events 
(Factor E). The species' population has decreased by up to 9 percent in 
the past 10 years and has likely been extirpated from at least one 
location (Cundinamarca) due to habitat loss and from another locality 
(Cuchilla del Ramo) due to a combination of habitat loss and hunting. 
The global population of the gorgeted wood-quail is estimated to be 
between 187 and 486 individuals. Given that the gorgeted wood-quail is 
likely to interact as subpopulations and is unlikely to disperse 
between patches of fragmented habitat, the effective population size is 
actually much smaller. This small population size puts the gorgeted 
wood-quail at risk from both near-term genetic complications (such as 
inbreeding and demographic shifts) and lack of long-term fitness (such 
as the ability to adapt to changing conditions). These potential 
genetic problems are exacerbated by

[[Page 32341]]

ongoing human-induced threats, such as habitat destruction (Factor A) 
and hunting (Factor B), factors which are not being mitigated by 
existing regulations (Factor D) and are further magnified because the 
species is unlikely to repopulate isolated patches of suitable habitat 
where the species has undergone decline or local extirpation, 
increasing the likelihood of local extirpations (Factor E).
    The gorgeted wood-quail is listed as critically endangered, making 
it illegal to hunt the species, and two of the three known localities 
are within protected areas. However, habitat destruction and poaching 
are ongoing throughout the species' range (Factor D). Thus, the 
regulations in place are ineffective in protecting the gorgeted wood-
quail and its habitat.
    We have carefully assessed the best available scientific and 
commercial information regarding the past, present, and potential 
future threats faced by the gorgeted wood-quail. We consider the 
ongoing threats to the gorgeted wood-quail, habitat destruction (Factor 
A), hunting (Factor B), and predation (Factor C), exacerbated by the 
species' small population size and limited dispersal ability (Factor 
E), and compounded by inadequate regulatory mechanisms to mitigate 
these threats (Factor D), to be equally present and of the same 
magnitude throughout the species' entire current range. Based on this 
information, we conclude that the gorgeted wood-quail is in danger of 
extinction throughout its range. Therefore, we are proposing to list 
the gorgeted wood-quail as an endangered species.

Ecuadorian Bird Species

V. Esmeraldas Woodstar (Chaetocercus berlepschi)

Species Description

    Esmeraldas woodstar, a member of the hummingbird family 
(Trochilidae) and endemic to Ecuador, is approximately 6.5 cm (2.5 in.) 
in length (del Hoyo et al. 1999, p. 678; Ridgely and Greenfield 2001b, 
p. 295; Schuchmann 1999, p. 468; Williams and Tobias 1991, p. 39). The 
species is locally known as ``Colibr[iacute] de Esmeraldas'' or 
``Estrellita esmeralde[ntilde]a'' (UNEP-WCMC 2008b). Both sexes have 
striking violet, green, and white plumage. The male has a narrow band 
across its breast, whereas the female has a full white underbody (BLI 
2007c, p. 1; Ridgely and Greenfield 2001b, plate 42).

Taxonomy

    Esmeraldas woodstar was first taxonomically described by Simon in 
1889 (BLI 2007e, p. 1). The type specimen (the actual specimen that was 
first described) of the Esmeraldas woodstar was obtained from the moist 
forest habitat near Esmeraldas City, in the Department of Esmeraldas 
(Collar et al. 1992, p. 533). Esmeraldas City is, therefore, referred 
to as the ``type locality.''
    Simon placed the species in the Trochilidae family, under the name 
Chaetocercus berlepschi. The species is also known by the synonym 
Acestrura berlepschi. Both CITES and BirdLife International recognize 
the species as Chaetocercus berlepschi (BLI 2007e, p. 1; UNEP-WCMC 
2008b, p. 1). Therefore, we accept the species as Chaetocercus 
berlepschi, which follows the Integrated Taxonomic Information System 
(ITIS 2008).

Habitat and Life History

    Esmeraldas woodstar is a range-restricted, forest-dwelling species 
with highly localized populations (BLI 2007f, pp.1-3; Collar et al. 
1992, p. 533; Schuchmann 1999, p. 532). Esmeraldas woodstar prefers 
primary forest and is usually found in lowland semi-evergreen forests 
(cloud or fog forests) and has occasionally been seen in secondary-
growth semi-humid (moist) habitat during the breeding season (Best and 
Kessler, p. 141; BLI 2004, p. 2; BLI 2007c, p. 3; Collar et al. 1992, 
p. 533; del Hoyo et al. 1999, p. 678; Hummingbird Monitoring Network 
2006, p. 1; Ridgely and Greenfield 2001b, p. 295; Schuchmann 1999, p. 
468; Stattersfield et al. 1998, p. 211; Williams and Tobias 1991, p. 
39). Esmeraldas woodstar has not been seen in secondary-growth forests 
at any other time of year, and researchers are not certain that the 
species can survive in secondary forests year-round (BLI 2007c, p. 3). 
The species has mostly been recorded at elevations between 50 and 150 m 
(164 and 492 ft) (Ridgely and Greenfield 2001a, p. 390; Ridgely and 
Greenfield 2001b, p. 295), but has occasionally been observed above 500 
m (1,640 ft) (i.e., at Loma Alta; Factor A) (Best and Kessler, p. 141; 
del Hoyo et al. 1999, p. 678; Ridgely and Greenfield 2001b, p. 295; 
Schuchmann 1999, p. 468; Stattersfield et al. 1998, p. 211; Williams 
and Tobias 1991, p. 39).
    Esmeraldas woodstar has been seen most often along forest borders, 
with females especially seen perching on dead twigs (Ridgely and 
Greenfield 2001b, p. 295). The species forages mainly in the canopy and 
has been recorded ``hawking'' insects from the air, as well as foraging 
nectar from flowers of the strawberry tree (Muntingia calabura), river 
koko (Inga vera), and mango tree (Mangifera spp.) (Becker et al. 2000, 
p. 55; del Hoyo et al. 1999, p. 678; Ridgely and Greenfield 2001b, p. 
295). As recently as 1999, there were no known breeding sites for the 
Esmeraldas woodstar (del Hoyo et al. 1999, p. 678). Today, one breeding 
site has been located in the cloud forests of the Colonche Hills 
(Hummingbird Monitoring Network 2006, p. 1), in the Department of 
Guayas (Best and Kessler 1995, p. 54). The breeding season is from 
December to March (BLI 2007c, p. 3). Little else is known of the 
Esmeraldas woodstar's breeding habits or other activities during most 
of the year (Ridgely and Greenfield 2001a, pp. 389-390). The species 
seems to ``disappear'' from known locations during non-breeding months 
(BLI 2007c, p. 2; Becker et al. 2000, p. 55). In general, male 
hummingbirds breed with several females in one breeding season and the 
females take responsibility for all remaining reproductive 
responsibilities, including nest building, incubation, and rearing. 
Hummingbirds typically produce 2 eggs per clutch (Schuchmann 1999, pp. 
506, 509).

