Distribution in the Americas
Elegant Crested-Tinamou is almost entirely restricted to Argentina. The distribution extends from northwestern Argentina in Salta south to Chubut and Santa Cruz, and east, in central Argentina, to southern Buenos Aires (south of the Río Colorado). Elegant Crested-Tinamou also occurs in a small area in Aysén, southern Chile (Johnson 1965, Jaramillo 2003). Banks (1977) identified as this species a specimen of a chick from Tarija, Bolivia, but Remsen and Traylor (1983) noted that this specimen could not be differentiated from Quebracho Crested-Tinamou (Eudromia formosa), and so the identity of the crested-tinamous in Bolivia remains unconfirmed (Hennessey et al. 2003).
Broadly speaking, Elegant Crested-Tinamou occupies arid scrub. This species "avoids tall, dense grass stands" as well as "the thickest stands of tall brush" (Bohl 1970). Foraging crested-tinamous prefer "brushy, herbaceous vegetation at the edges of tree stands or agricultural fields", and for roosting, these tinamous seek "areas with little vegetation in terrain that is flat or contains low ridges" (Bohl 1970). Dominant shrubs in areas occupied by this tinamou include Larrea, Bulnesia, Verbena, and dominant grasses include Stipa, Aristida, Festuca, Melica, Bromus, Piptochaetium, Boutelea, Setaria, Trichloris, and Sporobolus (Bohl 1970, Fjeldså and Krabbe 1990).
A bioclimatic analysis of the distributions of the two species of Eudromia suggested that Elegant Crested-Tinamou occupies cooler and drier sites than does its sister species, Quebracho Crested-Tinamou (Eudromia formosa).
Elegant Crested-Tinamou has declined in some parts of its range, due to hunting pressure, but its overall geographic range has not undergone substantial changes.