This large but secretive tinamou is a rare and difficult-to-see resident of southeast Brazil, eastern Paraguay, and northeast Argentina. It is found in intact closed-canopy lowland evergreen rainforest and taller secondary forest, which is increasingly under threat within its range due to urbanization, agricultural expansion, and industrialization. This species is often described as two subspecies, with the northern birds (pernambucensis) showing ashy (as opposed to olive) upperparts with dense, pronounced barring on the side of the neck, with a more pronounced postocular stripe. This 'subspecies' is very threatened, especially by hunting, and estimates of the population have been as low as 100 birds (in 1971). More recently, the Solitairy Tinamou has become a symbol of conservation in the Misiones province of Argentina, with the main nature trail of Iguazu National Park named in its honor (Sendero Macuco) complete with an informational billboard. Because it is secretive and not often vocal, a sighting of a Solitary Tinamou is only produced by a combination of stealth, patience, observance, and serendipity, making it one of the most rewarding and memorable birds to see within its range.