Mitu tomentosum 

Scope: Global
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Galliformes Cracidae

Scientific Name: Mitu tomentosum (Spix, 1825)
Common Name(s):
English Crestless Curassow
Crax tomentosa Stotz et al. (1996)
Crax tomentosa BirdLife International (2004)
Mitu tomentosa tomentosa Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993)
Taxonomic Source(s): SACC. 2005 and updates. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #
Identification information: 75-85 cm. Large cracid with small bill. All black plumage except for rich chestnut belly and tail tips. Small red bill lacking any swelling, reddish legs and toes and reddish-brown iris. Lacks crest. Similar spp. Black Curassow Crax alector and Yellow-knobbed Curassow C. daubentoni both have white rather than chestnut bellies, and yellow rather than red around bill.  Voice Booming call.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Lees, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Khwaja, N., Symes, A.

Based on a model of future deforestation in the Amazon basin, and the species’s susceptibility to habitat fragmentation and hunting, it is suspected that its population will decline by 25-30% over the next three generations, and it has therefore been uplisted to Near Threatened.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Mitu tomentosum is endemic to north-central South America. In Venezuela it is considered locally common (Restall et al. 2006); it was observed frequently at the base of Cerro de la Neblina in 1991. However, it has not been recorded from adjacent Pico da Neblina National Park, Brazil, since before 1960. Elsewhere in north-west Brazil it is fairly common in north Roraima and scarce around Manaus (del Hoyo et al. 1994). In Colombia, it is reported to be locally abundant north of río Caquetá (del Hoyo et al. 1994, Restall et al. 2006). It is uncommon and local in Guyana (Restall et al. 2006). There is a known captive population in Mexico (del Hoyo et al. 1994).
Countries occurrence:
Brazil; Colombia; Guyana; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:1600000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:No
Upper elevation limit (metres):600
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The global population size has not been quantified, but this species is described as 'uncommon' (Stotz et al. 1996).

Trend Justification:  This species is suspected to lose 10.8-15.2% of suitable habitat within its distribution over three generations (29 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 a rate approaching 30% over three generations.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:UnknownContinuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This is a forest species, inhabiting humid "terra firme" (with no flooding) forest in Colombia as well as gallery forest in the southern "llanos" (plains) of Colombia and Venezuela, and "várzea" (seasonally flooded forest) where its range overlaps with Black Curassow Crax alector (Hilty 2003). It is restricted to lowlands up to 500 m in Colombia and 600 m in Venezuela (del Hoyo et al. 1994). Its diet consists of fruits and seeds, and occasionally small vertebrates or insects (Restall et al. 2006). Breeding begins with the arrival of the rains, with the nest placed low in trees (del Hoyo et al. 1994).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):9.5
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The primary threat to this species is accelerating deforestation in the Amazon Basin as land is cleared for cattle ranching and soy production, facilitated by expansion of the road network (Soares-Filho et al. 2006, Bird et al. 2011). It is made additionally vulnerable as it is subject to significant hunting pressure (Restall et al. 2006, A. Lees in litt. 2011). Proposed changes to the Brazilian Forest Code reduce the percentage of land a private landowner is legally required to maintain as forest (including, critically, a reduction in the width of forest buffers alongside perennial steams) and include an amnesty for landowners who deforested before July 2008 (who would subsequently be absolved of the need to reforest illegally cleared land) (Bird et al. 2011).


Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

Conservation Actions Underway
None is known.

Conservation Actions Proposed
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.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2016. Mitu tomentosum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22678464A92775236. . Downloaded on 26 September 2018.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided