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Wattled Curassow Crax globulosa
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This species is considered Endangered as it has a very small population which is estimated to have undergone a very rapid population decline. Hunting is suspected to be causing these ongoing declines, and effective control is urgently required. This species may be uplisted to Critically Endangered in the future should information suggest population declines are greater than currently estimated.

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.
SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #

82-89 cm. Large, mainly black, terrestrial cracid. Male black, with curled crest feathers and white vent. Black bill with reddish (sometimes yellowish) cere, bill knob and hanging wattle. Black legs. Female black with rufous vent. Black bill and red cere. Similar spp. Only curassow with red bill wattles and white undertail in range. Voice High, descending whistle wheeeeeeeee. Hints Known to concentrate around water-bodies during dry season.

Distribution and population
Crax globulosa was formerly widespread in upper Amazonia (west Brazil, south Colombia, east Ecuador, east Peru and north Bolivia). South Colombia remains remote and poorly known (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999), but it occurs at Isla Mocagua on the río Amazonas (Bennett 2000, Bennett and Franco-Maya 2002), and on several islands the río Caquetá, near the Brazilian border (Bennett 2000, Alarcón-Nieto and Palacios 2005). It was reportedly fairly common on the río Apaporis near Chiriquibete National Park (J. Estudillo López verbally 1994), but recent surveys have not found the species (P. von Hildebrand verbally 1999). A few sites are known near the confluence of the ríos Javari and Amazonas in Colombia, Peru and Brazil (A. Whittaker in litt. 1999, Bennett 2000). In Peru, it occurs on the middle río Napo, the río Yavari (untraced site) and part of the lower río Marañón (Begazo and Valqui 1998, J. Alvarez Alonso in litt. 1999), as well as the río Pastaza, and lower río Ucayali close to the confluence with the Marañon (Yahuarcani et al. 2009). In Brazil, it additionally occurs at three disjunct sites in the río Juruá drainage (F. L. Silveira in litt. 2000), in Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve (Santos 1997-1998), and in the juncture between río Solimoes and río Purus (T. Haugaasen and C. A. Peres in litt. 2005), where the species was locally abundant within a small area of várzea forest, with an extrapolated density of 0.56 individuals/km (Begazo and Valqui 1998). In Bolivia the only known surviving population is along a tributary of the río Beni, where it has been in decline since the 1940s but persists along the río Negro (c. 25 km from the nearest settlement, San Marcos) (Hennessey 1999). In 2003 surveys of várzea habitat along the río Negro produced an encounter rate of 0.36 individuals per hour, suggesting that there is a reasonably good population in this region (Aranibar-Rojas et al. 2005). Its range has contracted greatly, and it has probably been extirpated from Ecuador (Cracid Newsletter 1991) and Rondônia, Brazil (F. Olmos in litt. 1999). It has been speculated that c. 100 individuals may persist in Bolivia, and <300 individuals in Peru (B. Hennessey in litt. 2005). Likewise it is speculated that the Colombian population could be <100, divided into two completely isolated subpopulations (G. Alarcón-Nieto in litt. 2005, B. Hennessey in litt. 2005). The most important site for the species globally is Mamirauá (Brazil), which was estimated in 2005 to hold a population of well over 250 individuals (B. Whitney in litt. 2005, P. Develey in litt. 2007). Throughout its range the species has undergone dramatic population declines - at Isla Mocagua alone, the population numbered c. 1000 individuals as recently as the 1950s, but now fewer than 50 remain (Bennett 2000). New information showing a close tie to water edge habitat in the dry season suggests that its Extent of Occurrence, and therefore population, may have been seriously overestimated (Hill et al. 2008, Chand et al. in review, R. MacLeod in litt. 2007, 2010).

Population justification
Currently, there are estimated to be 320 individuals in Colombia, 100-150 in Bolivia, less than 300 in Peru, and at least 250, maybe as many as 1,000 individuals in Brazil (R. MacLeod in litt. 2008). This is consistent with recorded population density estimates across its Area of Occurrence, taken as 366 km2 (H. Aranibar-Rojas in litt. 2008, R. MacLeod in litt. 2008), hence the population is precautionarily estimated at 250-999 mature individuals (equating to 375-1,499 individuals in total, rounded here to 350-1,500 individuals), though the true population size may be greater.

