Black-fronted Piping-guan Pipile jacutinga


Justification of Red List Category
This Piping-guan qualifies as Endangered owing to the rapid and continuing reduction in numbers and habitat. Despite once being abundant, extensive habitat loss and heavy hunting pressure have extirpated the species from large parts of its former range and it is now very rare outside a few protected areas.

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 2,500-9,999 individuals in total, equating to 1,667-6,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 1,500-7,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
A very rapid and on-going population decline is suspected owing to very high levels of hunting combined with the effects of habitat loss and degradation.

Distribution and population

Pipile jacutinga populations have declined very steeply in Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina, and virtually to extinction in the north and south of its range. Most remaining populations are concentrated in Misiones, Argentina; and São Paulo and Paraná (Galetti et al. 1997a, Guix 1997), Brazil, with some in Santa Catarina, Brazil (do Rosário 1996). Since 2000, the species has been recorded at 18 localities in Argentina and currently has two strongholds: the Iguazú-Urugua-í complex (especially Establecimiento San Jorge) and Yabotí Biosphere Reserve (especially Esmeralda Provincial Park), where birds can be observed daily (Cockle and Bodrati 2011). Although numbers remain relatively high in Argentina, the species has disappeared from southern Misiones, and from nearly all sites without frequent patrols by park rangers (Bodrati and Cockle 2006, Cockle and Bodrati 2011). It is extinct in Corrientes. In São Paulo, it is thinly scattered over the eastern mountains of Serra do Mar, and its stronghold lies in the contiguous Intervales, Carlos Botelho and Alto Ribeira State Parks (Galetti et al. 1997, Bernardo et al. 2011), where the population is estimated at over 2,000 individuals (Sánchez et al. 2002). A recent study in São Paulo estimated the highest densities (13 individuals / km2) in Ilhabela State Park, compared to zero to 4.4 individuals / km2 in different parts of the Paranacicaba massif, and zero to 0.5 individuals / km2 in different parts of the Serra do Mar massif (Bernardo et al. 2011). The species was thought to be extirpated from Ilha do Cardoso (Galetti et al. 1997), but a population was recently rediscovered with an estimated density of 3 individuals / km2 (Bernardo et al. 2011). Isolated populations may remain in Minas Gerais where there are old records from Rio Doce State Park (L. F. Silveira in litt. 2007), but there are no post-1979 records from Bahia, Espírito Santo or Rio de Janeiro. A small population has recently been found in 17,491 ha Turvo State Park, Rio Grande do Sul (Bencke and Mauricio 2002), which is contiguous with the 253,000 ha Yabotí Biosphere Reserve in Argentina. It was widespread in Paraguay, but the population is now estimated at 870-1,515 birds, with c.600 at Mbaracayú and the remainder at seven additional sites (Clay et al. in press). In San Rafael National Park, for example, it was not detected during extensive ornithological surveys between 2000 and 2006 (Esquivel et al. 2007) and indigenous people indicated that the species had declined rapidly in recent years (Lopez et al. 2007).


It inhabits lowland humid forest (in Argentina it is more common in riverine forest (Benstead et al. 1993, Bodrati and Cockle 2006) but, in Brazil, it occurs in coastal mountains to 900 m (Galetti et al. 1997a, Guix 1997), perhaps with some altitudinal and latitudinal movements (Sick 1993). It inhabits both primary forest and disturbed forest, and has been recorded in selectively logged forest, young forest dominated by Cecropia spp., and a monoculture of Pinus (Galetti et al. 1997a, Bernardo et al. 2011, Cockle and Bodrati 2011). A strong association with the forest palm Euterpe edulis has been postulated but, in São Paulo, it feeds on the fruit of 41 species (Galetti et al. 1997a) and both in Brazil and in Argentina it occurs where E. edulis is absent (Galetti et al. 1997a, Bodrati and Cockle 2006, J. C. Chebez in litt. 1999, Clay et al. in press) (in fact E. edulis is absent in most of its range in Argentina). In Paraguay, the palm Syagrus romanzoffiana may form a seasonal staple (Clay et al. in press). In Misiones, birds have been observed feeding on flowers and fruits of many trees and vines (A. Bodrati in litt. 2007), and they may supplement their diet by feeding on invertebrates along watercourses (Benstead and Hearn 1994).


