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Wattled Guan Aburria aburri
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species qualifies as Near Threatened because it has a small population which is suspected to be declining moderately rapidly owing to habitat loss and hunting.

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: #

72-78 cm. A large all blackish Guan. Long slender red and yellow wattle hangs from throat, legs yellow, bill blue. Similar spp. There is no other all blackish Guan in range. The bicoloured wattle is unique to this species. Voice A repeated loud wailing ba-reeeeer-ah. Hints Best located by voice.

Distribution and population
Aburria aburri is found on the slopes of the north and central Andes, from north-west Venezuela (where it is now very rare [Silva 1999]) through Colombia (locally common but generally scarce) and Ecuador to southern Peru (del Hoyo 1994, Parker et al. 1996, Donegan et al. 2001); it is almost certainly extinct on the west slope of the Andes (del Hoyo 1994, Strahl et al. 1994). In most areas it is described by local hunters as extremely rare (Strahl and Brooks 2000). Its range has decreased by 50% in Venezuela (Rojas-Suárez et al. 2008), and perhaps even more in Colombia where 70% of its habitat has been lost (Ríos et al. 2006).

Population justification
The population was estimated to number 12,500-15,000 individuals in 1994, and has presumably declined since. It is now estimated at 10,000 individuals, roughly equating to 6,700 mature individuals.

Trend justification
A slow and on-going decline is suspected, owing to habitat loss and hunting pressure.

It inhabits wet montane forest, forest edge and and tall secondary growth adjacent to primary forest, and has been recorded at elevations of 500-2,500 m. It may undertake some seasonal altitudinal movements, but the exact nature of these is still unclear (del Hoyo 1994). It feeds on fruit, usually in pairs or groups of three. An estimate of 0.87 birds/km2 in 489 ha of the Central Cordillera of Colombia in 2002-2003 (Ríos et al. 2005) suggests the species occurs at low population densities.

Deforestation has been most prevalent in the Andes within this altitudinal range. Habitat destruction, mainly through clearance for agriculture, remains the major threat (del Hoyo 1994), but its noisy habits and tendency to stay high in the branches make it particularly vulnerable to hunting for food and sport (del Hoyo 1994, Strahl et al. 1994). In Venezuela hunting is the main threat and it is only relatively frequent in remote, newly-opened forests in regions like Perijá (Sharpe, pers. comm. 2011). In parts of Colombia hunting restrictions enforced by guerrilla groups, and the use of land mines in forested areas, provide a certain amount of protection (Donegan et al. 2001). In addition to hunting, logging is a major threat in Ecuador and Peru (Ríos et al. 2006).

Conservation Actions Underway
Conservation Actions Proposed
Obtain basic ecological information such as habitat use and requirements, home range size, population dynamics and seasonal movements (Rios et al. 2005, Rios et al. 2006). Determine population status (Rios et al. 2006). Assess the impact of fragmentation on populations (Rios et al. 2006). Control hunting more effectively (Rios et al. 2006). Organise campaigns to raise awareness and reduce hunting for food and sport (Rojas-Suárez et al. 2008). Monitor population trends at known sites. Consider establishing captive breeding programmes (Rojas-Suárez et al. 2008).

BROOKS, D. M. AND S. D. STRAHL. 2000. Curassows, guans and chachalacas: status survey and conservation action plan.

del Hoyo, J. 1994. Cracidae (Chachalacas, Guans and Curassows). In: del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. (ed.), Handbook of the birds of the world, pp. 310-363. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Donegan, T. M.; Salaman, P. G. W.; Cuervo, A. M. 2003. Wattled guan Aburria Aburri in Serrania de San Lucas, Northern Colombia. 13: 11-14.

Parker, T. A.; Stotz, D. F.; Fitzpatrick, J. W. 1996. Ecological and distributional databases. In: Stotz, D.F.; Fitzpatrick, J.W.; Parker, T.A.; Moskovits, D.K. (ed.), Neotropical bird ecology and conservation, pp. 113-436. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Ríos, M. M.; Londoño, G. A.; Muñoz, M. C. 2005. Density and ecology of the Wattled Guan (Aburria aburri) in an Andean forest. Bulletin of the Cracid Specialist Group 21: 26-29.

Silva, J. L. 1999. Notes on the distribution of Pauxi pauxi and Aburria aburria in Venezuela. Wilson Bulletin 111: 564-569.

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.

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

View photos and videos and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Capper, D., Clay, R., Isherwood, I., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Aburria aburri. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016.

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.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Wattled guan (Aburria aburri) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Near Threatened
Family Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, Curassows)
Species name author (Lesson, 1828)
Population size 6700 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 139,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species