Reintroducing the white-winged guan - Peru

The Critically Endangered white-winged guan Penelope albipennis is endemic to northern Peru and has an estimated population of 250-350 individuals. The species was thought to be extinct until its rediscovery in 1977. A captive breeding programme was established near Olmos, and Chaparri was chosen as the first introduction site. The first birds were released in 2001, and the first wild-born guans hatched in 2004. 

Project commenced: 2006

WPA provided support for a project to develop monitoring protocols of the white-winged guan in the release area Chaparri, Peru's first Private Conservation Area. 


The project provided new information on the ecology of the white-winged guan. They are typically found in densely wooded valleys in remote, arid, western Andean foothills. Information on territory, nest building and behaviour was collected. 

Small pockets of foraging habitat exist between the release site and the nearest wild population, several miles away in another protected area, theoretically allowing the populations to mix. However future studies are needed to determine dispersal mechanisms and whether the two populations are mixing. 

More survey work and monitoring of released birds is required to further understand the various behaviours of the white-winged guan.

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