Family Turacos (Musophagidae)

Least Concern

Rwenzori Turaco (Gallirex johnstoni)


French: Touraco du Rwenzori German: Kammschnabelturako Spanish: Turaco del Rwenzori

Gallirex johnstoni


, 1901,

Mt Rwenzori


Previously included in Ruwenzorornis. Has been placed with G. porphyreolophus in Musophaga by some authors; recent phylogenetic study, however, indicates that these two species belong together in a separate genus#R. Subspecies bredoi sometimes considered synonymous with nominate, but appears to be worthy of recognition#R. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • G. j. johnstoni Sharpe, 1901 – Rwenzori Mts in NE DRCongo and SW Uganda; also E DRCongo at Mulu (NW of L Edward).
  • G. j. kivuensis (Neumann, 1908) – montane forests of Kivu Highlands (E DRCongo), Virunga Volcanoes and Nyungwe Forest (Rwanda and Burundi), and SW Uganda (Bwindi and Mgahinga National Parks).
  • G. j. bredoi (Verheyen, 1947) – Mt Kabobo, in E DRCongo (at NC part of W shore of L Tanganyika).
  • Descriptive notes

    c. 45 cm; 211–259 g. Might be confused only with G. porphyreolophus (slight geographical overlap), but differs in several characters (chin and throat... read more


    Unmistakable monkey-like, thin, “chk-chk-chk...” or “ik, ik, ik, krowng”, which is quite unlike... read more


    Montane forests, generally favouring those areas dominated by bamboo and Podocarpus, at... read more

    Food and feeding

    Fruits and berries, notably those of Ficus, Galiniera, Maesa, Musanga, Olea, Olinia... read more


    Breeds May in Uganda (where female in breeding condition in Dec and downy young in Jun or Jul), May–Nov in E Zaire, Oct–Nov in... read more


    Sedentary throughout its range, but in Rwenzori Mts. perhaps moves to lower elevations during... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Although confined to the montane forests of the Albertine Rift, this distinctive species appears to be fairly common throughout its rather restricted... read more

    Recommended citation

    Turner, D.A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Rwenzori Turaco (Gallirex johnstoni). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 19 November 2019).