Crypturellus erythropus saltuarius Wetmore, 1950

Magdalena tinamou



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Crypturellus saltuarius Wetmore, 1950


Conservation Status

Last record: 9 June 1943 (1980's?; 1990's? 2008?)

Since rediscovered?


Laverde-R. and Cadena (2014:3) reported the existence of two vocal recordings of this species. Thus its conservation status, whether rediscovered or whether it was never really 'lost', is unclear.

Several reports of the continued existence of this species have been reported, and it may still survive, though in tiny numbers, as a specimen was apparently kept in captivity in the 1990's (Donegan et. al. 2003a,b; Hume & Walters, 2012: 18). However, its distinctiveness as a taxon has been questioned as well (Remsen et. al. 2006). Caution should be urged when considering this taxon either as valid and possibly extinct, or invalid. If it is considered invalid and yet is valid, conservation measures will most likely not be put in place to conserve this population. Thus a distinct species may go extinct as a result of confusion over it's taxonomic affinities. This would not be the famous 'Romeo Error', but an altogether different error. I shall therefore coin the term 'Invalid Error' to refer to this new error.



Magdalena River Valley, Colombia


Biology & Ecology




Only known from the holotype, an immature individual collected on the 9th of June, 1943:

"The only C. (e.) saltuarius skin shows has a lighter belly than other forms, more greyish wash on the breast and darker crown."

(Quoted from Remsen et. al. 2006)


One other specimen, collected in 1786, is currently unaccounted for and may have been lost (Hume & Walters, 2012:17). 






Original scientific description:

Wetmore, Alexander. (1950). [Description of Crypturellus erythropus saltuarius]. Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash. 63: 171.


Other references:

BirdLife International (2012) Species factsheet: Crypturellus saltuarius. Downloaded from on 05/02/2012.

Blake, E. R . (1977). Manual of Neotropical Birds, Volume 1. University of Chicago Press.

Butchart, Stuart H. M., Stattersfield, A. J. and Brooks, T. M. (2006). Going or gone: defining ‘Possibly Extinct’ species to give a truer picture of recent extinctions. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 126A: 7-24.

Collar, N. J., Gonzaga, L. P., Krabbe, N., Madroño Nieto, A., Naranjo, L. G., Parker, T. A. & Wege, D. C. 1992. Threatened birds of the Americas: the ICBP/IUCN Red Data Book (Third edition, part 2). International Council for Bird Preservation, Cambridge, U.K.

Donegan, T. M., Huertas, B. C. & Briceño, E. R. (2003a) Status of the Magdalena Tinamou Crypturellus saltuarius in the type locality and surrounding lower Magdalena Valley. Cotinga 19: 34-39.

Donegan, Thomas M.; Huertas H., Blanca C.; Briceño L., Elkin R.; Arias B., John Jairo & González O., Carlos E. (2003b). Search for the Magdalena Tinamou: project report. Colombian EBA Project Report Series 4.

Fuller, Errol. (1988). Extinct Birds. New York: Facts on File Publications. 256 pp.

Hume, Julian Pender and Walters, Michael. (2012). Extinct Birds. London: T & AD Poyser.

Laverde-R., Oscar and Cadena, Carlos Daniel. (2014). Taxonomy and conservation: a tale of two tinamou species groups (Tinamidae, Crypturellus). Journal of Avian Biology 45: 1-9.

Meyer de Schauensee , R . (1970). A guide to the birds of South America. Livingston Publishing.

Remsen Jr., J. V.; et al. (2006). "Proposals for the taxonomic treatment of Red-legged Tinamou Crypturellus erythropus". South American Classification Committee. American Ornithologists' Union. [accessed 5-2-2012]

Tobias, Joseph A., Butchart, Stuart H. M. and Collar, Nigel J. (2006). Lost and found: a gap analysis for the Neotropical avifauna. Neotropical Birding [2006]: 4-22.


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