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Belem Curassow Crax pinima
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This recently-split curassow inhabits the most deforested part of Amazonia, and is also targeted by hunters. A tiny captive population exists, but there are no confirmed records from the wild since 1978. Any remaining wild population must be extremely small, and is likely to still be declining. For these reasons the species is classified as Critically Endangered.

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.

Taxonomic note
Crax fasciolata and C. pinna (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) were previously lumped as Crax fasciolata following Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993).

c. 65 cm. Large curassow, males are black with a white vent while females have dark uppersides with narrow pale barring, and pale buff underparts. Both sexes have a curled crest of elongated black or black and white feathers. Similar species. Previously included with C. fasciolata, but present species is smaller (can be only half the weight of C. fasciolata), and females are paler below and darker above with narrower barring.

Distribution and population
Crax pinima is restricted to Maranhão and Pará in the Belém area of endemism in north-east Amazonia, Brazil.  It is extinct around Belém, Pará (Novaes and Lima 1998), and may survive only in western Maranhão at Reserva Biológica do Gurupi and adjoining areas (Lees et al. 2013). The species was not found during extensive fieldwork around Paragominas in eastern Pará (A. Aleixo per F. Olmos in litt. 2003). During extensive sampling in the municipalities of Capitão Poço, Dom Eliseu, Paragominas, Santa Bárbara do Pará, Tailândia, and Tomé-Açu from 1998-2009, the only reports of the species came from local inhabitants who reported that the species persisted in very low densities in the Agropalma Group Forestal Reserves in Tailândia, where it is rarer than Mitu tuberosum, which is larger and sought-after by hunters (Portes et al. 2011). In western Maranhão it was seen in reasonable numbers in the forests along the Rio Pindaré in 1977. It is likely to be close to global extinction in the wild (Lees et al. 2013). In 2009 five individuals (three females, plus two males potentially of this species) were seized in trade and sent to a conservation breeding centre in Santa Catarina; one female and one male died in a landslide in 2010. Two further females were subsequently located at a breeding centre in Minas Gerais, giving a surviving known total of four females and one potential male in captivity (Laganaro 2013).

Population justification
The last confirmed record in the wild was made in 1978 although there are persistent rumours that the species may be present in Gurupi, and there are relatively recent reports from Tailândia. If this is true it is still unlikely that more than 20-30 individuals exist even if it is not already extinct (A. Lees in litt. 2014).

Trend justification
A model of forest loss in the Amazon basin since 2002 (Soares-Filho et al. 2006), combined with the species's approximate maximum range and data on its ecology and life history (following the methods of Bird et al. 2011), suggests that the species will lose 78-88% of suitable habitat in the Amazonian portion of its range (as defined by the model, and which accounts for c. 68% of the total area of suitable habitat for this species) over 35 years (estimate of three generations). The pessimistic scenario for forest loss suggests that the species will lose at least 60% of its global extent of suitable habitat over this period. By also factoring in additional declines owing to the species's susceptibility to fragmentation, edge-effects and hunting, the suspected rate of population decline is thought to be 70% over 35 years.

This species inhabits humid, semi-deciduous and gallery forests, and is often recorded in woodland edges (del Hoyo 1994). It forages on the ground, taking fruits and other items such as leaves (del Hoyo et al. 2014). Breeding information is limited (Clay and Oren 2006).

The expansion of agribusiness and logging has currently made the Belém Centre of Endemism the most deforested sector of Amazonia, with only a few large and well-preserved forest tracts. Even within reserves such as Gurupi habitat destruction has been significant as illegal logging, cultivation and grazing have continued unchallenged. Hunting is likely to represent a significant additional threat.

Conservation and research actions underway
The species may still occur in Gurupi Biological Reserve, and there are reports from the Agropalma Group Forestal Reserves. A tiny captive population exists in private collections in Brazil and Mexico (del Hoyo et al. 2014). It is listed as Endangered on the Brazilian and Pará state Red Lists (del Hoyo et al. 2014).

