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Band-tailed Guan Penelope argyrotis
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This species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.
SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #

Distribution and population
This taxon comprises three subspecies, two of which are restricted to single mountain ranges (Strahl et al. 1994). The nominate race is uncommon to fairly common in north Colombia, although there are few recent records (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999), and north and west Venezuela. This subspecies has a population of less than 50,000 individuals, divided into several subpopulations, of which at least two are declining (Hilty and Brown 1986, Strahl et al. 1994, Strahl and Silva 1997). The race albicauda has a population of less than 10,000 individuals in the Sierra de Perijá in north-east Colombia and north-west Venezuela (Strahl et al. 1994). The race colombiana also has a population of less than 10,000 individuals and occurs in the Santa Marta mountains, north Colombia (Strahl et al. 1994).

Population justification
Strahl et al. (1994)

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction in parts of its range, especially Colombia (del Hoyo et al. 1994).

The species primarily inhabits dense montane evergreen forest in subtropical and upper tropical zones, often nesting in Rubraceae tree species, but is occasionally observed in tall secondary growth, coffee plantations and the upper edges of drier forest, at elevations of 800-2,400 m, and locally from 350-3,050 m (del Hoyo et al. 1994).

Populations in the Sierra de Perijá in north-east Colombia and north-west Venezuela (race albicauda) are threatened through deforested for cattle-ranching and narcotics cultivation (Stattersfield et al. 1998). Populations in the Santa Marta mountains, north Colombia (race colombiana) are threatened by agricultural expansion, logging, burning, illegal agriculture and retaliatory herbicide spraying by the government (Dinerstein et al. 1995, Stattersfield et al. 1998). Most subpopulations are threatened by hunting for food and habitat loss, with the nominate race hunted for sport, despite virtually all occurring within national parks or forest preserves (Strahl et al. 1994, Strahl and Silva 1997). Only 15% of the sierra's original vegetation remains unaltered, suggesting that the formal designation of protected areas has not provided effective protection (Stattersfield et al. 1998).

Related state of the world's birds case studies

Dinerstein, E.; Olson, D. M.; Graham, D. J.; Webster, A. L.; Primm, S. A.; Bookbinder, M. P.; Ledec, G. 1995. A conservation assesssment of the terrestrial ecoregions of Latin America and the Caribbean. World Bank, Washington, D.C.

Stotz, D. F.; Fitzpatrick, J. W.; Parker, T. A.; Moskovits, D. K. 1996. Neotropical birds: ecology and conservation. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Strahl, S.; Ellis, S.; Byers, O.; Plasse, C. 1994. Conservation assessment and management plan for Neotropical guans, curassows, and chachalacas. International Union for Nature Conservation and Natural Resources, Apple Valley, USA.

Strahl, S.; Silva, J. L. 1997. The status of the family Cracidae in Venezuela. In: Strahl, S.D.; Beaujon, D.; Brooks, D.M.; Begazo, A.J.; Sedaghatkish, G.; Olmos, F. (ed.), The cracidae: their biology and conservation, pp. 383-395. Hancock House Publishers, Surrey, Canada and Blaine, USA.

Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Harding, M.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Penelope argyrotis. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Least Concern
Family Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, Curassows)
Species name author (Bonaparte, 1856)
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 88,700 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species