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Version 1.0

This is a historic version of this account.  Current version


Scaled Ground-Cuckoo Neomorphus squamiger

Janice M. Hughes
Version: 1.0 — Published June 29, 2018


Conservation Status

The conservation status of Scaled Ground-Cuckoo is very poorly known. The species generally is considered to be rare and of high sensitivity. Parker et al. (1996) rated its conservation priority as medium.

Previously, Scaled Ground-Cuckoo had an IUCN Red List conservation status of Near-Threatened (Collar et al. 1992), a status that lasted at least until 2011 (BirdLife International, as cited in Erritzøe et al. 2012). Scaled Ground-Cuckoo no longer is recognized as a species by BirdLife International (del Hoyo and Collar 2014), but instead is classified as a subspecies of Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo (Neomorphus geoffroyi), and so does not have an independent IUCN Red List consevation assessment. On the other hand, although Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo is widely distributed, its conservation status is assessed as Vulnerable (BirdLife International 2018). Furthermore, it has been predicted that within three generations (13 years) 23.0-25.7% of suitable habitat will be lost to deforestation (Soares-Filho et al. 2006) resulting in an estimated population decline of 30-49% within that time (BirdLife International 2018a).

The conservation status of Scaled Ground-Cuckoo is listed as Vulnerable in Brazil by the Ministério de Estado do Meio Ambiente (MMA 2014).

Alho et al. (2015) suggested that Scaled Ground-Cuckoo could be a good indicator species of habitat quality in freshwater and associated ecosystems in the Amazon basin.

Effects of human activity on populations

Scaled Ground-Cuckoo is rare, occupies a small geographic range, and is highly sensitive to human disturbance. The primary threat is habitat loss and degradation due to accelerating deforestation in the Amazon Basin for ranching and agriculture. This is exacerbated by extensive road-building in the region that not only directly causes loss of forest but also facilitates mining and hydroelectric development which produces additional damage to the forest environment. In addition, Scaled Ground-Cuckoo may be susceptible to hunting directly, or to the hunting of peccaries on which it may depend (see Foraging Behavior; Erritzøe et al. 2012, BirdLife International 2018).

Recommended Citation

Hughes, J. M. (2018). Scaled Ground-Cuckoo (Neomorphus squamiger), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.scgcuc1.01