Historical Range and Distribution

    The type locality for the Esmeraldas woodstar (the location of its 
first discovery) was in Esmeraldas, near Esmeraldas City, and the last 
specimen was observed there and in the Department of Manab[iacute] in 
1912 (Collar et al. 1992, p. 533). The species' historic range has been 
reduced by 99 percent (Dodson and Gentry 1991, p. 293). The area around 
its type locality (Esmeraldas City) has been replaced by pastureland 
and is nearly devoid of all trees (Collar et al. 1992, p. 533). After 
the species went unobserved following the 1912 sightings, it was 
thought to be extinct, until it was rediscovered in 1990 (Ridgely and 
Greenfield 2001a, pp. 389-390; Williams and Tobias 1991, p. 39).

Current Range and Distribution

    Today, Esmeraldas woodstar ranges in northwestern Ecuador, in the 
Departments of Esmeraldas, Manab[iacute], and Guayas, along the slopes 
of the coastal cordillera up to 500 m (1,640 ft) (del Hoyo et al. 1999, 
p. 678; Ridgely and Greenfield 2001b, p. 295; Schuchmann 1999, p. 468; 
Williams and Tobias 1991, p. 39). The current extent of the species' 
range is approximately 1,155 km\2\ (446 mi\2\), in three disjunct and 
isolated areas (BLI 2004, p. 2; Dodson and Gentry 1991, p. 293).
    The species was rediscovered on ridges above the lower R[iacute]o 
Ayampe (in northwest Guayas/Manab[iacute]) in March 1990, near the 
Machalilla National Park (Becker et al. 2000, p. 55; BLI 2007c, p.

[[Page 32342]]

2; Williams and Tobias 1991, p. 39), and again in January 1991 (Ridgely 
and Greenfield 2001a, p. 389). Subsequent attempts to relocate the 
species at R[iacute]o Ayampe (in August 1991 and July 1993) were 
unsuccessful (Collar et al. 1992, p. 533; Ridgely and Greenfield 2001a, 
p. 389). Researchers subsequently determined that the species occupies 
this habitat only seasonally, frequenting the Park from December 
through the spring (March), but is absent from this location during 
non-breeding months (Becker et al. 2000, p. 55; BLI 2007c, p. 2; and 
Greenfield 2001a, p. 389).
    Since then, the species has been observed at the following 
locations: Esmeraldas: Su[aacute], in January 1993, and Muisne, in 1994 
(month unknown); Manab[iacute]: Isla de La Plata (part of the 
Machalilla National Park), December-January 1998 (BLI 2007c, p. 2; 
Ridgely and Greenfield 2001a, p. 389; Williams and Tobias 1991, p. 39). 
The species was not observed on Isla de La Plata during a bird survey 
conducted in June 2000 (Cisneros-Heredia 2005, p. 24), reconfirming 
their absence from this habitat during non-breeding months.

Population Estimates

    Esmeraldas woodstar is considered a rare, range-restricted species 
with highly localized populations in three general areas (BLI 2007c, 
pp. 1-3; Schuchmann 1999, p. 532). There have been no population 
surveys of this species. BirdLife International estimated that the 
population currently includes between 186 and 373 individuals, based on 
estimates using similar species of hummingbirds (BLI 2007c, p. 6).

Conservation Status

    The Esmeraldas woodstar is identified as an endangered species 
under Ecuadorian law (EcoLex 2003b, p. 36, p. 36). This species is 
classified as `Endangered' on the IUCN Red List, due to severe 
fragmentation within the woodstar's restricted range (IUCN 2006).

Summary of Factors Affecting the Esmeraldas Woodstar

A. The Present or Threatened Destruction, Modification, or Curtailment 
of the Habitat or Range

    The Esmeraldas woodstar is restricted to the semi-humid forests and 
woodlands from sealevel to 500 m (1,600 ft) along the Coastal 
Cordillera of western Ecuador (del Hoyo et al. 1999, p. 678; Ridgely 
and Greenfield 2001b, p. 295). The current extent of the species' range 
is approximately 1,155 km\2\ (446 mi\2\), in three disjunct and 
isolated areas (BLI 2004, p. 2).
    Deforestation Rates and Patterns: The semi-humid, semi-evergreen 
forest environment preferred by the Esmeraldas woodstar is one of the 
most threatened forest habitats in the Neotropics (Collar et al. 1992, 
p. 533; Schuchmann 1999, p. 532). This region is also known as the 
Tumbesian region (which encompasses the coast and foothills beginning 
in southwestern Ecuador and into the mid-coastal area of northwestern 
Peru) (World Land Trust U.S. 2008, p. 1). This habitat type has been 
reduced by over 99 percent (Dodson and Gentry 1991, p. 293), making 
this region one of the most vulnerable endemic bird areas in South 
America (Stattersfield et al. 1998, p. 214). Deforestation, understory 
degradation, and limited habitat size are among the biggest impacts to 
resident birds in the Tumbesian region (Stattersfield et al. 1998, p. 
214).
    Forested habitat within western Ecuador, including that within the 
Esmeraldas woodstar's range, has diminished rapidly due to logging, 
clearing for agriculture, and road development (Dodson and Gentry 1991, 
pp. 283-293). The primary moist forest habitat at the species' type 
locality (Esmeraldas City) has been replaced with pastures and 
scattered trees (Collar et al. 1992, p. 533). Dodson and Gentry (1991, 
p. 293) indicated that rapid habitat loss is continuing and that extant 
forests will be eliminated in the near future if deforestation 
continues. Recent reports indicate that forest habitat loss continues 
in Ecuador. Between the years 1990 and 2005, Ecuador has lost a total 
of 2.96 million ha (7.31 million ac) of primary forest, which 
represents a 16.7 percent deforestation rate and a total loss of 21.5 
percent of forested habitat since 1990 (Butler 2006b, pp. 1-3; FAO 
2003b, p. 1). Very little suitable habitat remains for the species and 
remaining habitat is highly fragmented (BLI 2004a, p. 2).
    Other Human Factors: Ongoing deforestation has transformed forested 
habitat within the region to a patchwork of cropland, with fewer than 5 
percent of the forested areas remaining only on steep slopes that 
cannot be cultivated (Best and Kessler 1995, p. 35; Stattersfield et 
al. 1998, p. 214). Persistent grazing from goats and cattle has 
decimated the understory vegetation and any secondary forest growth 
(BLI 2004a, p. 2). Researchers have observed that road building and 
other infrastructure improvements in previously remote forested areas 
have increased accessibility and further facilitated habitat 
destruction, exploitation, and human settlement ([Aacute]lvarez 2005, 
p. 2042; C[aacute]rdenas and Rodr[iacute]guez Becerra 2004, pp. 125-
130; Etter et al. 2006, p. 1; Hunter 1996, p. 158-159; Vi[ntilde]a et 
al. 2004, pp. 118-119). Fragmented habitat also increases predator 
access to the forest, exposing the species to increased risk of 
predation (Factor C).
    Refugia: The species is currently known in three localities: (1) 
Isla de la Plata, (2) Machalilla National Park, and (3) Loma Alta 
Communal Ecological Reserve.
    (1) Isla de la Plata: This 1,420-ha (3,508-ac) island is 
approximately 27 km (17 mi) from the coast of the Department of 
Manab[iacute] and is actually part of the Machalilla National Park (see 
below). The species was last observed on the island in 1998 (Becker et 
al. 2000, p. 55; BLI 2007c, p. 2). The island is mostly uninhabited, 
but tourism for bird-watching occurs there year-round (BLI 2007c, p. 
9), which occasionally disturbs the native birds. Non-native domestic 
animals, including goats (Capra hircus), were introduced to the island 
many years ago (Curry 1993, p. 24). Non-native predators, which have 
also been introduced to the island, are discussed below under Factor C. 
The grazing activity of the goats has destroyed understory habitat on 
the island. As of 2007, BirdLife International reports that an 
eradication program is underway to remove these feral animals from the 
island (BLI 2007c, p. 10). Despite a report, in 1991, that the goat 
population on the island had reportedly been reduced from an estimated 
300 to 30 animals (Curry 1993, p. 24), the colony of goats apparently 
remains extant to this day (BLI 2007c, p. 10).
    (2) Machalilla National Park: This 34,393-ha (84,985-ac) Park was 
established in 1979 (BLI 2007c, pp. 11, 13) and is designated as a 
Ramsar Wetland of International Importance (BLI 2007c, p. 13) (see 
Factor D). In addition to the male sighting on Isla de La Plata, a 
female was also observed within the Park in 1998 (Becker et al. 2000, 
p. 55). The Park encompasses a variety of habitats, including high-
elevation humid and cloud forests and lower-elevation slopes covered 
with semi-deciduous and deciduous forests (BLI 2007c, pp. 11).
    This park is populated, and residents subsist on farming and 
cattle-raising (BLI 2007c, pp. 11, 13; Lasso 1997, p. 3). Portions of 
land within the Park have been converted to pastures or cropland (Lasso 
1997, p. 3). Some previously deforested areas have been left to 
regenerate (BLI 2007c, p. 13). However, ongoing grazing is hindering 
understory development in forest areas left to regenerate (BLI 2007c, 
pp. 10, 13, 17). Residents continue to selectively harvest trees and 
non-timber products;

