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#Natureology Species of the Day – Marvellous Spatuletail (Loddigesia mirabilis)

January 1, 2013

Marvellous Spatuletail is a  uncommon, medium-sized (up to 15 cm long) white, green and bronze hummingbird adorned with blue crest feathers, a brilliant turquoisegorget, and a black line on its white underparts. It is sexually dimorphic. It is the only member of the monotypic genus Loddigesia .

Marvellous Spatuletail is a endangered peruvian endemic and most recent records of this species from just two locations and the known range is very small. Best-known population seems to be restricted to the eastern slopes of the río Utcubamba valley (an affluent on the right bank of the río Marañón) in the Cordillera del Colán, Amazonas, and one locality further east in San Martín, north Peru. Population is estimated to number 250-999 mature individuals that seems to be declining.

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Marvellous Spatuletail occurs in forest edge, second growth, montane scrub and, in particular, thorny, impenetrable Rubus thickets admixed with Alnus trees, at 2,100-2,900 m. Its preferred food-plant is the red-flowered lily Alstroemeria (Bomarea) formosissima, but it has been observed feeding on at least five species of flowering plant. Deforestation is widespread on the mountain slopes of the Cordillera del Colán, with much habitat cleared since 1978, and remaining forest under threat of conversion to cash-crops such as marijuana and coffee.

In 2006, American Bird Conservancy provided Peruvian conservation partner ECOAN with support to sign a conservation easement with the Pomacochas Community to protect and manage about 100 acres (0.40 km2) of significant habitat for the Marvelous Spatuletail hummingbird. Several organisations are currently working in partnership to conduct an education programme, survey additional sites and raise funds for land acquisition

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 1, 2013 9:08 pm

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