Great Curassow Crax rubra


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. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.
SACC. 2005 and updates. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #

IUCN Red List criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - A2cd+3cd+4cd

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2020 Vulnerable A2cd+3cd+4cd
2016 Vulnerable A2cd+3cd+4cd
2012 Vulnerable A2cd+3cd+4cd
2009 Vulnerable A2c,d; A3c,d; A4c,d
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 4,133 g

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence (breeding/resident) 3,060,000 km2 medium
Severely fragmented? no -
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
Population size 40000-50000 mature individuals medium estimated 2020
Population trend decreasing poor inferred 1999-2024
Rate of change over the past 10 years/3 generations (longer of the two periods) 30-49% - - -
Rate of change over the future 10 years/3 generations (longer of the two periods) 30-49% - - -
Rate of change over the past & future 10 years/3 generations (longer of the two periods) 30-49% - - -
Generation length 8.39 years - - -

Population justification: The population size is estimated at 50,000-499,999 by Partners in Flight (2019), however previous estimates placed the number of mature individuals between 6,700-40,000 (O. Jahn in litt. 2009). It is here therefore tentatively assumed that the population size is ~50,000 mature individuals; however further confirmation of this estimate is required.

Trend justification: This species is suspected have undergone rapid declines during the past three generations (25 years) owing to hunting pressure and habitat loss and fragmentation, and these declines are predicted to continue. Forest decline throughout its range has been extensive during the past 25 years with over 12% of forest areas lost throughout the period (Tracewski et al. 2016). Subspecies griscomi is similarly declining throughout its range on Cozumel Island under continued increasing pressure (Caballero and Martínez-Morales 2006).

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Presence Origin Resident Breeding visitor Non-breeding visitor Passage migrant
Belize extant native yes
Colombia extant native yes
Costa Rica extant native yes
Ecuador extant native yes
El Salvador extant native yes
Guatemala extant native yes
Honduras extant native yes
Mexico extant native yes
Nicaragua extant native yes
Panama extant native yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Colombia Parque Nacional Natural Ensenada de Utría
Ecuador Cayapas-Santiago-Wimbí
Ecuador Verde-Ónzole-Cayapas-Canandé
Colombia Parque Nacional Natural Los Katíos
Panama La Amistad International Park
Panama Damani Wetlands
Panama El Chorogo-Palo Blanco
Panama Golfo de los Mosquitos Forests
Panama Portobelo National Park
Panama Bahía Honda
Panama Palo Seco Protection Forest
Panama Chagres National Park
Panama Majé Hydrological Reserve
Panama Serranía de Majé
Panama Narganá Wildlands Area
Panama Punta Patiño Nature Reserve and Wetlands
Panama Darién National Park
Costa Rica Arenal-Monteverde
Costa Rica Cahuita, Gandoca-Manzanillo and Migratory Bird Corridor
Costa Rica Fila Costeña
Panama Soberanía National Park
Costa Rica Palo Verde Wetlands
Costa Rica Sierpe Wetlands and Osa Peninsula
Costa Rica Central Volcanic Cordillera
Nicaragua Prinzapolka/Alamikamba Rivers
Nicaragua San Juan River - La Inmaculada Concepcion de Maria
Nicaragua Indio Maíz
Costa Rica La Amistad Caribe
Costa Rica Caribbean lowlands and wetlands
Costa Rica Los Santos, La Amistad Pacífico
Costa Rica Maleku - Caño Negro
Costa Rica Nicoya Peninsula
Costa Rica Tárcoles, Carara and La Cangreja
Costa Rica Guanacaste lowlands
Costa Rica Tilarán Highlands
Nicaragua Bosawas
Nicaragua Arenal Hill
Nicaragua Musun Hill
Nicaragua Silva Hill
Nicaragua Chocoyero - El Brujo - Montibelli and adjacent landscape
Nicaragua Peñas Blancas Massif
Nicaragua Punta Gorda
Nicaragua Cosiguina Volcano
Nicaragua Wawashan
Belize Rio Bravo CMA Gallon Jug Estate
Belize Crooked Tree and associated wetlands
Belize Maya Mountains and southern reserves
Mexico Cerro de Oro
Mexico Chimalapas
Mexico Presa Temascal
Mexico Sur de Quintana Roo
Mexico Sierra de Tabasco
Mexico Calakmul
Mexico El Ocote
Mexico Sierra de Zongolica-Tenango
Mexico El Cielo
Mexico Los Tuxtlas
Mexico Montes Azules
Honduras Jeanette Kawas
Honduras La Muralla
Honduras Sierra de Agalta
Honduras Pico Bonito
Honduras Nombre de Dios
Honduras Mocorón
Honduras Patuca
Honduras Rio Platano

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 Declines 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 Declines 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 Declines Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem degradation
Climate change & severe weather Storms & flooding Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Species disturbance, Ecosystem degradation
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - Unspecified species Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
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
Transportation & service corridors Roads & railroads Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 6
Ecosystem degradation

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food - human - - non-trivial recent
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - international non-trivial recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Species factsheet: Crax rubra. Downloaded from on 01/03/2024.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2024) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 01/03/2024.