[[Page 32343]]

this activity is not monitored and the extent of the impact is unknown 
(BLI 2007c, p. 13). The Park is surrounded by a matrix of altered 
habitat, dominated by agricultural crops such as bananas, corn, 
sugarcane, tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum), yucca (Yucca spp.), and 
pasturelands (BLI 2007c, p. 11; Lasso 1997, p. 3). A highway built 
around the outskirts of the park provides greater access to more areas 
within the Park (BLI 2007c, p. 13). Other activities in the area, 
including a fish meal processing plant, petroleum waste discharges into 
the sea, and accumulation of solid waste, are potential sources of 
pollution within the Park (Lasso 1997, p. 3).
    (3) Loma Alta Communal Ecological Reserve: This 6,000-ha (14,826-
ac) area was declared a Reserve in 1996 (BLI 2007c, p. 17). The Reserve 
was created to protect the watershed and to help preserve the land of 
four groups of indigenous inhabitants. The Reserve encompasses a 
variety of habitats from dry to cloud forests (BLI 2007c, p. 15). About 
500 ha (1,235 ac) of the Reserve is dedicated to cultivation of the 
Panama hat plant (Carludovica palmata, locally known as ``Paja 
Toquilla''), which is processed and sold by the community. Cattle-
raising has increased in recent years and the regenerating forests have 
again been decimated by overgrazing. Logging, agriculture, and slash-
and-burn farming continue to impact this Reserve (BLI 2007c, p. 17).

Summary of Factor A

    Esmeraldas woodstars are rare, range-restricted species with highly 
localized populations in three disjunct locations within an area of 
approximately 1,155 km\2\ (446 mi\2\) (BLI 2004, p. 2; Dodson and 
Gentry 1991, p. 293). The evergreen forests preferred by this species 
have undergone extensive deforestation, and remaining habitat is highly 
fragmented. Habitat alteration and human activities, such as slash-and-
burn agriculture and cattle and goat grazing, are occurring throughout 
the species' range, including the protected areas in which the species 
occurs (Machalilla National Park, including Isla de la Plata, and Loma 
Alta Communal Ecological Reserve). Infrastructure development and 
economic activities (such as fish meal processing and non-timber forest 
product extraction) occur throughout the species' known breeding range. 
Logging, road development, and pollution from industrial activities 
occur within or near protected areas. Habitat destruction, alteration, 
and conversion have reduced the available habitat for this species by 
99 percent. These activities are ongoing throughout the species' range, 
including within protected areas (Factor D), and are expected to 
continue.

B. Overutilization for Commercial, Recreational, Scientific, or 
Educational Purposes

    Stattersfield et al. (1998, p. 214) reported that birds in the 
Tumbesian region are, in part, impacted by hunting and trade 
(Stattersfield et al. 1998, p. 214). However, we have no current 
information to suggest that hunting for domestic or international 
consumption or trade is impacting the Esmeraldas woodstar (including, 
Best and Kessler, pp. 124, 141; BLI 2007c, p. 3). Locally, the 
communities in Loma Alta, where this species occurs, are involved in 
conservation activities, including protecting native species in Loma 
Alta Communal Ecological Reserve against hunting, timber harvest and 
agricultural expansion.
    In 1987, the Esmeraldas woodstar was listed in CITES Appendix II 
(UNEP-WCMC 2008b, p. 1), which includes species that are not 
necessarily threatened with extinction, but which require regulation of 
international trade to ensure that trade of the species is compatible 
with the species' survival. International trade in specimens of 
Appendix-II species is authorized through permits or certificates under 
certain circumstances, including verification that trade will not be 
detrimental to the survival of the species in the wild and that the 
specimens were legally acquired (UNEP-WCMC 2008a, p. 1). According to 
the World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC), there has been one 
international transaction permitted by CITES since listing. In 1993, 
100 ``bodies'' were imported to Mexico through the United States. 
According to the trade data, the specimens were being traded for 
commercial purposes and were seized by inspectors (UNEP-WCMC 2008d, p. 
1). There has been no further CITES-recorded trade in this species 
since that time. Although we are no longer able to determine the exact 
details surrounding this seizure, we consider the seizure and lack of 
ensuing trade to be supportive that CITES has been effective in 
controlling commercial trade in this species. Therefore, we do not 
consider international trade for commercial purposes to be a threat to 
the species.
    Tourism occurs year-round at Isla de la Plata and has been known to 
occasionally disturb the native birds (BLI 2007c, pp. 2, 9-10). There 
is no information regarding whether Esmeraldas woodstar is among the 
native species that is adversely affected by ecotourism or other human 
disturbance.
    We are unaware of any other information currently available that 
addresses the occurrence of overutilization for commercial, recreation, 
scientific, or education purposes that may be affecting the Esmeraldas 
woodstar population. Consequently, we do not consider this factor to be 
a threat to the species.

