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Great Curassow Crax rubra
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

IUCN Red List Criteria

Critically Endangered  
Vulnerable A2cd+3cd+4cd 

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2012 Vulnerable
2009 Vulnerable
2008 Near Threatened
2004 Near Threatened
2000 Lower Risk/Near Threatened
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern

Species attributes

Migratory status not a migrant Forest dependency High
Land mass type continent
Average mass 4133 g


  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 662,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 6700-40000 medium Estimated 2008
Population trend Decreasing poor -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 11.5 - - -
Population justification: The total population is estimated to number 10,000-60,000 individuals, roughly equivalent to 6,700-40,000 mature individuals (O. Jahn in litt. 2009).
Trend justification: This species is suspected have undergone rapid declines during the past three generations (34 years) owing to hunting pressure and habitat loss and fragmentation, and these declines are predicted to continue.

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Belize Native Extant Yes      
Colombia Native Extant Yes      
Costa Rica Native Extant       Yes
Ecuador Native Extant Yes      
El Salvador Native Extant Yes      
Guatemala Native Extant Yes      
Honduras Native Extant Yes      
Mexico Native Extant Yes      
Nicaragua Native Extant Yes      
Panama Native Extant Yes      

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Belize Crooked Tree and associated wetlands site factsheet
Belize Maya Mountains and southern reserves site factsheet
Belize Rio Bravo CMA Gallon Jug Estate site factsheet
Colombia Paramillo Natural National Park (Parque Nacional Natural Paramillo IBA) site factsheet
Colombia Parque Nacional Natural Ensenada de Utría site factsheet
Colombia Parque Nacional Natural Los Katíos site factsheet
Costa Rica Arenal-Monteverde site factsheet
Costa Rica Cahuita, Gandoca-Manzanillo and Migratory Bird Corridor site factsheet
Costa Rica Caribbean lowlands and wetlands site factsheet
Costa Rica Central Volcanic Cordillera site factsheet
Costa Rica Fila Costeña site factsheet
Costa Rica Guanacaste lowlands site factsheet
Costa Rica La Amistad Caribe site factsheet
Costa Rica Los Santos, La Amistad Pacífico site factsheet
Costa Rica Maleku-Caño Negro site factsheet
Costa Rica Nicoya Peninsula site factsheet
Costa Rica Pacuare, coastal wetlands and Migratory Bird Corridor site factsheet
Costa Rica Palo Verde Wetlands site factsheet
Costa Rica Sierpe Wetlands and Osa Peninsula site factsheet
Costa Rica Tárcoles, Carara and La Cangreja site factsheet
Costa Rica Tilarán Highlands site factsheet
Ecuador Cayapas-Santiago-Wimbí site factsheet
Ecuador Verde-Ónzole-Cayapas-Canandé site factsheet
El Salvador El Imposible Forest site factsheet
Honduras Cerro Azul Meambar site factsheet
Honduras Jeanette Kawas site factsheet
Honduras La Muralla site factsheet
Honduras Parque Nacional Patuca site factsheet
Honduras Pico Bonito site factsheet
Honduras Rio Platano site factsheet
Honduras Sierra de Agalta site factsheet
Honduras Tawahka site factsheet
Mexico Cerro El Viejo – Puerto Purificación site factsheet
Mexico Coastal hunedals of the North of the Peninsula of Yucatan site factsheet
Mexico Sierra de Zongolica y Tenango site factsheet
Mexico Tlanchinol y bosques de montaña del noreste de Hidalgo site factsheet
Nicaragua Apante Hill site factsheet
Nicaragua Arenal Hill site factsheet
Nicaragua Bluefields Bay and adjacent landscape site factsheet
Nicaragua Bosawas site factsheet
Nicaragua Chocoyero - El Brujo - Montibelli and adjacent landscape site factsheet
Nicaragua Cosiguina Volcano site factsheet
Nicaragua El Jaguar site factsheet
Nicaragua Escalante River-Chococente-Tecomapa site factsheet
Nicaragua Indio Maíz site factsheet
Nicaragua Los Guatuzos site factsheet
Nicaragua Miskito Keys and terrestrial landscape site factsheet
Nicaragua Mombacho Volcano site factsheet
Nicaragua Momotombo Volcanic Complex site factsheet
Nicaragua Musun Hill site factsheet
Nicaragua Peñas Blancas Massif site factsheet
Nicaragua Prinzapolka/Alamikamba Rivers site factsheet
Nicaragua Punta Gorda site factsheet
Nicaragua Quirragua Mountains and adjacent landscape site factsheet
Nicaragua San Juan River - La Inmaculada Concepcion de Maria site factsheet
Nicaragua Silva Hill site factsheet
Nicaragua Wawashan site factsheet
Panama Bahía Honda site factsheet
Panama Chagres National Park site factsheet
Panama Damani Wetlands site factsheet
Panama Darién National Park site factsheet
Panama El Chorogo-Palo Blanco site factsheet
Panama Fortuna Forest Reserve site factsheet
Panama Golfo de los Mosquitos Forests site factsheet
Panama La Amistad International Park (part of La Amistad and Surrounding Areas AZE) site factsheet
Panama Majé Hydrological Reserve site factsheet
Panama Narganá Wildlands Area site factsheet
Panama Palo Seco Protection Forest site factsheet
Panama Portobelo National Park site factsheet
Panama Punta Patiño Nature Reserve and Wetlands site factsheet
Panama San Lorenzo National Park site factsheet
Panama Serranía de Majé site factsheet
Panama Soberanía National Park site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Plantations marginal resident
Artificial/Terrestrial Subtropical/Tropical Heavily Degraded Former Forest marginal resident
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Dry marginal resident
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland major resident
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane marginal resident
Altitude 0 - 1900 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact

Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops / Agro-industry farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Decline Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals / Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Decline Medium Impact: 6
Species mortality
Biological resource use Logging & wood harvesting / Unintentional effects: (large scale) [harvest] Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Decline Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem degradation
Natural system modifications Fire & fire suppression / Increase in fire frequency/intensity Timing Scope Severity Impact
Past, Unlikely to Return Minority (<50%) Unknown Past Impact
Ecosystem degradation


Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food (human) Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Subsistence, National Non-trivial Recent
Pets Whole Adults and juveniles Wild International Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Crax rubra. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016.

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 Vulnerable
Family Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, Curassows)
Species name author Linnaeus, 1758
Population size 6700-40000 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 662,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species