Marail guan

Marail guan
Penelope marail

Photo by Marc Chrétien (GEPOG)

Common name:
marail guan (en); jacumirim (pt); pénélope marail (fr); pava marail (es); marailguan (de)

Order Galliformes
Family Cracidae

This species is found in northern South America, in the Guyanas, Suriname, eastern Venezuela, and in northern Brazil, north of the Amazon river.

These birds are 55-73 cm long and weigh 950-1.150 g.

The marail guan is found in tropical rainforests, favouring tall, terra firme forests in lowland areas up to an altitude of 700 m, often near water.

They feed on forest fruits, especially fleshy fruits and berries. Because of their frugivorous diet they are an important seed disperser in the forests within their range. Occasionally, they also take insects.

They nest in a cup placed in a fork high up on a tree, where the female lays 2-3 eggs. The eggs are incubated for about 30 days. The chick are able to leave the nest soon after hatching.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as fairly common. The marail guan is expected to loose 4 % of their habitats within the next 10 years based on a model of Amazonian deforestation. Given its susceptibility to hunting and trapping, it is suspected to decline in the near future, but it is not considered threatened at present.

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