C. Disease or Predation

    Disease: We are unaware of information regarding disease or the 
potential for significant disease outbreaks in the Esmeraldas woodstar. 
As a result, we do not consider disease to be a threat to the species.
    Predation: Hummingbird eggs and chicks are most vulnerable to 
predation. Known hummingbird predators that are found in cloud forest 
habitat in Ecuador include domestic cats (Felis catus), feral cats, 
hawks (family Accipitridae), owls (order Strigiformes), and snakes 
(suborder Serpentes) (Borchardt 2004, p. 5; The Hummingbird Society no 
date (n.d.), p 1; Rosso 2006, p. 35). Because of their small size, many 
insect-eating predators have been known to prey on hummingbirds, 
including, praying mantis (family Mantidae), spiders (class Arachnida), 
bees and wasps (order Hymenoptera), frogs (order Anura), and largemouth 
bass (Micropterus salmoides) (Borchardt 2004, p. 5; The Hummingbird 
Society no date (n.d.), p 1; Rosso 2006, p. 35). According to the FAO-
Fisheries and Aquaculture Department (2000, p. 1), largemouth bass is a 
non-native invasive species that was introduced to Ecuador sometime 
prior to 1988. Many of these potential Esmeraldas woodstar predators 
are found within the Machalilla National Park (Emmons and Albuja 1992, 
pp. 120-121), both on the mainland and on Isla de La Plata (see Factor 
A).
    On Isla de La Plata, non-native predators, including cats and spiny 
rats (Proechimys decumanus), were introduced to the island many years 
ago (BLI 2007c, p. 10; Curry 1993, p. 24). Cats are opportunistic 
predators and their diet is comprised of a variety of animals, 
including birds (Rosero 2006, p. 5). It was conjectured that the wild 
cats on Isla de La Plata would keep the rat population in check. 
However, Curry (1993, p. 24) examined the stomach contents of several 
cats on the Island and found that they contained egg shell fragments, 
not mammal hair, indicating that the cats were preying upon bird nests. 
Because Esmeraldas woodstar is only observed on Isla de La Plata during 
breeding season (BLI 2007c, p. 2; Becker

[[Page 32344]]

et al. 2000, p. 55; Cisneros-Heredia 2005, p. 24), this renders the 
woodstar especially vulnerable to egg predation by cats. Cats are also 
considered among the most common predators of non-nesting hummingbirds, 
especially during torpor, a resting state induced in hummingbirds when 
energy levels are low (BLI 2008b, p. 1; The Hummingbird Society n.d., 
p. 1; Schuchmann 1999, p. 485). During torpor, hummingbirds are slow to 
react to external stimuli (Schuchmann 1999, p. 485). Cats are 
responsible for endangering other island-dwelling hummingbirds, 
including the critically endangered Fern[aacute]ndez firecrown 
(Sephanoides fernandensis) (native to the Juan Fern[aacute]ndez 
Islands, Chile) (BLI 2008b, p. 1; The Hummingbird Society n.d., p. 1).
    According to BirdLife International, an eradication program is 
underway to remove feral animals from the island (BLI 2007c, p. 10). 
One project to control the introduced cat population on Isla De La 
Plata, being supported by the World Conservation Foundation, would trap 
the feral cats, neuter them, and return them to the wild, with the 
eventual goal of preventing further reproduction of the feral 
population. This project will also help to better quantify the extent 
of the invasion on the island (Rosero 2006, p. 5). However, predation 
on the island continues to be a threat to native bird species, 
including the Esmeraladas woodstar, both on the Island and in 
Machalilla National Park (BLI 2007c, p. 10; Emmons and Albuja 1992, pp. 
120-121; Rosero 2006, p. 5).
    The Esmeraldas woodstar's historic range has been reduced by 99 
percent (Dodson and Gentry 1991, p. 293) and remaining suitable habitat 
is highly fragmented (Best and Kessler 1995, p. 35; BLI 2004a, p. 2; 
Stattersfield et al. 1998, p. 214). Studies have shown that habitat 
fragmentation increases the potential predation pressure within habitat 
fragments by facilitating the predators' access throughout the fragment 
and because smaller fragments support smaller predators, which tend to 
prey upon the more vulnerable life-history stages of the Esmeraldas 
woodstar, eggs and juveniles (Arango-V[eacute]lez and Kattan 1997, pp. 
137-143; Gibbs 1991, p. 157; Hoover et al. 1995, p. 151; Keyser et al. 
1998, p. 991; 2002, p. 186; Renjifo 1999, p. 1133; Wilcove 1985, p. 
1214). These studies were described in more detail above, as part of 
the Factor C analysis for the blue-billed curassow.

Summary of Factor C

    Domestic and feral cats, rats, hawks, owls, snakes, praying mantis, 
spiders, bees, wasps, frogs, and largemouth bass are all predators of 
hummingbirds that are found in Esmeraldas woodstar habitat. Predation 
results in the direct removal of eggs, juveniles, and adults from the 
population. Esmeraldas woodstars produce a low clutch size and are 
particularly vulnerable to egg predation by cats on Isla de la Plata 
(see Habitat and Life History). Esmeraldas woodstar habitat is much 
reduced and highly fragmented (Factor A), and studies on similar 
species in similar Andean habitats indicate that vulnerability to 
predation by generalist predators increases with increased habitat 
fragmentation and smaller patch sizes. Predation can remove potentially 
reproductive adults from the breeding pool and exacerbates the genetic 
complications associated with the species' small population size 
(Factor E), increasing the species' vulnerability to local extirpation. 
Therefore, we find that predation, exacerbated by ongoing habitat 
destruction (Factor A), is a threat to the Esmeraldas woodstar.

