The Venezuelan Wood-Quail (Odontophorus columbianus) is an endemic species of Venezuela that dwells in the humid forests of the northern coastal mountain range and southeastern Andes. Its biology, ecology and conservation status are poorly known. The aim of this study was to establish quantitative relationships between the presence and absence of the species and habitat features in the humid forest of Henri Pittier National Park, Aragua State, Venezuela. Twenty-six habitat variables were recorded in 20 plots located at places where quails were observed while foraging and compared with those of 22 plots located at random in areas where quails were not observed. Principal component analysis and logistic regression were used to identify the relevant set of variables determining the presence or absence of the species. The best predictive variables were high frequency of non-palm monocots, high vertical foliage density, and low frequency of palms (Bactris spp). The logistic model allows one to predict the presence or absence of quails in similar areas to those of our study with probabilities of 0.80 and 0.86, respectively. This type of habitat analysis may help in the designing of future research and management plans for this and other elusive, poorly known species.
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Vol. 73 • No. 3