It is on Uakari Lodge surroundings that the largest population of this species is found – which is endagered
A loud and long whistle (similar to those that precede explosions of bombs in cartoons): this is one of the sounds that all the birdwatchers that visit us want to hear. However, listening to it is only completing the first stage of the search, then you need to stop the boat, be silent, identify where the sound comes from and look for some movement in the middle of the tall treetops.
Although the owners of the vocalisation described above are large birds (they are 90cm long and about 2.5 kg) – they are difficult to locate because they are very shy and skittish and because they spend almost all their time in the dense tree tops. The popular name of these animals in Mamirauá is “Mutum-piurí” and in other places it can be known as “Mutum-de-fava” (bean mutum) due to the globose appendages above and below the beak, which only males have. This characteristic was also highlighted in the scientific name of the species: Crax globulosa.
The distribution of Wattled curassow (Crax globulosa) is closely linked to lowland forests in some locations in the central-western portion of the Amazon basin, being present in five countries: Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. However, the occurrence areas are small and isolated, and the healthiest subpopulation (estimated at more than 250 individuals) is at Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve.
Because it is a rare and threatened species, it is in the category “endagered” on the IUCN Red List (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources). The main threats to this and other species of curassows are the loss of habitat and hunting, which have already victimized the Alagoas Curassow (Pauxi mitu) and it is extinct in the wild. More and more human activities are causing species to disappear. This phenomenon, known by terms like “Sixth extinction” and “Defaunation of the Anthropocene”, has been increasingly studied and reported, and the saddest thing of all is that sometimes we don’t even get to know the species and their particularities (behavior, reproduction , etc.). Every time I see a Wattled curassow during a hike I feel an enormous privilege and a hint of hope!
. Text: Cynthia Lebrão
. Images: Bianca Bernadon