Highland Guan Penelopina nigra


Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.

IUCN Red list criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - A2cd+3cd+4cd

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2020 Vulnerable A2cd+3cd+4cd
2016 Vulnerable A2cd+3cd+4cd
2012 Vulnerable A2cd+3cd+4cd
2008 Vulnerable A2c,d; A3c,d; A4c,d
2007 Vulnerable
2004 Near Threatened
2000 Lower Risk/Near Threatened
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Threatened
Species attributes

Migratory status not a migrant Forest dependency High
Land mass type Land-mass type - continent
Average mass 890 g

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 198,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 13,000 medium
Number of locations 11-100 -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 20000-49999 good suspected 2016
Population trend Decreasing good inferred -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) 30-49 - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) 30-49 - - -
Number of subpopulations 2-100 - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation 1-89 - - -
Generation length (yrs) 7.51 - - -

Population justification: The most recent estimate places the global population of mature individuals at <50,000 (Partners in Flight 2019) although this figure is declining rapidly, a trend that is likely to continue (Eisermann et al. 2006).

Trend justification: The area of remaining habitat is declining with a ~6% reduction in forest area recorded throughout its range throughout the past three generations (Tracewski et al. 2016); such trends are likely to continue (Eisermann et al. 2006). Further to habitat alteration, hunting pressures are also a principal threat with both threats increasing owing to an expanding human population. The species is therefore inferred to be declining rapidly, with Brooks (2006) estimating rates of decline of up to 30% every 10 years.

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
El Salvador N Possibly Extinct Yes
Guatemala N Extant Yes
Honduras N Extant Yes
Mexico N Extant Yes
Nicaragua N Extant Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
El Salvador Montecristo Forest
Nicaragua El Jaguar
Guatemala Atitlan
Guatemala Cuilco
Guatemala Cerro El Amay
Guatemala Sacranix
Guatemala Guatemalan Caribbean Slope
Guatemala Yalijux
Nicaragua Miraflor
Nicaragua Datanlí-El Diablo Hill
Guatemala Sierra de las Minas - Motagua
Nicaragua Bosawas
Guatemala Tacana - Tajumulco
Guatemala Santiaguito Volcano
Nicaragua Apante Hill
Nicaragua Arenal Hill
Guatemala Antigua Guatemala
Guatemala Cuchumatanes
Guatemala Montecristo
El Salvador Alotepeque Range
Mexico Corredor Laguna Bélgica - Sierra Limón - Cañón Sumidero
Mexico El Ocote
Mexico El Tacaná
Mexico El Triunfo
Honduras Pico Bonito
Honduras Güisayote
Mexico La Sepultura
Honduras Celaque
Mexico Montes Azules
Honduras Sierra de Omao - Cusuco
Honduras La Tigra
Honduras Comayagua
Honduras Cerro Azul Meambar
Honduras Montaña de Yoro
Honduras Sierra de Agalta
Honduras La Muralla and surrounding area
Mexico Sierra Chixtontic, Sierra Canjá
Mexico Sierra de Zongolica-Tenango
Mexico Chimalapas
Mexico Cerros alrededor de San Cristóbal de Las Casas
Mexico Lagunas de Montebello
Mexico Cerros de Chalchihuitán
Mexico Montañas del Norte de Chiapas
Mexico Cerro Blanco, La Yerbabuena y Jotolchén

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland major resident
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane major resident
Altitude 700 - 3300 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops - Agro-industry farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops - Small-holder farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals - Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Species mortality
Climate change & severe weather Habitat shifting & alteration Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem degradation
Energy production & mining Mining & quarrying Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food - human - - Non-trivial Recent
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - International Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Penelopina nigra. Downloaded from on 01/12/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 01/12/2022.