Salvin's Curassow Mitu salvini


Justification of Red List Category
This species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Population justification
The species has a large global population estimated to be approaching 50,000 individuals (Strahl et al. 1994).

Trend justification
This species is suspected to lose 10.6-11.8% of suitable habitat within its distribution over three generations (32 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 <25% over three generations.

Distribution and population

This species occurs in south-central Colombia, east Ecuador and north-east Peru (Strahl et al. 1994). There are few records from Colombia, although it is found regularly in areas well away from human settlements and is fairly common in Macarena National Park. It is present throughout Amazonian Ecuador but in low numbers: a density of 3.8 birds/km2 has been estimated in terre firme forest with low hunting pressure, whereas in forest with moderate hunting levels a density of only 1.6 birds/km2 was calculated. In Peru, it has declined around human settlements and is reported to be rare near Iquitos but fairly common in other areas (Ortiz-Tejada and O'Neill 1997). It is found in Macarena National Park, Colombia, and Yasuni National Park and Jatun Sacha Reserve, Ecuador.


The species inhabits humid terre firme forest, apparently avoiding flooded areas (del Hoyo et al. 1994). It is usually found in primary forest with flat or slightly undulating relief at elevations of up to 600 m in Colombia (del Hoyo et al. 1994, Hilty and Brown 1986). In a study in the Macarena Mountains birds associated in pairs all year round, and appeared to have overlapping home ranges with loose territoriality. Two eggs are laid (del Hoyo et al. 1994). It feeds mainly on fallen fruit and seeds, but apparently has a rather diverse diet (del Hoyo et al. 1994).


The species suffers from heavy hunting pressure, mainly for local food consumption, and has been recorded for sale at a market in Iquitos (Strahl et al. 1994, del Hoyo et al. 1994). Habitat destruction and fragmentation is only locally significant (del Hoyo et al. 1994).


Text account compilers
Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Harding, M.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Species factsheet: Mitu salvini. Downloaded from on 29/11/2021. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2021) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 29/11/2021.