D. The Inadequacy of Existing Regulatory Mechanisms

    Regulatory mechanisms may provide species-specific or habitat-
specific protections. An evaluation of the adequacy of regulatory 
mechanisms within Ecuador to mitigate or remove the threats to the 
Esmeraldas woodstar is provided below, beginning with species-specific 
and followed by habitat-specific protection mechanisms.
    The Esmeraldas woodstar is protected under Ecuadorian law by Decree 
No. 3,516 of 2003 (Unified Text of the Secondary Legislation of the 
Ministry of Environment (EcoLex 2003b, pp. 1-2 and 36). Decree No. 
3,516 summarizes the laws governing environmental policy in Ecuador and 
provides that the country's biodiversity be protected and used 
primarily in a sustainable manner. Appendix 1 of Decree No. 3,516 lists 
the Ecuadorian fauna and flora that are categorized as critically 
endangered (En peligro critico), endangered (En peligro), or vulnerable 
(Vulnerable) (EcoLex 2003b, p.17). Under this law, Esmeraldas woodstar 
is categorized as endangered, under the synonym Acestrura berlepschi 
(EcoLex 2003b, p. 36). This threat status confers protections upon the 
species, including protection from hunting or commercial take, under 
Resolution No. 105 of 2000 (Regulatory control of hunting seasons and 
wildlife species in the country) and Agreement No. 143 of 2003 
(Standards for the control of hunting seasons and licenses for hunting 
of wildlife). Resolution No. 105 and Agreement No. 143 regulate and 
prohibit commercial and sport hunting of all wild bird species, except 
those specifically identified by the Ministry of the Environment or 
otherwise permitted (EcoLex 2000, p.1; EcoLex 2003a, p. 1). Under this 
law, the Ministry of the Environment does not permit commercial or 
sport hunting of the Esmeraldas woodstar because of its status as a 
critically endangered species (EcoLex 2002b, p. 17). However, we do not 
consider hunting (Factor B) to be a current threat to the Esmeraldas 
woodstar and these laws do not mitigate threats to the species from 
habitat destruction (Factor A), predation (Factor C), or its small 
population size (Factor E). Therefore, protection under these laws does 
not reduce any existing threats to the species.
    Esmeraldas woodstar is listed in Appendix II of CITES, to which 
Ecuador became a Party in 1975 (UNEP-WCMC 2008a, p. 1; USFWS 2008, p. 
1). CITES was described in more detail above, as part of the Factor E 
analysis for the blue-billed curassow. As discussed under Factor B for 
the Esmeraldas woodstar, we consider that this international treaty has 
minimized the potential threat to the species from international trade 
and do not consider international trade to be a threat impacting the 
Esmeraldas woodstar. However, this treaty does not mitigate threats to 
the species from habitat destruction (Factor A), predation (Factor C), 
or its small population size (Factor E). Therefore, protection under 
this Treaty does not reduce any existing threats to the species.
    Ecuador has numerous laws and regulations pertaining to forests and 
forestry management, including: the Forestry Act (comprised of Law No. 
74 of 1981 -- Forest Act and conservation of natural areas and wildlife 
(Faolex 1981, pp. 1-54)--and Law No. 17 of 2004--Consolidation of the 
Forest Act and conservation of natural areas and wildlife (Faolex 2004, 
pp. 1-29); a Forestry Action Plan (1991-1995); the Ecuadorian Strategy 
for Forest Sustainable Development of 2000 (Estrategia para el 
Desarrollo Forestal Sostenible); and Decree 346, which recognizes that 
natural forests are highly vulnerable (ITTO 2006, p. 225). However, the 
International Tropical Timber Organization considers ecosystem 
management and conservation in Ecuador, including effective 
implementation of mechanisms that would protect the Esmeraldas woodstar 
and its habitat, to be lacking (ITTO 2006, p. 229). Habitat destruction 
is ongoing (Butler 2006b, pp. 1-3; FAO 2003b, p. 1) and extensive (Best 
and Kessler 1995, p. 35; BLI 2004a, p. 2; Stattersfield et al. 1998, p. 
214)

[[Page 32345]]

throughout the species' range (Factor A). Thus, these laws are 
ineffective at protecting Esmeraldas woodstar habitat.
    Extractive harvest practices may pose a threat to the Esmeraldas 
woodstar (BLI 2007c, p. 13) (Factor A). In 2004, Law No. 17 (Faolex 
2004, pp. 1-29) amended the Forest Act of 1981 (Law No. 74) (Faolex 
1981, pp. 1-54) to include five criteria for sustainable forest 
management: (i) sustainable timber production; (ii) the maintenance of 
forest cover; (iii) the conservation of biodiversity; (iv) co-
responsibility in management; and (v) the reduction of negative social 
and environmental impacts (Aguilar and Vlosky 2005, pp. 9-10; ITTO 
2006, p. 225). In 2001, the Ecuadorian government worked with the 
private sector to develop a system of monitoring and control of forest 
harvest practices. However, in 2003, the Supreme Court of Ecuador 
declared that the control system was unconstitutional, and new control 
systems are now being developed (ITTO 2006, p. 225). Approximately 70 
percent of the forest products harvested are harvested illegally, are 
used as fuel wood, or are discarded as waste (Aguilar and Vlosky 2005, 
p. 4; ITTO 2006, p. 226). Because the extractive harvesting industry is 
not monitored, the extent of the impact is unknown (BLI 2007c, p. 13). 
However, we find this law is currently inadequate in monitoring the 
impacts of extractive harvesting on the Esmeraldas woodstar or to 
protect the species from potential impacts of extractive harvesting 
(Factor A).
    The governmental institutions responsible for natural resource 
oversight in Ecuador appear to be under-resourced, and there is a lack 
of law enforcement on the ground. Despite the creation of a national 
forest plan, there appears to be a lack of capacity to implement this 
plan due to insufficient political support, unclear or unrealistic 
forestry standards, inconsistencies in application of regulations, 
discrepancies between actual harvesting practices and forestry 
regulations, the lack of management plans for protected areas, and high 
bureaucratic costs. These inadequacies have facilitated logging (Dodson 
and Gentry 1991, pp. 283-293); cattle-raising and persistent grazing 
from goats and cattle (BLI 2004a, p. 2; BLI 2007c, pp. 11, 13, 17; 
Curry 1993, p. 24; Lasso 1997, p. 3); clearing for agriculture, 
subsistence farming, and small local industries (BLI 2007c, pp. 11, 13, 
17; Dodson and Gentry 1991, pp. 283-293; Lasso 1997, p. 3); selective 
harvest of trees for fuelwood and non-timber products (Aguilar and 
Vlosky 2005; BLI 2007c, p. 13); road development (BLI 2007c, p. 13; 
Dodson and Gentry 1991, pp. 283-293); and pollution from industrial 
activities occur within or near protected areas (Lasso 1997, p. 3). In 
addition, most of Ecuador's forests are privately owned or owned by 
communities (ITTO 2006, p. 224; Lasso 1997, pp. 2-3), and the 
management and administration of Ecuador's forest resources and forest 
harvest practices is insufficient and unable to protect against 
unauthorized forest harvesting, degradation, and conversion (ITTO 2006, 
p. 229). Habitat conversion and alteration are ongoing throughout the 
range of the Esmeraldas woodstar, including within protected areas (BLI 
2007c, pp. 10, 13, 17; Butler 2006b, pp. 1-3; FAO 2003b, p. 1).Thus, 
Ecuadorian forestry regulations have not mitigated the threat of 
habitat destruction (Factor A).
    The Ecuadorian government recognizes 31 different legal categories 
of protected lands (e.g., national parks, biological reserves, geo-
botanical reserves, bird reserves, wildlife reserves, etc.). Currently, 
the amount of protected land (both forested and non-forested) in 
Ecuador totals approximately 4.67 million ha (11.5 million ac) (ITTO 
2006, p. 228). However, only 38 percent of these lands have appropriate 
conservation measures in place to be considered protected areas 
according to international standards (i.e., areas that are managed for 
scientific study or wilderness protection, for ecosystem protection and 
recreation, for conservation of specific natural features, or for 
conservation through management intervention) (IUCN 1994, pp. 17-20). 
Moreover, only 11 percent have management plans, and fewer than 1 
percent (13,000 ha (32,125 ac)) have implemented those management plans 
(ITTO 2006, p. 228).
    The Esmeraldas woodstar has been recorded in or near two protected 
areas: (1) Machalilla National Park (Collar et al. 1992, p. 533) and 
(2) Loma Alta Communal Ecological Reserve. As described under Factor A, 
both of these protected areas are inhabited and, among other 
activities, deforestation, livestock grazing, and slash-and-burn 
agriculture are ongoing within these areas (BLI 2004, p. 2; Wege and 
Long 1995, p. 174). Thus, this protected area status does not mitigate 
the threats from habitat destruction (Factor A).
    Esmeraldas woodstar occurs within the Machalilla National Park, 
which was included in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International 
Importance in 1990 (BLI 2007c, p. 13). The Ramsar Convention, signed in 
Ramsar, Iran, in 1971, is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the 
framework for national action and international cooperation for the 
conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. There are 
presently 158 Contracting Parties to the Convention (including Ecuador, 
where the Esmeraldas woodstar occurs), with 1,828 wetland sites, 
totaling 169 million ha (418 million ac), designated for inclusion in 
the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar 
Convention Secretariat 2008, p. 1). Experts consider Ramsar to provide 
only nominal protection of wetlands, noting that such a designation may 
increase international awareness of the site's ecological value 
(Jellison et al. 2004, p. 19). However, habitat alteration (Factor A) 
(BLI 2007c, pp. 10-11, 13; Lasso 1997, p. 3) and predation by feral 
animals (Factor C) (BLI 2007c, p. 10; Curry 1993, p. 24; Rosero 2006, 
p. 5), key threats to the Esmeraldas woodstar, are ongoing within the 
Park and predation has not been considered as part of the most recent 
Ramsar site review (Lasso 1997, pp. 1-4). Therefore, this designation 
as a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance does not mitigate the 
threats from habitat destruction (Factor A).

