Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Hottentot Buttonquail Turnix hottentottus: Endangered or just overlooked?

  • ALAN T. K. LEE (a1), BRIAN REEVES (a2) and DALE. R. WRIGHT (a3)
Summary

There is remarkably little documented information in the scientific literature on any of the 18 species of buttonquail as they are very difficult to observe in the wild. This lack of information has hampered informed conservation decision making. We undertook the first biome-wide survey for the fynbos endemic Hottentot Buttonquail Turnix hottentottus, using flush transect surveys covering 275 km. We used location data for sightings as well as from records reported by the bird-watching community and modelled distribution using MaxEnt. Encounters were restricted to the fynbos biome, and the top contributors to our prediction of suitable habitat were habitat transformation, slope and time since fire. We obtained a density estimate of 0.032 individuals per hectare which, across an estimated median range of 27,855 km2, provides a population estimate of 89,136 individuals. Given the extent of the range and the population estimate we suggest the IUCN Red List status could be ‘Vulnerable’, rather than ‘Endangered’. Agricultural and alien-vegetation encroachment means that the future of the species is certainly under threat and further studies are needed to inform conservation management.

Copyright
Corresponding author
*Author for correspondence; email: alan.tk.lee@googlemail.com
References
Hide All
Arizaga, J., Deán, J. I., Vilches, A., Alonso, D. and Mendiburu, A. (2011) Monitoring communities of small birds: a comparison between mist-netting and counting. Bird Study 58: 291301.
BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world: 2004. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Turnix hottentottus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 30/06/2016.
Blackshaw, J. and Blackshaw, N. (1998) Blackrumped Buttonquail at Betty’s Bay. Promerops 234: 12.
Brooke, R. K. (1984) South African red data book–birds. Foundation for Research Development: CSIR.
Cowling, R. (1995) Fynbos: South Africa’s unique floral kingdom. Cape Town: University of Cape Town.
Cowling, R. M. (1992) The ecology of fynbos: nutrients, fire and diversity. Cape Town,: Oxford University Press Southern Africa.
Cowling, R. M., Richardson, D. and Mustart, P. J. (1997) Fynbos. Ppp. 99–130 in: Cowling, R. M., Richardson, D. M. and Pierce, S. M., eds. Vegetation of southern Africa. Cape Town: Cambridge University Press.
Dean, W. (2005) Hottentot Buttonquail Turnix hottentottus. P. 121 in: Hockey, P., Dean, W. and Ryan, P., eds. Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, VIIth ed. Cape Town: The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund.
Debus, S. and Bonan, A. (2016) Buttonquails (Turnicidae). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D. A. and de Juana, E., eds. Handbook of the birds of the world alive. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. (Retrieved from http://www.hbw.com/node/52225 on 30 June 2016).
Debus, S. J. S. (1996) Family Turnicidae (Buttonquails). Pp. 44–59 in: Del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Sargatal, J., eds. Handbook of the birds of the world. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions.
Dowsett, R. and Dowsett-Lemaire, F. (1993) A contribution to the distribution and taxonomy of Afrotropical and Malagasy birds. Liège, Belgium: Tauraco Press.
Fraser, M. W. (1990) Effects of natural vegetation, fire and alien plant invasion on bird species assemblages in mountain fynbos of the southwestern Cape Province, South Africa. Cape Town: University of Cape Town.
Gill, F. and Donsker, D. (2014) IOC World Bird List (version 4.3).
Hijmans, R. J., Cameron, S. E., Parra, J. L., Jones, P. G. and Jarvis, A. (2005) Very high resolution interpolated climate surfaces for global land areas. Internatn. J. Climatol. 25: 19651978.
IUCN (2012) IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria: Version 3.1. Second edition. Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK: IUCN.
IUCN Standards and Petitions Subcommittee (2017) Guidelines for using the IUCN Red List categories and criteria. Version 13. Prepared by the Standards and Petitions Subcommittee. Downloadable from http://www.iucnredlist.org/documents/RedListGuidelines.pdf.
Lee, A. (2013) Fynbos enigma – Hottentot Buttonquail in the Kouga Mountains. African Birdlife 1: 2022.
Lee, A. T., Barnard, P. and Hockey, P. A. (2015) Population metrics for fynbos birds, South Africa: densities, and detection and capture rates from a Mediterranean-type ecosystem. Ostrich: 19.
Lee, A. T. K., Altwegg, R. E. S. and Barnard, P. (2017) Estimating conservation metrics from atlas data: the case of southern African endemic birds. Bird Conserv. Internatn. 27: 323336.
Lee, A. T. K., Wright, D. R. and Reeves, B. (2018) Habitat variables associated with encounters of Hottentot Buttonquail Turnix hottentottus during flush surveys across the fynbos biome. Ostrich. 89: 1318.
Lotz, C. (2013) BirdLife South Africa checklist of birds in South Africa 2013. Johannesburg: BirdLife South Africa.
Lotz, C., Allan, D., Bowie, R., Chittenden, H., Cohen, C., Dowsett, B., Gibbon, G., Hardaker, T., Marais, E., Peacock, F., Retief, E., Ryan, P., Smit-Robinson, H. and Taylor, M. (2014) Checklist of Birds in South Africa available at: http://www.birdlife.org.za/publications/checklists, BirdLife South Africa, Johannesburg.
Masterson, A. (1973) Notes on the Hottentot Buttonquail. Honeyguide 74: 1216.
Mucina, L. and Rutherford, M. C. (2006) The vegetation of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Pretoria: South African National Biodiversity Institute.
Myers, N., Mittermeier, R. A., Mittermeier, C. G., da Fonseca, G. A. B. and Kent, J. (2000) Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities. Nature 403: 853.
Peterson, A. T., Papeş, M. and Soberón, J. (2008) Rethinking receiver operating characteristic analysis applications in ecological niche modeling. Ecological Modelling 213: 6372.
Phillips, S. J., Anderson, R. P. and Schapire, R. E. (2006) Maximum entropy modeling of species geographic distributions. Ecological modelling 190: 231259.
Qiao, H., Peterson, A. T., Campbell, L. P., Soberón, J., Ji, L. and Escobar, L. E. (2016) NicheA: creating virtual species and ecological niches in multivariate environmental scenarios. Ecography 39: 805813.
Rebelo, A. and Siegfried, W. (1990) Protection of fynbos vegetation: ideal and real-world options. Biol. Conserv. 54: 1531.
Ryan, P. and Hockey, P. (1995) Is the hottentot buttonquail really endangered? Ostrich 66: 9293.
Sibley, C. and Monroe, B. (1990) Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world, New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press.
Tarboton, W. (2011) Roberts nests & eggs of southern African birds. Cape Town: John Voelcker Bird Book Fund.
Taylor, M. R., Peacock, D. S. and Wanless, R. M. (2015) The Eskom Red Data Book of birds of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Johannesburg: BirdLife South Africa.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Bird Conservation International
  • ISSN: 0959-2709
  • EISSN: 1474-0001
  • URL: /core/journals/bird-conservation-international
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×
Type Description Title
WORD
Supplementary materials

Lee et al. supplementary material
Table S1 and Figures S1a-S3

 Word (1.5 MB)
1.5 MB

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 6
Total number of PDF views: 22 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 334 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 2nd April 2018 - 20th September 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.