White-winged Trumpeter Psophia leucoptera


Justification of Red List Category
Based on a model of future deforestation in the Amazon basin, and the species's susceptibility to the impacts of hunting pressure and habitat degradation, it is suspected that its population will decline by 25-29% over three generations from 2002, and it has therefore been uplisted to Near Threatened.

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

Trend justification
This species is suspected to lose 13.1-17.4% of suitable habitat within its distribution over three generations (31 years) from 2002, based on a model of Amazonian deforestation (Soares-Filho et al. 2006, Bird et al. 2011). Given its susceptibility to hunting, and its apparent sensitivity to habitat degradation and disturbance, the species is suspected to decline by 25-29% over the same period.

Distribution and population

Psophia leucoptera is restricted to west-central Amazonia, west of the Madeira and south of the Amazon/Solimões in Brazil, west into north-eastern Bolivia, and through Amazonian Peru, north to the Maranon (Sherman 1996). Densities of c.8 birds/km2 have been recorded in ideal conditions in Manu National Park, Peru. The population size has apparently not been quantified, but it has been noted to have become rare or absent in areas where it was once common, and it is suspected to be in decline owing to habitat loss and hunting pressure (Sherman 1996).


This species is widespread in undisturbed dense tropical moist forest away from human settlement, and has been recorded up to 750 m (Sherman 1996). It lives in cooperatively polyandrous groups of up to about 10 individuals, roaming a permanent territory on foot in search of ripe fruit, arthropods and some small vertebrates, including snakes. Breeding takes place between September and April, with the nest located in a hollowed out tree trunk on average 11 m above ground (Sherman 1996).


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 (Soares-Filho et al. 2006, Bird et al. 2011, 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). The species's habitat preferences suggest that it is also sensitive to habitat degradation and disturbance. Hunting appears to be a significant threat across the range of the species, and has become a greater problem with the increased availability of firearms during the past century (Sherman 1996).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
No targeted conservation actions are known for this species, although some of its habitat is protected, for example in Manu National Park, Peru (Sherman 1996).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Carry out surveys to assess the total population size. Study the species's habitat requirements in detail. Quantify the impacts of hunting. Monitor rates of forest loss across its range. Increase the area of suitable habitat that is protected.


45–52 cm. Sturdy, upright, ovoid, noisy, largely terrestrial birds of western Amazonian forests. Predominantly black, with gleaming white secondaries forming a large pure white patch on the hindquarters when the are wings folded.  The bill and legs are pale yellow. Similar species. Ochre-winged Trumpeter P. ochroptera, formerly included with this species has ochre, rather than white, secondaries and this extends partly on to the lower mantle rather than just being confined to the secondaries. The bill is also dark. Grey-winged Trumpeter P. crepitans has grey secondaries and ochre across the lower mantle.


Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Symes, A. & Taylor, J.

Lees, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Psophia leucoptera. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/11/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/11/2022.