The Biological and Cultural Significance of the Resplendent Quetzal

This topic submitted by Amy Seitz ( at 9:15 PM on 3/14/05.

A swim in a tropical stream, Corcovado Natl Park.

Tropical Field Courses -Western Program-Miami University

The discussion will include background information, reproductive and feeding behavior, general biological significance and historical information of the Resplendent Quetzal. Conservation efforts that focus on their altitudal migration pattern will also be discussed. I chose the quetzal because this species is declining, it is important to learn about the conservation efforts that are taking place within Monteverde; and because of its interesting historical/cultural significance to the Mayan and Aztec.

I. Biological Background
a. Family Trogonidae
i. Pharomachrus mocinno
b. Physical description
c. Description of Habitat
d. Behavioral Characteristics
i. Reproduction nesting activities
ii. Migration
II. Biological significance
a. Frugivorous
i. Seed dispersal
1. co-evolution with lauraceae trees
III. Cultural significance
a. Mayans
b. Aztec
IV. Risks near threatened
a. Deforestation
b. Hunting for feathers
c. Poaching for trade
V. Conservation efforts
a. Migration habitat protection
b. Conservation through education

Powell, George. 1994. Implications of altitudinal migration for conservation strategies to protect tropical biodiversity: A case study of the Resplendent Quetzal Pharmachrus mocinno at Monteverde, Costa Rica. Conservation Biology. Vol 4: (2-3) 161-174.

Powell, George. 1995. Implications of intratropical migration on reserve design: A case study using Pharomachrus mocinno. Conservation Biology. Vol 9: (2) 354-362.

Wenny, Daniel. 2000. Seed dispersal, seed predation and seedling recruitment of a Neotropical montane tree. Ecological Monographs. Vol 70: (2) 331-351.

Wheelwright, Nathaniel. 1983. Fruits and the ecology of Resplendent Quetzals Pharomachrus mocinno. The Auk. Vol 100: (2) 286-301.

Hernandez, Avila; De Lourdes, Maria. 1998. The quetzal and its conservation in the Mexican southeast. Wilson Bulletin. Vol 110: (4) 559.

Lopez, Wagner. Cloud Forest Alive - About the Quetzal. Viewed on 3/14/05.

IUCN Red List of Threatened species. Viewed on 3/14/05

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