The main immediate threat is hunting, followed by forest clearance (Bernardo et al. 2011, Cockle and Bodrati 2011). In Misiones (Argentina) and eastern Paraguay, its meat is the most prized among the game birds. Its unwary behaviour makes it an easy target for hunters, leading to its rapid extirpation from areas without effective protection from poaching. In São Paulo, hunting, continued dam construction and conversion to plantation agriculture have brought it to the brink of extinction (Galetti et al. 1997a). At Tabuleiro State Park, Santa Catarina, poaching levels are extremely high (Tomim-Borges et al. 2001). Intervales State Park has been invaded by Mbyá Indians who hunt and have cleared primary forest formerly used by guans (Olmos et al. 2001). Other localities such as Serra do Mar and Ilhabela state parks suffer from increased poaching because of the dwindling number of park guards (F. Olmos in litt. 2003). In Paraguay, populations are isolated and easily hunted because there are few park rangers. In Argentina, the species is threatened by poachers in all areas not patrolled frequently by park rangers, even in parks (Bodrati and Cockle 2006). In particular, the population in the Yaboti Biosphere Reserve is threatened by poachers from adjacent Brazil and Argentina (Bodrati et al. 2005).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix I and protected under Brazilian law. It occurs in Intervales State Park and surrounding reserves (Galetti et al. 1997a), Serra do Tabuleiro State Park (Brazil) (do Rosário 1996), Iguazú National Park, Urugua-í Provincial Park (Bodrati and Cockle 2006), Esmeralda Provincial Park, Caa Yarí Provincial Park, Moconá Provincial Park, and Yabotí Biosphere Reserve (Argentina) (Cockle and Bodrati 2011), and Mbaracayú Forest Nature Reserve (Paraguay) (Clay et al. in press). There are several captive-breeding programmes (Taibel 1968, L. F. Silveira in litt. 2007). A management plan for the species is being developed in the San Rafael Reserve (López et al. 2007). The species is included in the conservation education program of Proyecto Selva de Pino Paraná in Argentina.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Increase staffing and mobility of park rangers to improve patrols of all areas with existing populations (Bernardo et al. 2011, Cockle and Bodrati 2011). Survey Sierra Morena, Arroyo Piray Miní, Arroyos Alegría y Piray Guazú, Valle del Cuña Pirú (Argentina) (Cockle and Bodrati 2011), Limoy Biological Reserve, the Sierra de San Joaquín, and forests in San Pedro department (Paraguay) (Clay et al. in press). Monitor populations in the Serra do Mar and Mbaracayú. Ensure protection of key areas in the Serra do Mar (Galetti et al. 1997a). Ensure legal protection of Establecimiento San Jorge (Misiones, Argentina) (Bodrati and Cockle 2006). Enforce anti-poaching measures (Clay et al. in press), especially along the western edge of the Yabotí Biosphere Reserve, which forms part of the border between Argentina and Brazil (Bodrati et al. 2005, Bodrati and Cockle 2006). Expand awareness campaigns and captive breeding populations. Purchase unprotected land within the Yabotí Biosphere Reserve (Cockle and Bodrati 2011).


64-74 cm. Medium-sized, black-and-white cracid. Mostly black. Large white wing-covert patch, with black tips to lesser and median coverts. White crown and nape, black forehead. White edging on neck and upper breast feathers. Broad bluish-white eye-ring. Large red throat wattle with blue base. Pale blue bill with black tip. Reddish legs. Similar spp. Other sympatric guans lack white in the wing. Voice Soft and nasal fluted whistles. Harsh machine-like wing rattle during territorial displays. Hints Concentrates at fruiting trees and salt licks.


Text account compilers
Capper, D., Symes, A., Sharpe, C.J., Benstead, P., Allinson, T, Symes, A.

Pearman, M., Olmos, F., Bodrati, A., Cockle, K., Chebez, J., Silveira, L.F.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Pipile jacutinga. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 12/08/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 12/08/2022.