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The unique White-necked picathartes

The White-necked Picathartes (Pica-thartes gymnocephalus) is endemic to the Upper Guinea rainforests and is clas-sified as Vulnerable by BirdLife Interna-tional on the 2007 IUCN Red List. Unique ground-loving birds, they are resident in lowland forest, hill forest, and secondary scrub with large boulders and caves in-side the forest for them to use for nesting and roosting often as a colony. They fo-rage in pairs or groups on the forest floor in a strange bouncing manner and return to rock to roost communally at night.

The species now has a highly fragmented distribution, the majority of breeding co-lonies are extremely small and isolated, and many are close to the minimum for long-term viability. Forest throughout its range is disappearing rapidly, leading to further fragmentation and rapid decline of remaining populations, and trap-ping is a serious threat. A 2007 survey in GRNP, KHFR and the buffer zone found a total of 109 active nests at 35 active sites, with half the sites located outside the protected areas.