Summary of Factor D

    Ecuador has adopted numerous laws and regulatory mechanisms to 
administer and manage wildlife and their habitats. The Esmeraldas 
woodstar is protected under CITES, which we consider has been effective 
in mitigating the potential threat to this species from commercial 
trade (Factor B). Esmeraldas woodstar is listed as endangered and 
ranges within at least two protected areas (Machalilla National Park 
and Loma Alta Communal Ecological Reserve). However, on-the-ground 
enforcement of these laws and oversight of the local jurisdictions 
implementing and regulating activities is insufficient for these 
measures to be effective in conserving the Esmeraldas woodstar or its 
habitat. As discussed for Factor A, habitat destruction, degradation, 
and fragmentation continue throughout the species' range, including 
lands within protected areas. Therefore, we find that the existing 
regulatory mechanisms, as implemented, are inadequate to mitigate the 
primary threats to the Esmeraldas woodstar from habitat destruction 
(Factor A), predation (Factor C), or its small population size (Factor 
E).

E. Other Natural or Manmade Factors Affecting the Continued Existence 
of the Species

    Two additional factors affect the Esmeraldas woodstar: Its minimal 
likelihood for dispersal and the species' small population size.

[[Page 32346]]

    Likelihood to Disperse: The Esmeraldas woodstar is confined to 
locations within the Departments of Esmeraldas, Manab[iacute], and 
Guayas, in lowland moist forest patches that are disjunct and 
fragmented (BLI 2007f, pp. 1-3; del Hoyo et al. 1999, p. 678; Williams 
and Tobias 1991, p. 39). The distance between known occupied areas is 
between 125 and 200 km (78 and 124 mi), with minimal habitat between 
occupied sights (Best and Kessler 1995, p. 141). In light of the 
species' small overall population size and the distance between the 
remaining fragmented primary forested habitats, it is unlikely that the 
Esmeraldas woodstar would repopulate an isolated patch of suitable 
habitat following decline or extirpation of that patch (Hanski 1998, 
pp. 45-46).
    Small Population Size: The Esmeraldas woodstar inhabits a very 
small and severely fragmented range, which is decreasing rapidly in 
size due to habitat destruction and various other human factors (Collar 
et al. 1992, p. 533; Ridgely and Greenfield 2001a, pp. 389-390). 
Ongoing declines in the bird's population are linked to persistent 
habitat destruction (BLI 2007c, p. 2). Before the species was 
rediscovered in 1991, it was thought to be extinct after not being seen 
since 1912 (Ridgely and Greenfield 2001a, pp. 389-390). Subsequent 
surveys of previously known occupied areas have not been successful in 
locating the species on a consistent basis, and little is known of 
breeding habits or other activities during most of the year (Ridgely 
and Greenfield 2001a, pp. 389-390). Experts estimate that the species 
has undergone a 50-79 percent reduction in population size within the 
past 10 years and predict that this trend will continue (BLI 2007c, p. 
5). The current population estimate for this species is between 186 to 
373 birds, with a decreasing population trend (BLI 2007, pp. 2, 6).
    Small population sizes render species vulnerable to genetic risks 
that can have individual or population-level consequences on the 
genetic level and can increase the species' susceptibility to 
demographic problems, as explained in more detail above for the blue-
billed curassow (Factor E, Small Population Size) (Charlesworth and 
Charlesworth 1987, p. 238; Shaffer 1981, p. 131). Once a population is 
reduced below a certain number of individuals, it tends to rapidly 
decline towards extinction (Franklin 1980, pp. 147-148; Gilpin and 
Soul[eacute] 1986, p. 25; Holsinger 2000, pp. 64-65; Soul[eacute] 1987, 
p. 181).
    In the absence of quantitative studies specific to this species, a 
general approximation of minimum viable population size is the 50/500 
rule, as described above, as part of the Factor E analysis for the 
brown-banded antpitta (Shaffer 1981, pp. 132-133; Soul[eacute] 1980, 
pp. 160-162). The total population size of the Esmeraldas woodstar is 
estimated to be between 186 and 373 individuals. The lower estimate of 
186 individuals meets the theoretical threshold for the minimum 
effective population size required to avoid risks from inbreeding 
(Ne = 50 individuals). However, the upper limit of the 
population, 373 individuals, is below the minimum threshold 
(Ne = 500 individuals) required for long-term fitness of a 
population that will not lose its genetic diversity over time and will 
maintain an enhanced capacity to adapt to changing conditions.
    The Esmeraldas woodstar's restricted range combined with its small 
population size (Cuervo 2002, p. 138; Cuervo and Salaman 1999, p. 7; 
del Hoyo 1994, p. 361) makes the species particularly vulnerable to the 
threat of adverse natural (e.g., genetic, demographic, or 
environmental) and manmade (e.g., deforestation, habitat alteration, 
wildfire) events that destroy individuals and their habitat (Holsinger 
2000, pp. 64-65; Primack 1998, pp. 279-308; Young and Clarke 2000, pp. 
361-366). Therefore, we currently consider the single Esmeraldas 
woodstar population to be at risk due to the lack of long-term 
viability.

