Rufous-vented Ground-cuckoo Neomorphus geoffroyi


Justification of Red List Category

Based on a model of deforestation in the Amazon basin, and the species’s susceptibility to habitat fragmentation, it is suspected that its population is declining by 30-49% over three generations, and it is therefore classified as Vulnerable.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but this species is described as 'rare' (Stotz et al. 1996).

Trend justification
This species is suspected to lose 23.0-25.7% of suitable habitat within its distribution over three generations (13 years) based on a model of Amazonian deforestation (Soares-Filho et al. 2006, Bird et al. 2011). However, the species is thought to be highly susceptible to fragmentation, and it is therefore suspected to decline by 30-49% over three generations.

Distribution and population

Neomorphus geoffroyi has a wide but disjunct distribution in the Neotropics, occurring from Nicaragua south through Costa Rica and Panama to Colombia; in western Amazonia from Colombia through Ecuador to northern Peru; in the Atlantic forest of Brazil (all N. g. geoffroyi); and across Brazilian Amazonia to eastern Peru and northern Bolivia (N. g. squamiger).


It occurs in tropical lowland evergreen forest but is otherwise poorly known. It is naturally rare, probably susceptible to hunting and reliant on following ants (area sensitive), peccaries and primates (A. Lees in litt. 2011).


The primary threat to this species is accelerating deforestation in the Amazon Basin as land is cleared for cattle ranching and soy production, facilitated by expansion of the road network; it is strongly susceptible to degradation and fragmentation due to its reliance on primary forest (Soares-Filho et al. 2006, Bird et al. 2011, A. Lees in litt. 2011), and may also be vulnerable to hunting and dependent on mammals that are targeted by hunters (A. Lees in litt. 2011). Proposed changes to the Brazilian Forest Code reduce the percentage of land a private landowner is legally required to maintain as forest (including, critically, a reduction in the width of forest buffers alongside perennial steams) and include an amnesty for landowners who deforested before July 2008 (who would subsequently be absolved of the need to reforest illegally cleared land) (Bird et al. 2011).

Conservation actions

Conservation and research actions underway
It is found in many protected areas throughout its extensive range. Taxon squamiger is considered a full species and listed as Vulnerable in Brazil (MMA 2014). No targeted actions are known.

Conservation and research actions proposed
Study its ecological requirements. Survey potentially suitable habitat. Expand the protected area network to effectively protect IBAs. Effectively resource and manage existing and new protected areas, utilising emerging opportunities to finance protected area management with the joint aims of reducing carbon emissions and maximizing biodiversity conservation. Conservation on private lands, through expanding market pressures for sound land management and preventing forest clearance on lands unsuitable for agriculture, is also essential (Soares-Filho et al. 2006). Campaign against proposed changes to the Brazilian Forest Code that would lead to a decrease in the width of the areas of riverine forest protected as Permanent Preservation Areas (APPs), which function as vital corridors in fragmented landscapes.


Text account compilers
Sharpe, C J, Capper, D., Symes, A., Benstead, P., Taylor, J. & Ashpole, J

Cohn-Haft, M. & Lees, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Species factsheet: Neomorphus geoffroyi. Downloaded from on 20/10/2021. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2021) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 20/10/2021.