The highland guan is a species of bird in the family Cracidae. It is found in the highlands of El Salvador, Honduras, southern Mexico, Nicaragua, its natural habitat is tropical moist montane forest. Its population has declined much in recent times: Listed as a species of Least Concern in 1994, it was uplisted to Near Threatened in 2000 and, as it was determined to be less common than believed, to Vulnerable in the 2007 IUCN Red List; the highland guan grows to a length of 590 to 650 millimetres. The plumage of the male is black, the upper parts glossed with green or blue, the underparts rather duller; the iris of the eye is reddish-brown and there is reddish-brown or purplish bare skin around and behind the eye. The beak, the bare skin on the throat, the large wattle, the legs and feet are reddish-orange; the female, by contrast, is black mottled and barred with reddish-brown and cinnamon, with a red beak and bare skin round the beak, purplish bare skin round the eye. The three syntype specimens of Penelope niger Fraser are held in the collections of National Museums Liverpool at World Museum, with accession numbers D484 and D484a and D484b.
The specimens came to the Liverpool national collection via the 13th Earl of Derby’s collection, bequeathed to the people of Liverpool in 1851. D484 and D484a were purchased from Mess. Leadbeater in September 1843 while D484b died at the menagerie at Knowsley Hall on 5 August 1850; the highland guan is found on either side of the mountain ranges in Central America. In Mexico it is uncommon, it is common in some localities in Guatemala, but rather rarer in Honduras, north-central Nicaragua and El Salvador, it may be extinct in El Salvador. Its habitat is humid broad-leaved mountain forests cloud forests and pine-oak forests, but it has been observed in secondary forests and plantations; the bird forages in the trees and on the leaf litter. The highland guan is thought to be decreasing in numbers; the main threats it faces are the destruction of its forest habitat, being hunted for food. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has assessed its conservation status as "vulnerable". BirdLife International:.
Retrieved 26 August 2007. BirdLife International: Highland Guan - BirdLife Species Factsheet. Retrieved 26 August 2007
Austin Stevens: Snakemaster is a nature documentary television series hosted by herpetologist and filmmaker, Austin Stevens, broadcast on Animal Planet in the United States and 5 in the United Kingdom. Most of the footage was filmed in HD format with certain episodes featuring sequences of time-slice photography. In the second season, the series was retooled as Austin Stevens Adventures and began focusing on other animals besides just snakes, such as hyenas and grizzly bears, among many others. Austin Stevens is a South African national, living in Australia; as a wildlife photographer and documentarian, he travels on assignment, documenting his activities finding and photographing snakes. During each episode, he searches for a certain species, while encountering and photographing a variety of other snakes along the way. Beginning in season 2, the series was retooled as Austin Stevens Adventures, took a different approach. In a similar vein to fellow Animal Planet series, The Crocodile Hunter and The Jeff Corwin Experience, the show began focusing on other animals as well, other than just snakes.
Three episodes from Season 1, Man-Eating Python, Giant Lizard, Monster Rattlers, were released on DVD in North America. The King Cobra episode was released on VHS as "Snake Bite: In Search of the King Cobra". Several episodes were released on Blu-ray in Germany. Austin Stevens: Snakemaster Animal Planet Fansite Austin Stevens Official Website