Trend justification
This species is suspected to lose 30.1-31.7% of suitable habitat within its distribution over three generations (35 years) based on a model of Amazonian deforestation (Soares-Filho et al. 2006, Bird et al. 2011). Given the susceptibility of the species to hunting and/or trapping, it is therefore suspected to decline by ≥30% over three generations.

It inhabits lowland, riverine, humid forest. Small groups forage on inundated ground for small fish, insects, aquatic crustaceans, other small animals and fruit (Hennessey 1999, Bennett 2000, J. Alvarez Alonso in litt. 1999). In the dry season, birds congregate around rivers (Hennessey 1999) and studies from Bolivia indicate that in the dry season this species is closely linked to water; no individuals have ever been found more than 300 m from the river edge, despite detailed surveys extending to 3 km from the river (Hill et al. 2008, Chand et al. in review, R. MacLeod in litt. 2007, 2010). It has been suggested that it is similarly tied to water in Colombia and Brazil, and this would imply that its population is far smaller than previous estimates based on the total remaining area of varzea forest (R. MacLeod in litt. 2007, 2010). In the wet season, birds possibly migrate from várzea to terra firme forest (F. L. Silveira in litt. 2000) to feed on canopy fruit and seeds (Bennett 2000). It nests in June with chicks observed in July (Bennett 2000).

Amazonian rivers are the routes for colonisation, development, hunting and transport in the region. Hunting, whether commercial, subsistence (Santos 1997-1998) or by loggers (Hennessey 1999) is the main threat, with habitat loss contributory. It is more vulnerable to hunting than other cracids as it is restricted to water edge habitats that are easily reached by the human population who use rivers for transport (R. MacLeod in litt. 2007, 2010). On the río Beni, it was heavily hunted by fur traders during the 1960s, but the prohibition of fur-hunting by CITES in 1971 slowed declines (Hennessey 1999).

Conservation Actions Underway
It occurs in Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve, Amazonas, Brazil (Santos 1997-1998), where it nevertheless continues to be hunted (B. Whitney in litt. 2005), and Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve, Loreto, Peru (Begazo and Valqui 1998). It has also been recorded very close to the newly decreed Piagacu-Purus Sustainable Development Reserve, Brazil (T. Haugaasen and C. A. Peres in litt. 2005). In Bolivia, a temporary hunting ban to secure the future of local hunting stocks has reportedly contributed to population recovery (Hennessey 1999). A public education project has focused on conservation presentations to the local Tacuna communities (Hennessey 2004) and the local community in San Marcos now protect an area for ecotourism and research where hunting and resource extraction are banned (H. Aranibar-Rojas in litt. 2007).  A number of captive breeding birds exist, with the American population managed by the AZA studbook held at Houston Zoo (Arkive; Brooks and Strahl 2000).
Conservation Actions Proposed
Ensure active protection of known populations by working with local communities to reduce or eliminate hunting pressure. Interview local hunters to refine the known distribution and relate this to human and environmental variables (Santos 1997-1998, Hennessey 1999). Survey and monitor the species's strongholds (Santos 1997-1998, Hennessey 1999) and carry out detailed population surveys in Brazil and Peru to allow accurate estimations of the remaining national populations. Research its ecology (L. F. Silveira in litt. 1999) and develop captive breeding programmes (Collar and Butchar 2013). Designate protected sites and promote ecotourism (Hennessey 1999, L. F. Silveira in litt. 1999, Bennett 2000). Extend education programmes to encourage further uptake of sustainable hunting practices  (J. Alvarez Alonso in litt. 1999, Hennessey 1999, Bennett 2000). Conduct a regional analysis of population genetics (H. Aranibar-Rojas in litt. 2007).

Related state of the world's birds case studies

Alarcon-Nieto, G.; Palacios, E. 2005. Confirmation of a second population for Colombia of the Wattled Curassow (Crax globulosa) in the lower Caquetá River. Ornitología Colombiana: 97-99.

Alarcón-Nieto, G.; Palacios, E. 2008. Estado de la población del Pavón Moquirrojo (Crax globulosa) en el Bajo Río Caquetá, Amazonía Colombiana. Ornitologia Neotropical 19(3): 371-376.

