Choco Tinamou Crypturellus kerriae


Justification of Red List Category
This species is Vulnerable because it is known from only a few locations within its small range where habitat is gradually disappearing. Its range and possibly small population are suspected to be declining, with none of the widely scattered subpopulations thought to exceed 1,000 mature individuals.

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 2,500-9,999 mature individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. This estimate is equivalent to 3,750-14,999 individuals, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.

Trend justification
A slow and on-going population decline is suspected on the basis of habitat loss and degradation.

Distribution and population

Crypturellus kerriae is a poorly-known species occurring in the southern part of Darién province, Panama, and Chocó department, Colombia. It has rarely been recorded, and only a small number of sites are known. The population size is unknown, but it is heard regularly near Cana, Serranía de Pirre, Panama (G. R. Angehr in litt. 1998, B. Porteous in litt. 1999, C.J. Sharpe, pers comm. 2011) and Ensenada de Utría National Park, Colombia, with 10-15 birds heard from 3 km of trails in the latter (Porteous and Acevedo 1996). There were single records of individuals in the Serranía de Jungurundó, Panama in 1995 and 1997 (Angehr et al. 2004).


It occurs in humid primary forest. The known sites include steep coastal forest in west Colombia (Porteous and Acevedo 1996), and from humid premontane forest at 500m at Cana, Darién (C.J. Sharpe, pers comm. 2011), up to ridge-top forest at 1,400-1,500 m in Panama (Robbins et al. 1985), with other records at intermediate altitudes.


Vast areas of seemingly suitable habitat remain, but road construction, human settlement, timber extraction and mining are causing gradual reductions. The recent completion of a new road-bridge has made unprotected areas of coastal plain forest adjacent to Ensenada de Utría National Park accessible to settlement and associated threats (Strewe 1999). The Atrato valley, Colombia, is relatively accessible and, if the species occurs there, that population would probably be the most threatened owing to human settlement, and conversion to farmland and banana plantations (P. Salaman in litt. 1999). It is presumably hunted wherever humans are present. The completion of the Pan-American highway through Darién and the canalisation of the Truandó and lower Atrato rivers, to make an inter-oceanic fairway, are currently on hold, but could have serious effects on the species (Alvarez-Cordero et al. 1994, WWF and IUCN 1997, B. Porteous in litt. 1999).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
Darién National Park, Panama, and Ensenada de Utría National Park, Colombia, are important areas (Porteous and Acevedo 1996). Los Katíos National Park, Colombia, protects c.720 km2 of apparently suitable habitat in the Chocó region, but the species has yet to be recorded in the reserve.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey areas between known localities where feasible (P. Salaman in litt. 1999). Study the ecology to provide an improved understanding of its status and distribution. Increase the area of suitable habitat that has protected status. Raise awareness of the species and its status in an effort to reduce hunting pressure. Grant the species legal protection in Colombia and Panama.


25-26.5 cm. Smallish, plain, dark tinamou. Dark brown, with blackish crown, slate-grey sides of neck, whitish throat and inconspicuous fine barring on the upperparts. Female darker with coarser barring on wing-coverts and breast, and grey flanks. Red legs. Similar spp. Little Tinamou C. soui is smaller with greyish legs. Berlepsch's Tinamou C. berlepschi is larger and blackish. Voice Low, faint, mournful, three-note whistle.


Text account compilers
Symes, A., Benstead, P., Clay, R., Symes, A., Sharpe, C J

Sharpe, C J, Salaman, P., Angehr, G., Porteous, B.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Crypturellus kerriae. Downloaded from on 22/05/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 22/05/2022.