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Gray-winged Trumpeter Psophia crepitans

  • Order: Gruiformes
  • Family: Psophiidae
  • Polytypic: 3 subspecies
  • Authors: Arjun Brandreth Potter


Conservation Status

Listed by the IUCN's BirdLife International as "Least Concern" due to their relatively large population size.

Effects of human activity on populations

Humans are a significant cause of mortality in some areas due to hunting. In one study in French Guiana, Gray-winged Trumpeters were among the most hunted birds and were found to be seven to ten times more abundant in unhunted areas compared to hunted ones (Thiollay 2005). Trumpeters are easily attracted to imitations of their trumpeting call, and can thereby be located both during the day and at night in their roosts where they are easily dazed by spotlights and thus easily harvested. In addition, trumpeters often remain with injured members of their group, facilitating the harvest of more than one bird. Their meat is reputed to be very tasty.

Birds are also captured for pets, and are a common sight in the villages of indigenous peoples. Although the birds tame easily, they almost never reproduce in captivity. Pet trumpeters are valued by tribals and poultry enthusiasts alike as flock guards for their vociferous alarm calls and predator spotting abilities, though their snake-killing abilities are likely exaggerated.

As trumpeters require dense, unbroken forest, habitat destruction and fragmentation might eclipse hunting as a threat to this species. In addition, the decline of large arboreal frugivores like monkeys and curassows due to overhunting likely reduces the amount of fruit knocked down to the forest understory for trumpeters, further decreasing habitat quality. Currently there are no reliable population estimates, but all evidence suggests a steady decline in the numbers of these birds and local extirpations.

Recommended Citation

Potter, A. B. (2011). Gray-winged Trumpeter (Psophia crepitans), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.