Conservation and research actions proposed
Continue to search potentially suitable remaining habitats for the species, and follow up any reports of its persistence in the wild. Consider genetic analysis on the captive male to confirm that it is C. pinima. Maintain and expand the tiny captive population with a view to eventual reintroduction if appropriate. Expand the protected area network to effectively protect IBAs. Effectively resource and manage existing and new protected areas, utilising emerging opportunities to finance protected area management with the joint aims of reducing carbon emissions and maximizing biodiversity conservation. Conservation on private lands, through expanding market pressures for sound land management and preventing forest clearance on lands unsuitable for agriculture, is also essential (Soares-Filho et al. 2006). Campaign against proposed changes to the Brazilian Forest Code that would lead to a decrease in the width of the areas of riverine forest protected as Permanent Preservation Areas (APPs), which function as vital corridors in fragmented landscapes.

Bird, J. P.; Buchanan, J. M.; Lees, A. C.; Clay, R. P.; Develey, P. F.; Yépez, I.; Butchart, S. H. M. 2011. Integrating spatially explicit habitat projections into extinction risk assessments: a reassessment of Amazonian avifauna incorporating projected deforestation. Diversity and Distributions: doi: 10.1111/j.1472-4642.2011.00843.x.

Clay, R. P. 2001. The status and conservation of the cracids of Paraguay. In: Brooks, D.M.; Gonzalez-F, F. (ed.), Biology and conservation of cracids in the new millenium, pp. 124-138. Misc. Publ. Houston Mus. Nat. Sci. No. 2.

Clay, R.P. and Oren, D.C. 2006. Bare-faced Currasow (Crax fasciolata). In: Brooks, D.M. (ed.), Conserving Cracids: The most threatened family of birds in the Americas, pp. 110-112. Houston Museum of Natural Science, Houston.

del Hoyo, J. 1994. Cracidae (Chachalacas, Guans and Curassows). In: del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. (ed.), Handbook of the birds of the world, pp. 310-363. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N., Christie, D.A. and Sharpe, C.J. 2014. Belem Curassow (Crax pinima). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. and de Juana, E. (eds), Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive, Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International.

IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. Available at: (Accessed: 19 November 2015).

Laganaro, N. M. 2013. Análise de variabilidade genética do mutum-de-penacho (Crax fasciolata) (Aves, Cracidae). Programa de Diversidade Biológica e Conservação, Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR).

Lees, A. C., de Moura, N. G., Dantas, S. M. and Thompson, I. 2013. Capital Birding: Belém, Pará, Brazil. Neotropical Birding 13: 32-42.

Novaes, F.C. and Lima, M.F.C. 1998. Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi, Belém, Brazil.

Portes, C. E. B.; Carneiro, L. S.; Schunck, F.; Silva, M. S. S.; Zimmer, K. J.; Whittaker, A.; Poletto, F.; Silveira, L. F. and Aleixo. A. 2011. Annotated checklist of birds recorded between 1998 and 2009 at nine areas in the Belém area of endemism, with notes on some range extensions and the conservation status of endangered species. Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 19: 167-184.

Sibley, C.G. and Monroe, B.L. 1990. Distribution and Taxonomy of Birds of the World. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.

Sibley, C.G. and Monroe, B.L. 1993. A supplement to 'Distribution and Taxonomy of Birds of the World'. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.

Silveira, L. F. 2009. Mundo das Aves: Encontrado o lendário Mutum-Pinima! Cães & Cia 361: 58-59. Available at

Silveira, L. F. 2009. Recognizing curassow diversity: Crax fasciolata pinima as a case study. G@llinformed 2: 35-39.

Soares-Filho, B.S.; Nepstad, D.C.; Curran, L.M.; Cerqueira, G.C.; Garcia, R. A.; Ramos, C. A.; Voll, E.; McDonald, A.; Lefebvre, P.; Schlesinger, P. 2006. Modelling conservation in the Amazon basin. Nature 440(7083): 520-523.

Stotz, D. F.; Fitzpatrick, J. W.; Parker, T. A.; Moskovits, D. K. 1996. Neotropical birds: ecology and conservation. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Fisher, S., Harding, M., Symes, A., Taylor, J. & Ashpole, J

Lees, A.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Crax pinima. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Critically Endangered
Family Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, Curassows)
Species name author Pelzeln, 1870
Population size 1-49 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 295,000 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species