Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Galliformes Cracidae

Scientific Name: Crax pinima
Species Authority: Pelzeln, 1870
Common Name(s):
English Belem Curassow
Taxonomic Source(s): 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.
Taxonomic Notes: Crax fasciolata and C. pinima (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) were previously lumped as C. fasciolata following Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993).
Identification information: 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.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered D ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2014-07-24
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S.
Contributor(s): Lees, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Fisher, S., Harding, M., Symes, A. & Taylor, J.
This newly-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.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: 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).
Countries occurrence:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 295000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Unknown
Extreme 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): 900
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: 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 if its 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.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: 1-49 Continuing decline of mature individuals: Yes
Extreme fluctuations: No Population severely fragmented: No
Continuing decline in subpopulations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations: No All individuals in one subpopulation: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species inhabits humid, semi-deciduous and gallery forests, and is often recorded in woodland edges (del Hoyo 1994).
Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Unknown
Generation Length (years): 11.5
Movement patterns: Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The expansion of agribusiness and logging has currently made the Belém center 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 Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

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.

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.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2014. Crax pinima. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T45092131A45092436. . Downloaded on 07 October 2015.
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