Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo Neomorphus geoffroyi

Timothy P. Healy, Robert B. Payne, Chris Sharpe, and Guy M. Kirwan
Version: 2.0 — Published April 9, 2020

Conservation and Management

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Conservation Status

Currently assessed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List as Vulnerable, and believed to be declining. Despite its broad geographical distribution, populations of Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo are disjunct and highly localized. It occurs at low density throughout its range and has specific habitat requirements, and is thus highly susceptible to human disturbance. Current models of rainforest deforestation rate project a loss of 23.0-25.7% of suitable habitat in Brazil over the next 13 years, which accounts for three generations in this species (39, 16). These same projections indicate a continued decline of 30-49% within this same time period (38). Presently, there is no formal management plan for the protection of this species.

It is worth noting that the more range-restricted Scaled Ground-Cuckoo (N. squamiger) is sometimes considered conspecific with Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo. Its smaller range, located entirely within Amazonian Brazil, puts it at even greater risk from habitat destruction. The lack of universally recognized species status for Scaled Ground-Cuckoo could prove to be an obstacle for designing appropriate conservation management plans. Resolving the relationship between these species could be crucial for obtaining necessary protections for the Brazilian endemic (6).

Effects of Human Activity

Deforestation and habitat fragmentation are likely the primary threats facing this species across most of its range. Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo has been shown to be particularly sensitive to disturbance. It often disappears from regions where intact primary forest has diminished in size or overall quality, and it may fail to recolonize these areas when obstacles to dispersal exist (17). Models of deforestation rates in the Amazon rainforest have indicated this species could lose roughly a quarter of suitable habitat over the next three generations (16).


No specific management plans in place. Evaluated on the IUCN Red List as Vulnerable (38). In many parts of its range, this species occurs in conservation areas such as national parks and thus benefits from incidental protection.

Recommended Citation

Healy, T. P., R. B. Payne, C.J. Sharpe, and G. M. Kirwan (2020). Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo (Neomorphus geoffroyi), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (S. M. Billerman, B. K. Keeney, and T. S. Schulenberg, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.rvgcuc1.02