Conservation of Blue-billed curassow (2014-2017)

 Photo: Camera trap by Juan David Sánchez

The blue-billed curassow Crax alberti (Cracidae) is a Colombian endemic and critically-endangered bird species (Stiles 1998). It inhabits humid and deciduous forests, cloud forests lowlands including the foothills of the Central and Eastern cordilleras and the inter-Andean valleys on the northwest of Colombia. Currently, this species is possibly extinct on 89% of his original territory (UICN 2014), mostly due to habitat loss and fragmentation, and subsistence hunting (Melo and Ochoa 2008, Birdlife International 2014).
Fundación Biodiversa Colombia has teamed up with the Ornithological Society of Antioquia (SAO) to prevent local extinction of C. alberti from the middle Magdalena river valley (MMV) region. We want to prevent further deforestation of the Paujil’s habitat by promoting sustainable development and increasing awareness about the species conservation status and risks.
Currently we are part of the project Vida Silvestre along with Ecopetrol, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Fundacion Mario Santo Domingo and other four institutions. The objective of this project is to promote the conservation of five strategic species along the middle Magdalena river valley. The blue-billed curassow is one of them, and we are participating with a two-year long project in the wetland complex of Barbacoas (located in the state of Antioquia within the middle Magdalena river valley).

Gallery of camera trap images of Crax alberti

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Photo trap videos of Crax alberti

This project has the following objectives:

1. To establish management agreements with local land owners to increase the forested area and the connectivity among forest remnants in order to favor the mobility and persistence of C. alberti populations in the area.
2. To advocate for changes in the regional management plans to promote environmentally friendlier production practices in the region
3. To increase coordination and participation among local organizations, institutions, and general public to oversight management practices in the region.

In parallel to the development of this project we teamed up with scientists for the University of Antioquia (UA) and Fundaçao Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso Do Sul (-FUFMGS, Brazil) to answer the following questions about this species:

1. What is the status of C. alberti population in the area?
2. Which aspects of forest fragmentation are more influential in persistence of C. alberti populations in the region?


Catalina Giraldo MFA. Fernando Arbelaez MSc. Project coordinators
Julio Marin. Field Coordinator
Maira Ortiz. Social Coordinator and Local Managment
Jorjany Botero. Ornithology coordinator


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