Lipaugus uropygialis is confined to the subtropical Yungas (east slopes of the Andes) of central and west Bolivia (eight known localities in Cochabamba and La Paz) and south-east Peru (Abra de Maracunca, Puno and Alto Urubamba, Cusco) (Remsen et al. 1982, B. Hennessey in litt. 1999, Bryce et al. 2005, B. P. Walker in litt. 2007). Recent records from Madidi National Park, La Paz and the north-east side of the Cordillera Cocapata, Cochabamba (Hennessey and Gomez 2003, Bryce et al. 2005) suggest that it occurs in the two largest expanses of previously unexplored Bolivian and Peruvian Upper Yungas. Gaps in its range may reflect observer coverage (J. Balderama, T. Gallick, S. K. Herzog, M. Kessler, R. S. Ridgely, J. Rossouw, T. S. Schulenberg, B. P. Walker and B. Woods per B. Hennessey in litt. 1999), or may be genuine gaps in distribution as in e.g. Southern Helmeted Curassow Crax unicornis (B. Hennessey in litt. 1999). Described as uncommon and local (Snow 1982, Ridgely and Tudor 1994), like other Andean pihas it appears to be a naturally low-density species (J. V. Remsen in litt. 1986).
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