Taczanowski's Tinamou Nothoprocta taczanowskii


Justification of Red List Category
This species is known from few locations within a relatively small range, where its apparently required habitat is subject to continuing degradation. This, along with hunting pressure, is presumably causing some population declines. The population size is considered to be very small, and fragmented into multiple subpopulations. Therefore, the species is listed as Vulnerable.

Population justification
The species is described as uncommon, with a population estimated to number 2,500-9,999 individuals. This equates to 1,667-6,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 1,500-7,000 mature individuals, with no subpopulation tentatively assessed as containing >1,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
The species faces intense hunting pressure in many parts of its range, especially where it occurs in proximity to human habitation. It is also negatively affected by the burning of pampas grassland. However, clearing of tropical forests, and the resultant habitats created benefit the species (del Hoyo et al. 1992).

Distribution and population

Nothoprocta taczanowskii is uncommon and probably local on the eastern massifs of the Andes (in the upper parts of deep valleys intersecting the Cordillera Oriental and in intermontane basins in the Cordillera Central) in Peru, and the adjacent La Paz department, Bolivia (Vogel et al. 2001). In Peru, there are recent records from several sites in Apurímac, Cuzco and Puno (Clements and Shany 2001), but it has not been recorded in the Chincheros/Pampa Valley area, north-west Apurímac, since 1970. The Cordillera de Huanzo, southern Apurímac, has produced only one specimen collected in 1977, while those from the northern Cordillera de Carabaya, Cuzco, were taken in 1871. The species has been recorded from the Maraynioc area, Junín, but there have not been any surveys since the last records in 1939 (J. Fjeldså in litt. 1999, 2007). The species was recorded for the first time in Bolivia in 1999, when one male was collected and three to four juveniles observed in Apolobamba National Integrated Management Reserve, La Paz (Vogel et al. 2001). Three further records were obtained at an additional locality within the reserve in 2000 (Vogel 2002).


It inhabits mosaics of cloud forest (Podocarpus, Eugenia, Escallonia, Polylepis), scrub, pastures, fields, open rocky or grassy areas, mainly in humid or semi-humid montane areas, but has also been recorded at or just above the treeline (Fjeldså and Krabbe 1990, Fjeldså and Kessler 1996). Scrub or woodland habitats are probably a prerequisite (J. Fjeldså in litt. 1999, 2007), and it probably does not nest in cultivated or pastoral land. Its known elevational range is 2,700-4,000 m. It frequently feeds on tuber crops, especially potatoes. Eggs and chicks have been collected in April and May (Junín) and October (Puno) (Fjeldså and Krabbe 1990).


Temperate woodlands and shrubby grasslands in the Andes have been diminishing for centuries because of human activities, such as frequent burning of grassland, and cutting, burning and livestock-grazing in high-altitude copses and shrubby patches (Fjeldså and Kessler 1996). It is also hunted for food.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
The species's high-altitude habitats have been surveyed and measures have been proposed for their conservation (Fjeldså and Kessler 1996). It has been found in Ampay Forest National Sanctuary in Peru (Fjeldså and Kessler 1996) and Apolobamba National Integrated Management Reserve in Bolivia (Vogel et al. 2001, Vogel 2002).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey appropriate habitat near the historical locality in Junín and in the humid slope/dry basin transition zone around the Río Mantaro bend (Junín, Huancavelica and Ayacucho) (J. Fjeldså in litt. 1999, 2007). Survey for the species on semi-humid slopes at the treeline ecotone in western Bolivia (Vogel et al. 2001). Research the species's ecological requirements, including the effects of burning of high elevation pastures (Vogel et al. 2001). Regulate the use of fire (Fjeldså and Kessler 1996). Reintroduce old high-yielding agricultural techniques (Fjeldså and Kessler 1996). Restrict grazing (Fjeldså and Kessler 1996). Facilitate low-impact ecotourism and associated trades that generate income for local people (Fjeldså and Kessler 1996). Encourage local people to take a leading role in land-use management and restoration schemes (Fjeldså and Kessler 1996). Make social and political reforms to deal with existing land-right conflicts, and encourage sustainable use on a large-scale (Fjeldså and Kessler 1996).


36 cm. Dark, finely-marked tinamou. Grey head and neck with blackish crown and face markings. Dusky upperparts with thin, buff stripes and inconspicuous brown barring. Black and buff mottling on wing-coverts. Tawny flight feathers, barred blackish. Pale greyish buff throat. Grey breast with buffy spots bordered black. Rest of underparts buff, barred dusky. Long, blackish, curved bill. Juvenile generally richer brown. Similar spp. Much darker and browner than other sympatric species. Voice Loud, cackling cuyy-cuyy when flushed.


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

Fjeldså, J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Species factsheet: Nothoprocta taczanowskii. Downloaded from on 30/11/2021. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2021) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 30/11/2021.