Aranibar-Rojas, H.; Gutierrez, S.; Hennessey, B. 2005. Preliminary analysis of the conservation status of the Wattled Curassow (Crax globulosa) in varzea habitat, Beni, Bolivia. Bulletin of the IUCN/SSC/WPA Cracid Specialist Group 20: 14-15.

ARKive. Wattled curassow (Crax globulosa). web page. Available at: (Accessed: 05/08/2013).

Begazo, A. J.; Valqui, T. H. 1998. Birds of Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve with a new population of Myrmotherula longicauda and new record for Peru of Hylophilus semicinereus. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 118: 159-166.

Bennett, S. E. 2000. The status of the piuri (Crax globulosa) in Colombia - a brief overview. 10: 16-9.

Bennett, S. E.; Franco-Maya, A. M. 2002. Crax globulosa. In: Renjifo, M.L.; Franco-Maya, A.M.; Amaya-Espinel, J.D.; Kattan, G.H.; López-Lanús, B. (ed.), Libro rojo de aves de Colombia, pp. 146-149. Instituto de Investigación de Recursos Biológicos Alexander von Humboldt y Ministerio del Medio Ambiente, Bogota.

Brooks, D. M.; Strahl, S. D. 2000. Curassows, guans and chachalacas: status survey and conservation action plan for Cracids 2000-2004. IUCN/SSC Cracid Specialist Group, Gland, Swizerland and Cambridge, UK.

Collar, N. J.; Butchart, S. H. M. 2013. Conservation breeding and avian diversity: chances and challenges. International Zoo Yearbook.

Collar, N. J.; Gonzaga, L. P.; Krabbe, N.; Madroño Nieto, A.; Naranjo, L. G.; Parker, T. A.; Wege, D. C. 1992. Threatened birds of the Americas: the ICBP/IUCN Red Data Book. International Council for Bird Preservation, Cambridge, U.K.

Hennessey, A. B. 1999. Status of the Wattled Curassow (Crax globulosa) in the lower Beni river area of Bolivia. Bulletin of the IUCN/Birdlife/WPA Cracid Specialist Group: 16-18.

Hennessey, A. B. 2004. Conservation presentations to Tacan communities within the last Bolivian site of the Wattled Curassow (Crax globulosa). Bulletin of the IUCN/Birdlife/WPA Cracid Specialist Group 19: 28-32.

Hill, D. L.; Arañibar-Rojas, H.; MacLeod, R. 2008. Wattled Curassows in Bolivia: abundance, habitat use and conservation status. Journal of Field Ornithology 79(4): 345-351.

Santos, P. M. R. S. 1997-98. The Wattled Curassow (Crax globulosa) at Mamirauá (Amazonas, Brazil). 7: 13-19.

Yahuarcani, A.; Morote, K.; Calle, A.; Chujandama, M. 2009. Estado de conservación de Crax globulosa en la Reserva Nacional Pacaya Samiria, Loreto. Revista Peruana de Biología 15(2): 41-49.

Further web sources of information
Detailed species account from the Threatened birds of the Americas: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 1992). Please note taxonomic treatment and IUCN Red List category may have changed since publication.

Detailed species account from the Threatened birds of the Americas: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 1992). Please note, taxonomic treatment and IUCN Red List category may have changed since publication.

Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Recuento detallado de la especie tomado del libro Aves Amenazadas de las Americas, Libro Rojo de BirdLife International (BirdLife International 1992). Nota: la taxonomoía y la categoría de la Lista Roja de la UICN pudo haber cambiado desde esta publicación.

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

Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Calvert, R., Keane, A., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A., Temple, H.

Alonso Alvarez, J., Bennett, S., Bennun, L., Develey, P., Estudillo López, J., Hennessey, A., MacLeod, R., Olmos, F., Salaman, P., Silveira, L., Whitney, B., Whittaker, A., von Hildebrand, P., Angulo Pratolongo, F.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Crax globulosa. Downloaded from on 02/08/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 02/08/2014.

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.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Wattled curassow (Crax globulosa) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Endangered
Family Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, Curassows)
Species name author Spix, 1825
Population size 250-999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 28,200 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species