Summary of Factor E

    The Esmeraldas woodstar is currently limited to a few small 
populations within a limited habitat range, with a small estimated 
population size that leaves the species vulnerable to genetic and 
demographic risks that negatively impact its long-term viability. The 
species' population size is estimated to have declined considerably 
within the past 10 years (50-79 percent), and this rate of decline is 
expected to continue. Based on this information, we have determined 
that the species is particularly vulnerable to the threat of adverse 
natural (e.g., genetic, demographic, or predation) and manmade (e.g., 
slash-and-burn agriculture or infrastructural development) events that 
destroy individuals and their habitat, and that these genetic and 
demographic risks are exacerbated by ongoing habitat destruction 
(Factor A) and predation (Factor C).

Status Determination for the Esmeraldas Woodstar

    The four primary factors that threaten the survival of the 
Esmeraldas woodstar are: (1) habitat destruction, fragmentation, and 
degradation (Factor A); (2) predation (Factor C); (3) inadequate 
regulatory mechanisms (Factor D); and (4) limited size and isolation of 
remaining populations (Factor E). The Esmeraldas woodstar is a tiny 
hummingbird endemic to Ecuador. Esmeraldas woodstars are a rare, range-
restricted species with highly localized populations in three disjunct 
locations - in the Ecuadorean Departments of Esmeraldas, Guayas, and 
Manab[iacute]. The species occurs in lowland semi-humid or semi-
evergreen forests and woodlands, from sealevel to 500 m (1,600 ft) 
along the Coastal Cordillera of western Ecuador. Preferring primary 
evergreen forests, the species is also known to occupy low-altitude 
secondary-growth areas during the breeding season (December-March). The 
current extent of the species' range is approximately 1,155 km\2\ (446 
mi\2\).
    The primary threat to this species is habitat loss (Factor A), 
caused by widespread deforestation and conversion of primary forests 
for numerous human activities. The species' range has been reduced by 
99 percent. The semi-humid and semi-evergreen forests preferred by this 
species have undergone extensive deforestation. Habitat-altering 
activities that have occurred include: logging; cattle-raising and 
persistent grazing from goats and cattle; forest clearing for 
agriculture, subsistence farming, and small local industries; selective 
harvest of trees for fuelwood and non-timber products; road 
development; and pollution from industrial activities (Factors A). 
These activities are ongoing and occurring throughout the species' 
range - including within protected areas where the species occurs 
(Machalilla National Park, Isla de La Plata, and Loma Alta Communal 
Ecological Reserve). Because regulatory mechanisms are ineffective at 
reducing these activities (Factor D), habitat destruction and 
alteration are expected to continue.
    The species' population is estimated to have declined between 50 to 
79 percent within the last 10 years, a decline which is attributed to 
habitat loss. The Esmeraldas woodstar has a small estimated population 
size (between 186 and 373 individuals), which renders the species 
vulnerable to the threat of adverse natural (e.g., genetic, 
demographic, or predation) and manmade (e.g., slash-and-burn 
agriculture or infrastructural development) events that destroy 
individuals and their habitat (Factor E). In addition, the direct loss 
of habitat through widespread deforestation and conversion for human 
activities has led to habitat fragmentation and isolation of

[[Page 32347]]

the remaining populations of the Esmeraldas woodstar. The Esmeraldas 
woodstar currently occupies three disjunct, isolated patches that are 
separated by large distances (between 125 and 200 km (78 and 124 mi)), 
with minimal suitable habitat between occupied sites. Given the 
species' small population size and the distance between the remaining 
fragmented primary forested habitats, the species is unlikely to 
repopulate an isolated patch of suitable habitat following decline or 
extirpation of the species within that patch (Factor E). This renders 
the species particularly vulnerable to local extirpation from ongoing 
habitat destruction (Factor A) and predation (Factor C).
    Esmeraldas woodstars are vulnerable to predation by a variety of 
predators, including domestic and feral cats, rats, hawks, owls, 
snakes, praying mantis, spiders, bees, wasps, frogs, and largemouth 
bass (Factor C). Habitat fragmentation (Factor A) contributes to this 
vulnerability, because research indicates that predation increases with 
increased habitat fragmentation and smaller patch sizes. Predation 
leads to the direct removal of eggs, juveniles, and adults from the 
population, exacerbating risks associated with the species' small 
population size. Esmeraldas woodstars are particularly vulnerable to 
predation by wild cats during the breeding season on Isla de La Plata, 
where cats have been known to prey particularly upon bird eggs. 
Esmeraldas woodstars produce a low clutch size (see Habitat and Life 
History), and predation can remove potentially reproductive adults from 
the breeding pool.
    The Esmeraldas woodstar is classified as an endangered species 
under Ecuadorian law, and part of the species' range is included within 
two protected areas. Despite numerous laws and regulatory mechanisns to 
administer and manage wildlife and their habitats, existing laws are 
inadequate (Factor D) to protect the species and its habitat from 
ongoing habitat loss (Factor A) and predation by non-native animals 
(Factor C), even within the protected areas.
    We have carefully assessed the best available scientific and 
commercial information regarding the past, present, and potential 
future threats faced by the Esmeraldas woodstar. We consider the 
ongoing threats to the Esmeraldas woodstar, habitat loss (Factor A) and 
predation (Factor C), exacerbated by the species' small population size 
and limited dispersal ability (Factor E), and compounded by inadequate 
regulatory mechanisms (Factor D), to be equally present and of the same 
magnitude throughout the species' entire current range. Based on this 
information, we conclude that the Esmeraldas woodstar is endangered 
throughout its range. Therefore, we are proposing to list the 
Esmeraldas woodstar as an endangered species.

