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PERUVIAN PLANTCUTTER } Phytotoma raimondi

RANGE: Coastal northern Peru from Tumbus to Lima

STATUS: The World Conservation Union lists the Peruvian plantcutter as Endangered.

THREATS: Conversion of coastal river valleys to cultivation, removal of the shrub layer by grazing goats, and burning and logging for firewood and charcoal

This songbird lives along Peru’s coast from Tumbus to Lima. It is found in desert scrub, riparian thicket, and low woodlands, up to 1,800 feet in elevation. The number of Peruvian plantcutters living in the wild is estimated at 250 to 1,000 birds and declining. Recent records are from only four areas, and the Peruvian plantcutter is absent from much apparently suitable habitat. The species inhabits an extremely small and fragmented range, and its remaining habitat is subject to rapid and continuing destruction and degradation. The International Council for Bird Preservation petitioned to list this species as Threatened or Endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act in 1991.

Photo by J. Flanagan (NCI/www.darwinnet.org)