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Version 1.0

This is a historic version of this account.  Current version


Crested Guan Penelope purpurascens

Kadeem Gilbert and Thomas S. Schulenberg
Version: 1.0 — Published December 6, 2013


Distribution in the Americas

Crested Guan is resident from Mexico south to extreme northwestern Peru and to northern Venezuela. It occurs on both slopes in Central America, north to southern Sinaloa on the west slope and to southern Tamaulipas on the east slope. In Peru it is reported only from northern Tumbes (Parker et al. 1995, Walker 2002, Sánchez et al. 2012).

The elevational range of Crested Guan is from sea level up to 2000 m (Parker et al. 1996) or to 2500 m (Howell and Webb 1995), but it primarily is a lowland species.

Distribution outside the Americas

Endemic to the Americas.


Crested Guan occupies a variety of forested habitats, including humid to semihumid evergreen forests, semidecidous forests, humid pine-oak forests, and gallery forests (Wetmore 1965, Stiles and Skutch 1989, Howell and Webb 1995, Parker et al. 1996).

Historical changes

The overall range of Crested Guan has not changed in historical times, but it has experienced many local declines or extinctions throughout its range due to hunting and habitat loss.

Fossil history

None reported of Penelope purpurascens. Fossilized cracids found in Tertiary deposits in Florida, Nebraska, and South Dakota (Tordoff and MacDonald 1957).

Distribution of the Crested Guan - Range Map
  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding
Distribution of the Crested Guan

Recommended Citation

Gilbert, K. and T. S. Schulenberg (2013). Crested Guan (Penelope purpurascens), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.cregua1.01