Red-billed Curassow

(Crax blumenbachii)


Red-billed Curassow IUCN ENDANGERED (EN)


Facts about this animal

Male: the plumage is black, moderately glossed with greenish-blue. The tail is entirely black. The face is quite fully feathered black, except around the eyes, where the skin is purplish-brown. The crest is long, full and well developed. It has a dark brown bill with a black tip. The bill knob is small, the wattles are large, both bright red to orange-red. The eyes are dark brown, almost black. Its legs are blackish, with grey between the scales.


Female: the belly, under-tail coverts and thigh tufts are pale rufous, the last two are darker. The upper parts are similar to the male, but with a variable amount of rather inconspicuous wavy rufous to chestnut markings on the wings, including the upper and under coverts and also the belly. The crest feathers on the head are black, usually with three narrow whitish bars. The bill and the cere are dull blackish. There are no knobs (but slight swelling), and no wattles. The eyes are light clear brown and much paler than the males. The colour of the legs is dull flesh to dull orange-rose.

Did you know?
that the red-billed curassow is now largely restricted to four or five reserves in Brazil, and that only two of these reserves hold populations of more than 50 birds?


Class AVES
Suborder CRACI
Name (Scientific) Crax blumenbachii
Name (English) Red-billed Curassow
Name (French) Hocco à bec rouge
Name (German) Rotschnabelhokko
Name (Spanish) Hoco piguirojo
Local names Brazil: Mutum-do-sudeste, Mutum-de-bico-vermelho
CITES Status Appendix I
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
João Guilherme Quental



Range Brazil
Habitat Tropical rainforest
Wild population Sooretama Biological Reserve: 60 individuals; Rio Doce State Park: 100; Descobrimento National Park: 35, recent sightings of small numbers at five other sites in 2003 (2003) (Red List IUCN 2011)
Zoo population 558 (267.290.1) are registered by the International studbook (Jan 1, 2009).

In the Zoo

Red-billed Curassow


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 16 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
João Guilherme Quental

Why do zoos keep this animal

The wild population of the red-billed curassow is estimated to be in the order of only 250 birds, i.e. the species is highly endangered in the wild. With a view of building up a reserve population, an International Studbook has been established under the WAZA umbrella, and coordinated conservation breeding programme is operated at the regional level by EAZA. The EEP population corresponds to about 20 % of the extant wild population.

The red-billed curassow is also a suitable ambassador species for its threatened habitat, the Atlantic rainforest of Brazil, which it shares with many other threatened species, such as the golden-faced lion-tamarin (Leontopithecus chrysomelas), maned sloth (Bradypus torquatus), ochre-marked parakeet (Pyrrhura cruentata), red-browed parrot (Amazona rhodocorytha), hook-billed hermit (Glaucis dorhnii), Banded Cotinga (Cotinga maculata), and so on.