Colombia – Blue-billed Curassow (Crax alberti)

Introduction

Wandering through the website last year of the World Land Trust (WLT), the international organisation and charity that exists to “protect the world’s most biologically significant and threatened habitats acre by acre” I came across a section that deals with threatened wildlife, including birds at risk; and the work that the WLT is doing to help support that particular species.  The one bird that caught my interest was the Blue-billed Curassow, native of northern Colombia.  This is a Critically Endangered bird, native solely to Colombia and which is threatened by human activity, notably:

  • Loss of forest habitat at a rate of between 2-7 per cent a year, through conversion to farm land (cocoa, coffee and marijuana);
  • Poaching of birds for meat and eggs as well as hunting for the pet trade;
  • Loss of habitat through gold mining activities to the East of the range. 

In short, the greatest threat to the continued existence of this bird is human economic activity.  Its habitat is now limited to five small pockets of northern Colombia, where tropical lowland forests still remain.

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