Red-billed Curassow Crax blumenbachii

  • Order: Galliformes
  • Family: Cracidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Christine Steiner S. Bernardo


Conservation Status

The bird is considered globally endangered by the IUCN Red Data List (BirdLife International 2011), and is restricted to the Atlantic rainforest biodiversity hotspot.

Wild populations now occur in only seven reserves (protected by the government, or private reserves). All four of the reintroduced populations occur in private reserves.

The largest population is in Linhares Forest (a private reserve in Espírito Santo), which is contiguous with the Sooretama Biological Reserve (government) and Cupido Farm (private).

In 2004 the Action Plan for the species was published by the Brazilian government, with collaboration of Brazilian experts in cracids, as well as international NGOs (IBAMA 2004). After 7 years, only three actions have occurred: the reintroduction in Guapiaçu Ecological Reserve (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil); environmental education (Descobrimento National Park and Guapiaçu); and a population census in Descobrimento (Alvarez and Develey 2010).

Effects of human activity on populations

Hunting currently is the main cause of local extinction of the Red-billed Curassows. Environmental education is very important, especially to convince children that hunting is an activity that jeopardizes  animal populations and must be stopped.

Few Brazilian people know the species, and an intensive national campaign must be organized to show the conservation status of the Red-billed Curassow, so that it might become a national symbol, as has happened with other species, e. g. the Golden-lion Tamarin (Leontopithecus rosalia).

Wild and reintroduced individuals were reported as tame animals that frequently forage in small-scale agriculture. This highlights the importance of making people more aware of this species, to increase respect and admiration for the Red-billed Curassow by its human neighbors.

Recommended Citation

Bernardo, C. S. S. (2011). Red-billed Curassow (Crax blumenbachii), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.