Tinamus major 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Struthioniformes Tinamidae

Scientific Name: Tinamus major (Gmelin, 1789)
Common Name(s):
English Great Tinamou
Taxonomic Source(s): SACC. 2005 and updates. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #
Identification information: 40-46 cm. Large, brown tinamou. Throat and centre of belly generally whitish, but otherwise overall coloration varies between subspecies from light to dark olive brown. Voice A haunting and beautiful call of seven tremulous whistled notes.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Panjabi, A., Lees, A. & Guerta, R.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Khwaja, N., Symes, A., Wheatley, H., Martin, R

Based on a model of future deforestation in the Amazon basin, and the species’s susceptibility to habitat fragmentation and hunting, it is suspected that its population will decline by 25-30% over the next three generations, and is therefore listed as Near Threatened.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Tinamus major has a wide distribution within the Neotropics, with 12 recognised subspecies (Cabot 1992, Sick 1997).  Subspecies robustus occurs in south-east Mexico, east Guatemala and Honduras, overlapping with percautus, also occuring in south-east Mexico as well as north Guatemala and Belize.  Subspecies fuscipennis ranges from north Nicaragua through Costa Rica to west Panama, overlapping with castaneiceps which occurs in south-west Costa Rica and west Panama.  Subspecies brunneiventris is endemic to south-central Panama.  Subspecies saturatus occurs in east Panama and north-west Colombia.  Subspecies latifrons is distributed in south-west Colombia and west Ecuador, where it is uncommon to rare (del Hoyo et al. 1992, Restall et al. 2006).  Subspecies zuliensis occurs in north-east Colombia and north Venezuela.  Subspecies peruvianus ranges from south-east Colombia and east Ecuador through Peru to north-east Bolivia and extreme west Brazil.  Subspecies serratus is endemic to north-west Brazil.  The nominate subspecies major ranges from east Venezuela through Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana to north-east Brazil (del Hoyo et al. 1992); this taxon is abundant where forest is intact (Restall et al. 2006).  Subspecies olivascens occurs in Amazonian Brazil (del Hoyo et al. 1992).
Countries occurrence:
Belize; Bolivia, Plurinational States of; Brazil; Colombia; Costa Rica; Ecuador; French Guiana; Guatemala; Guyana; Honduras; Mexico; Nicaragua; Panama; Peru; Suriname; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:11300000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:No
Upper elevation limit (metres):1500
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Partners in Flight estimate the total population to number 500,000-4,999,999 individuals (A. Panjabi in litt. 2008).

Trend Justification:  This species is suspected to lose 14.8-18.5% of suitable habitat within its distribution over three generations (20 years) based on a model of Amazonian deforestation (Soares-Filho et al. 2006, Bird et al. 2011).  Given the susceptibility of the species to hunting and/or trapping, it is therefore suspected to decline by a rate approaching 30% over three generations.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The species occurs in dense rainforest of both "terra firme" (non-flooded) and "várzea" (seasonally-flooded) types, up to 1,500 m.  It has also been recorded in secondary forests (Brooks 2004, Schelsky 2004).  It feeds on the forest floor, predominantly on berries, fruits and seeds, but will also take nuts and small animals such as insects, small molluscs and annelids (Cabot 1992, Sick 1997).  Breeding is generally between January and July, but perhaps all year round in Suriname where it has been recorded breeding in September.  The nest is made between the buttress roots of large trees (del Hoyo et al. 1992).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):6.8
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The species's main threat comes from habitat loss across its large range, in particular accelerating deforestation in Amazonia: despite its large range it is predicted to lose over 15% of its available habitat in the next three generations (Soares-Filho et al. 2006, Bird et al. 2011).  It is likely to be sensitive to forest degradation (A. Lees in litt. 2011), both through a reduction in forest quality and because logging roads facilitate access to forests by hunters, who prize this species as game (del Hoyo et al. 1992, Peres 2000, A. Lees in litt. 2011).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

Conservation Actions Underway
None is known.

Conservation Actions Proposed  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).

Amended [top]

Amended reason: Edited habitats and ecology information, threats information and references.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2017. Tinamus major (amended version of 2016 assessment). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T22678148A110915916. . Downloaded on 21 September 2018.
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