Green Racquet-tail


Green Racquet-tail

Prioniturus luconensis Scientific name definitions

  • EN Endangered
  • Names (15)
  • Monotypic

Identification

29 cm. Bill pale greyish; yellowish green on head and underparts, slightly darker on wings and tail, with spatules blackish and lateral feathers above dark blue tipped black. Female less yellowish. Immature lacks spatules.

Systematics History

Part of the P. discurus clade (see that species). Monotypic.

Subspecies

Monotypic.

Distribution

N & C Luzon and Marinduque, in N Philippines.

Habitat

Canopy of primary forest and edge, occasionally foraging out in open cultivated areas, in lowlands and foothills, e.g. in Sierra Madre at 300–700 m. Recorded recently from selectively logged and degraded forest, but ability to persist in such habitat unclear.

Movement

No information.

Diet and Foraging

Fruit, particularly bananas, flowers and seeds of growing corn, and rice.

Sounds and Vocal Behavior

When perched, utters several harsh nasal screeches, often metallically modulated at the end, e.g. “rrraaa-wheeoleeoah”. Also short grating screeches and higher-pitched squeaky notes.

Breeding

Young obtained in May.

Conservation Status

ENDANGERED. CITES II. A BirdLife “restricted-range” species, endemic to the Philippines. Now appears to be restricted to Luzon: there are no recent records from Marinduque, where it is feared extinct .

Once common, the combination of habitat loss and trade has rendered this species very uncommon and local, with a single good population protected, at Subic Bay Naval Forest Reserve. Recorded at only seven out of 29 historic sites in the last 10 years; although possibly a due to poor census coverage, this may be a real range contraction.

Apparently extirpated from former strongholds such as Quezon National Park, Bataan Natural Park and Angat Dam. Based on surveys in 2009–2010 , the total population is estimated to comprise fewer than 2500 mature birds with no more than 250 in each sub-population. Taking into account the effects of continued trapping and habitat degradation, the species was uplisted from Vulnerable to Endangered in 2014 .


Like it? Share with your friends!