Locally called the “Pawi”, the Trinidad Piping-Guan is a glossy, black, turkey-like bird, with bold, pale blue facial skin and a white shoulder patch on the wing coverts. Its black and white crest is often concealed.
This mostly arboreal guan is found mainly in primary forest, but has also recently been sighted in disturbed forests and small-scale agricultural areas.
Once found everywhere on the island, Trinidad’s only endemic bird now stands on the verge of extinction due to loss of its habitat to agriculture and logging, along with illegal hunting. Its critically endangered status and confinement to one remaining area qualify it as an Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE)-listed species.
In July 2010, a Pawi Species Recovery Strategy was devised. Recommendations include working with local residents to reduce hunting pressure, clearly marking the boundaries of protected areas, and developing strategies to improve locals’ livelihoods while reducing threats to Pawi habitat. More information is available from The Pawi Study Group.
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