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Giant wood rail

Aramides ypecaha

Giant wood rail

The South American Guaraní people call this bird the OO-PEE-KA-HA which imitates the sound of its call. The giant wood rail has a very loud voice. Typically, it is very noisy at first light, declaring its territory and trying to attract a mate. When more than on bird starts calling, the sound can be deafening.

While most rails are shy and inhabit thick vegetation, the giant wood rail lives along marshes and rivers and can often be seen in the open, walking along the mud banks.


Animal class

Forest and wetlands/marsh

Diet - Omnivore
Giant wood rails eat seeds, fruit, molluscs and spiders.
The body length can be up to 49 centimetres. It can weigh up to 86 grams.

Giant wood rails are found in moist lowland forests and marshes in Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina.

Conservation status
The IUCN does not believe that the giant wood rail is facing extinction in the near future. They are listed under Appendix II of CITES.

The main threat to a giant wood rail is the destruction of their habitat. It is also hunted for food.

Current population
It is believed that the population is declining.

Zoo population
There are 60 giant wood rails in zoos worldwide.

Key to acronyms

IUCN - International Union for Conservation of Nature

CITES - Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species

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