Trinidad piping guan -- 鸣冠雉 (Pipile pipile)

Trinidad piping guan on branch
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Trinidad piping guan fact file

Trinidad piping guan description

GenusPipile (1)

The Trinidad piping guan is known locally as the 'pawi' (3). This rare bird is a blackish-brown colour all-over with a slight purple glossy hue and with white tips to the wing-coverts (2). The bare dewlap and cere are blue in colour while the legs are red (4).

Pava de Trinidad, Pava Rajadora, Yacutinga Cariazul.
Length: 69 cm (2)

Trinidad piping guan biology

Very little is known about the natural ecology of the Trinidad piping guan. There are however, records of breeding activity in most months suggesting that this species has a drawn-out breeding season (5). Nests may be found amongst a tangle of vegetation and are platforms constructed from sticks, which usually contain two eggs (5).

Adults forage at dusk in small groups of up to five individuals (5) and feed mainly on the fruit and seeds of trees, preferring the fruit of the light virola tree (Virola surinamensis) (3).


Trinidad piping guan range

Endemic to Trinidad and previously found in forests throughout the island from sea level to the mountain summit (3). Today the only remaining population is found in the eastern portion of the Northern Range where only 150 km² of suitable habitat remains (2).


Trinidad piping guan habitat

Inhabits the steep, hilly areas of montane forest where numerous streams, sparse ground cover and abundant lianas and epiphytes occur (2).


Trinidad piping guan status

Classified as Critically Endangered (CR) on the IUCN Red List (1) and listed on Appendix I of CITES (6).

IUCN Red List species status – Critically Endangered


Trinidad piping guan threats

The Trinidad piping guan has undergone a drastic decline in population numbers, mainly due to illegal hunting but also from the effects of deforestation, either for timber or for the conversion to plantation agriculture (2). These factors continue to threaten this species today (1).


Trinidad piping guan conservation

The Trinidad piping guan has been legally protected since 1963 and international trade in the species is banned by its listing on Appendix I of CITES (2). Much of the present range is within forest reserves but the laws protecting both the species and the habitat are generally poorly enforced (2). Recent campaigns appear to be finally changing attitudes and species-specific ecotourism may have a role to play in the future of this species (2). Presently however, the population is extremely small (estimated at around 200 individuals) (2), and time to save this species may be running out.

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.

Find out more

For more information on the Trinidad piping guan see:



Authenticated by BirdLife International Secretariat.



In birds, an area of skin at the base of the upper mandible surrounding the nostrils.
A fold of loose skin hanging below the throat.
A species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.
A plant that uses another plant, typically a tree, for its physical support, but which does not draw nourishment from it.


  1. IUCN Red List (October, 2002)
  2. BirdLife International. (2000) Threatened Birds of the World. Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, Barcelona and Cambridge.
  3. CITES (October, 2002)
  4. Hayes, F.E. (October, 2002)
  5. Erritzoe, J. (1993) The Birds of CITES and How to Identify Them. The Lutterworth Press, Cambridge.
  6. del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Sargatol, J. (1994) Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol 2: New World Vultures to Guineafowl. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.

Image credit

Trinidad piping guan on branch  
Trinidad piping guan on branch


Kevin Schafer Photography
2148 Halleck Ave SW
Tel: +01 (206) 933-1668
Fax: +01 (206) 933-1659


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