Cuban snail harrier

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Cuban snail harrier
Class : Birds (aves)
Order : Birds of prey (Accipitriformes)
Family : Hawk species (Accipitridae)
Subfamily : Honey buzzards (Perninae)
Genre : Long-billed harrier ( Chondrohierax )
Type : Cuban snail harrier
Scientific name
Chondrohierax wilsonii
( Cassin , 1847)

The Kuba-Schneckenweihe ( Chondrohierax wilsonii ), also known as Wilson's long -billed harrier or Kuba-Langschnabelweih , is an extremely rare bird of prey from the hawk-like family . Originally it was regarded as a subspecies of the Long-billed Weihs ( Chondrohierax uncinatus ), which is distributed from Mexico to South America . The Cuban snail harrier is restricted to a very small area in eastern Cuba . The species was named by John Cassin in honor of Alexander Wilson .


The Cuban snail harrier reaches a length of 38 to 43 centimeters. In the male, the wing length is 240 to 244 millimeters, in the females 250 to 262 millimeters. The male is light gray on top. The collar is banded in light gray. The chest and lower abdomen are banded whitish and gray to reddish brown. The female has a brown underside and a brownish-gray head. The collar, chest and underside have tight, brownish banding. The young birds are black on the upper side and whitish on the underside and on the buttocks. Both sexes are characterized by a massive yellow beak and yellow-green eyes. The gray tail shows three black bands and a light tail tip.

Habitat and way of life

The Kuba-Schneckenweihe lives in gallery forests in the mountain regions in the east of Cuba in the Alexander von Humboldt National Park and the Cuchillas del Toa biosphere reserve between Moa and Baracoa . It feeds on tree snails of the genus Polymita as well as on other snail species. It used to be found in regions with xerophytic vegetation and in mountain forests.


The nature conservation organization BirdLife International is currently estimating between 50 and 250 specimens. After a last reliable sighting in 2001, the Cuban ornithologist Nils Pacheco succeeded in rediscovery in 2009 and provided a photographic evidence. Since 2006, employees of the Centro Oriental de Biodiversidad y Ecosistemas, Santiago de Cuba and the Zoological Society for Species and Population Protection e. V. to determine exact inventory figures. The main threat is habitat destruction through clearing and conversion into agriculturally used areas. In addition, many farmers assume the mistaken belief that the Cuban snail harrier would attack domestic poultry. Another reason is the overharvesting of the tree snails. The Cuban snail harrier is listed in Appendix II of the CITES agreement.


  • J. Ferguson-Lees, DA Christie: Raptors of the World. Christopher Helm, London 2001. ISBN 0-7136-8026-1

Web links