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Plantcutters: Phytotomidae

Physical Characteristics, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Peruvian Plantcutter (phytotoma Raimondii): Species AccountsGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, PLANTCUTTERS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS


The Peruvian plantcutter lives only in the dry forest and scrublands of Peru's northwest coasts. The rufous-tailed and red-breasted plantcutters occupy a larger area, and may be found in Argentina's southern temperate zone and Chile, and north to subtropical Bolivia and Paraguay.

The Peruvian plantcutter lives exclusively in the dry forests of Peru's northwest coast, whereas the rufous-tailed and red-breasted varieties live mainly in open farmland, grassland, open forest, and scrubland.

South American farmers and vintners (grape growers) often complain about plantcutter raids on their grape and cereal crops. However, tourist revenue from avid birdwatchers hoping for a glimpse of the rare Peruvian plantcutter helps to offset any animosity.

While the red-breasted and rufous-tailed plantcutters vigorously occupy a large area of South America, the Peruvian plantcutter is one of the most Endangered birds in the world, facing a very high risk of extinction, because of the rapid destruction of its small habitat for grazing, mining, and agriculture.

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Animal Life ResourceBirds