Available Conservation Measures

    Conservation measures provided to species listed as endangered or 
threatened under the Act include recognition, requirements for Federal 
protection, and prohibitions against certain practices. Recognition 
through listing results in public awareness, and encourages and results 
in conservation actions by national governments, private agencies and 
groups, and individuals.
    Section 7(a) of the Act, as amended, and as implemented by 
regulations at 50 CFR part 402, requires Federal agencies to evaluate 
their actions within the United States or on the high seas with respect 
to any species that is proposed or listed as endangered or threatened, 
and with respect to its critical habitat, if any is being designated. 
However, given that the blue-billed curassow, the brown-banded 
antpitta, the Cauca guan, the gorgeted wood-quail, and the Esmeraldas 
woodstar are not native to the United States, no critical habitat is 
being proposed for designation with this rule.
    Section 8(a) of the Act authorizes limited financial assistance for 
the development and management of programs that the Secretary of the 
Interior determines to be necessary or useful for the conservation of 
endangered and threatened species in foreign countries. Sections 8(b) 
and 8(c) of the Act authorize the Secretary to encourage conservation 
programs for foreign endangered species and to provide assistance for 
such programs in the form of personnel and the training of personnel.
    The Act and its implementing regulations set forth a series of 
general prohibitions and exceptions that apply to all endangered and 
threatened wildlife. Consequently, these prohibitions would be 
applicable to the blue-billed curassow, the brown-banded antpitta, the 
Cauca guan, the gorgeted wood-quail, and the Esmeraldas woodstar. These 
prohibitions, under 50 CFR 17.21, make it illegal for any person 
subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to ``take'' (take 
includes harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, 
collect, or to attempt any of these) within the United States or upon 
the high seas, import or export, deliver, receive, carry, transport, or 
ship in interstate or foreign commerce in the course of a commercial 
activity or to sell or offer for sale in interstate or foreign 
commerce, any endangered wildlife species. It also is illegal to 
possess, sell, deliver, carry, transport, or ship any such wildlife 
that has been taken in violation of the Act. Certain exceptions apply 
to agents of the Service and State conservation agencies.
    We may issue permits to carry out otherwise prohibited activities 
involving endangered and threatened wildlife species under certain 
circumstances. Regulations governing permits are codified at 50 CFR 
17.22 for endangered species, and at 17.32 for threatened species. With 
regard to endangered wildlife, a permit must be issued for the 
following purposes: for scientific purposes, to enhance the propagation 
or survival of the species, and for incidental take in connection with 
otherwise lawful activities.

Peer Review

    In accordance with our joint policy with the National Marine 
Fisheries Service, ``Notice of Interagency Cooperative Policy for Peer 
Review in Endangered Species Act Activities,'' published in the Federal 
Register on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 34270), we will seek the expert 
opinions of at least three appropriate independent specialists 
regarding this proposed rule. The purpose of peer review is to ensure 
that our final determination is based on scientifically sound data, 
assumptions, and analyses. We will send copies of this proposed rule to 
the peer reviewers immediately following publication in the Federal 
Register. We will invite these peer reviewers to comment during the 
public comment period on our specific assumptions and conclusions 
regarding the proposal to list the blue-billed curassow, the Cauca 
guan, the gorgeted wood-quail, the brown-banded antpitta, and the 
Esmeraldas woodstar as endangered.
    We will consider all comments and information we receive during the 
comment period on this proposed rule during our preparation of a final 
determination. Accordingly, our final decision may differ from this 
proposal.

Public Hearings

    The Act provides for one or more public hearings on this proposal, 
if we receive any requests for hearings. We must receive your request 
for a public hearing within 45 days after the date of this Federal 
Register publication (see DATES). Such requests must be made in writing 
and be addressed to the Chief of the Branch of Listing at the address 
shown in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. We will schedule 
public hearings on this proposal, if any

[[Page 32348]]

are requested, and announce the dates, times, and places of those 
hearings, as well as how to obtain reasonable accommodations, in the 
Federal Register at least 15 days before the first hearing.

Required Determinations

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

    We have determined that environmental assessments and environmental 
impact statements, as defined under the authority of the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), need not be 
prepared in connection with regulations adopted under section 4(a) of 
the Act. We published a notice outlining our reasons for this 
determination in the Federal Register on October 25, 1983 (48 FR 
49244).

Clarity of the Rule

    We are required by Executive Orders 12866 and 12988, and by the 
Presidential Memorandum of June 1, 1998, to write all rules in plain 
language. This means that each rule we publish must:
    (a) be logically organized;
    (b) use the active voice to address readers directly;
    (c) use clear language rather than jargon;
    (d) be divided into short sections and sentences; and
    (e) use lists and tables wherever possible.
    If you feel that we have not met these requirements, send us 
comments by one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section. To 
better help us revise the rule, your comments should be as specific as 
possible. For example, you should tell us the numbers of the sections 
or paragraphs that are unclearly written, which sections or sentences 
are too long, or the sections where you feel lists or tables would be 
useful.

References Cited

    The references cited in this proposed rule are available on the 
Internet at http://www.regulations.gov or upon request from the Branch 
of Listing, Endangered Species Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
(see FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT).

Author(s)

    The primary authors of this proposed rule are Arnold Roessler of 
the Endangered Species Program (Sacramento, California) and Dr. 
Patricia De Angelis of the Division of Scientific Authority U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17

    Endangered and threatened species, Exports, Imports, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Transportation.

Proposed Regulation Promulgation

    Accordingly, we propose to amend part 17, subchapter B of chapter 
I, title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as set forth below:

PART 17--[AMENDED]

    1. The authority citation for part 17 continues to read as follows:
    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1361-1407; 16 U.S.C. 1531-1544; 16 U.S.C. 
4201-4245; Pub. L. 99-625, 100 Stat. 3500; unless otherwise noted.
    2. Amend Sec.  17.11(h), by adding new entries for ``Curassow, 
blue-billed,''``Guan, Cauca,''``Wood-quail, Gorgeted,''``Antpitta, 
Brown-banded,'' and ``Woodstar, Esmeraldas'' in alphabetical order 
under BIRDS to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife to read 
as follows:
    Sec.  17.11 Endangered and threatened wildlife.
* * * * *
    (h) Birds.
* * * * *

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    Species                                           Vertebrate
------------------------------------------------                   population where                                         Critical
                                                  Historic range     endangered  or       Status         When  listed       habitat       Special rules
         Common name            Scientific name                       threatened
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* * * * * * * BIRDS                                                                                                                      ...............
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* * * * * * *                                                                                                                            ...............
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Antpitta, brown-banded         Grallaria         Columbia, South   Entire            E                                  NA               NA
                                milleri           America
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* * * * * * *                                                                                                                            ...............
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Curassow, blue-billed          Crax alberti      Columbia, South   Entire            E                                  NA               NA
                                                  America
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* * * * * * *                                                                                                                            ...............
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Guan, cauca                    Penelope          Columbia, South   Entire            E                                  NA               NA
                                perspicax         America
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* * * * * * *                                                                                                                            ...............
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Wood-quail, gorgeted           Odontophorus      Columbia, South   Entire            E                                  NA               NA
                                strophium         America
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* * * * * * *                                                                                                                            ...............
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Woodstar, Esmeraldas           Chaetocercus      Ecuador, South    Entire            E                                  NA               NA
                                berlepschi        America
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* * * * * * *                                                                                                                            ...............
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 32349]]


    Dated: May 28, 2009
Rowan W. Gould
Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
[FR Doc. E9-15826 Filed 7-6- 09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-S