Slaty-breasted Tinamou Crypturellus boucardi


Justification of Red List Category
The species is undergoing significant declines due to habitat degradation and hunting for food. The rate of deforestation is now accelerating, and given the additional impact of hunting, the overall rate of population reduction is thought to be faster than the rate of forest cover loss alone. As such, the population is suspected to be rapidly declining and the species is assessed as Vulnerable.

Population justification
The population size is considered to be <50,000 mature individuals (Partners in Flight 2020), thus it is placed in the band 20,000-49,999 mature individuals.

Trend justification
The population is undergoing a significant decline owing to habitat destruction and hunting for food (Gomes et al. 2020, Partners in Flight 2020, Global Forest Watch 2021, using Hansen et al. [2013] data and methods disclosed therein). It is considered to be threatened in Mexico, with previous research showing that 50% or more of its population had been lost in the country during the last 100 years (Berlanga et al. 2010, SEMARNAT 2010). It is also currently on the Watch List of Partners of Flight (2020) and considered rare in other parts of its range (Gomez et al. 2020). In the past three generations (15 years; Bird et al. 2020), there has been an 18% loss in tree cover over the species' range (Global Forest Watch 2021, using Hansen et al. [2013] data and methods disclosed therein). Given the additional threat from hunting, population declines were likely to have been steeper than the rate of forest loss, therefore amounting to a population decline of 20-29% over the past three generations. In recent years, forest loss is now accelerating and the average annual rate over the past five years is equivalent to c. 31% over three generations (Global Forest Watch 2021, using Hansen et al. [2013] data and methods disclosed therein). With a small additional impact suspected from hunting, which is unlikely to cease, the rate of reduction over a three generation period including both the past and the future is suspected fall between 30-39%. This rate is also suspected to apply over the future three generations.

Distribution and population

The species occurs in Central America, stretching from Mexico, Guatemala and Belize, to Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. It has been recorded at elevations up to 700 m in Costa Rica, and at its highest at 1,500 m in Mexico (Gomes et al. 2020).


The species occurs in forest floors of lowland evergreen forests, as well as old second growth forests, preferring areas with denser understories (Gomes et al. 2020). It also occurs in plantations. The species primarily feeds on fruits and seeds, largely consuming Protium cogal, Pseudolmedia spuria and Brosimum alicastrum, but will also consume arthropods (such as leaf-cutter ants Atta spp., army ants [either Eciton burchelli or Labidus praedator], termites Armitermes intermedius, caterpillars and beetles) and certainly attack small vertebrates (e.g. tree frogs and lizards) in a seemingly opportunistic way (Lancaster 1964, Gomes et al. 2020). The species is polygynous, and will breed several times from March to June (Gomes et al. 2020).


The species is heavily threatened by habitat degradation within its range, including from logging and conversion of forests to agriculture (Gomes et al. 2020). Forest loss is thought to be accelerating in recent years and is likely to continue in the future, amounting to c. 31% over three generations (Global Forest Watch 2021, using Hansen et al. [2013] data and methods disclosed therein). The species is also hunted for food (Gomes et al. 2020), and therefore the population is likely undergoing a steeper decline than the rate imposed by forest loss alone.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
The species occurs in several protected areas within its range.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Surveys to establish an approximate population size are needed. A monitoring scheme for cryptic forest floor species using existing camera trapping efforts should be established and repeated to establish rough population trends, or at least to determine changes in encounter rate. The impact of hunting should be researched. The species' remaining habitat should be protected and any habitat restoration programmes expanded. No hunting zones, where appropriate, should be enforced inside protected areas within the range. To reduce the scale of hunting, awareness for the species should be supported.


Text account compilers
Hermes, C., Fernando, E.

Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J. & Westrip, J.R.S.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Crypturellus boucardi. Downloaded from on 03/02/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 03/02/2023.