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 Land-mass type - continent
Average mass 4133 g

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 3,060,000 medium
Number of locations -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 40000-50000 medium estimated 2020
Population trend Decreasing poor inferred -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) 30-49 - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) 30-49 - - -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 8.39 - - -

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 Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Belize N Extant Yes
Colombia N Extant Yes
Costa Rica N Extant Yes
Ecuador N Extant Yes
El Salvador N Extant Yes
Guatemala N Extant Yes
Honduras N Extant Yes
Mexico N Extant Yes
Nicaragua N Extant Yes
Panama N Extant 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
Colombia Paramillo Natural National Park
Panama La Amistad International Park
Panama Damani Wetlands
Panama Fortuna Forest Reserve
Panama El Chorogo-Palo Blanco
Panama Golfo de los Mosquitos Forests
Panama San Lorenzo National Park
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 El Jaguar
Nicaragua Mombacho Volcano
Nicaragua Prinzapolka/Alamikamba Rivers
Nicaragua Los Guatuzos
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 Pacuare, coastal wetlands and Migratory Bird Corridor
Costa Rica Nicoya Peninsula
Costa Rica Tárcoles, Carara and La Cangreja
Costa Rica Guanacaste lowlands
Costa Rica Tilarán Highlands
Nicaragua Miskito Keys and terrestrial landscape
Nicaragua Bluefields Bay and adjacent landscape
Nicaragua Bosawas
Nicaragua Apante Hill
Nicaragua Arenal Hill
Nicaragua Musun Hill
Nicaragua Silva Hill
Nicaragua Chocoyero - El Brujo - Montibelli and adjacent landscape
Nicaragua Momotombo Volcanic Complex
Nicaragua Peñas Blancas Massif
Nicaragua Punta Gorda
Nicaragua Escalante River-Chococente-Tecomapa
Nicaragua Quirragua Mountains and adjacent landscape
Nicaragua Cosiguina Volcano
Nicaragua Wawashan
Belize Rio Bravo CMA Gallon Jug Estate
Belize Crooked Tree and associated wetlands
Belize Maya Mountains and southern reserves
El Salvador El Imposible Forest
Mexico El Triunfo
Mexico Calakmul
Mexico Cerro de Oro
Mexico Chimalapas
Mexico Corredor Calakmul - Sian Ka'an
Mexico Corredor Central Vallarta - Punta Laguna
Mexico El Cielo
Mexico El Ocote
Honduras Rio Platano
Honduras Tawahka
Honduras Parque Nacional Patuca
Mexico Humedales Costeros del Norte de la Península de Yucatán
Honduras Pico Bonito
Mexico Isla Cozumel
Mexico Los Tuxtlas
Mexico Yum Balam
Mexico Montes Azules
Mexico Uxpanapa
Mexico Presa Temascal
Honduras Cerro Azul Meambar
Honduras Sierra de Agalta
Honduras La Muralla and surrounding area
Honduras Jeanette Kawas
Mexico Sur de Quintana Roo
Mexico Ría Lagartos
Mexico Sian Ka'an
Mexico Sierra Norte de Oaxaca
Mexico Sierra de Ticúl - Punto Put
Mexico Sierra de Tabasco
Mexico Sierra de Zongolica-Tenango
Colombia Región del Alto Calima

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 (2022) Species factsheet: Crax rubra. Downloaded from on 16/05/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 16/05/2022.