Bare-faced Curassow Crax fasciolata


Justification of Red List Category
Based on a model of deforestation in the Amazon basin, and the species’s vulnerability to hunting, it is suspected that its population is declining rapidly over three generations, and it has therefore been classified as Vulnerable.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but this species is described as 'fairly common' (Stotz et al. 1996).

Trend justification
A model of forest loss in the Amazon basin since 2002 (Soares-Filho et al. 2006), combined with the species’s approximate range and data on its ecology and life history (following the methods of Bird et al. 2011), suggests that the species will lose 24-36% of suitable habitat in the Amazonian portion of its range (as defined by the model, and which accounts for c.50% of the total area of suitable habitat for this species) over 35 years (estimate of three generations). The pessimistic scenario for forest loss suggests that the species will lose at least 17.8% of its global extent of suitable habitat over this period. By also factoring in additional declines owing to the species’s susceptibility to fragmentation, edge-effects and hunting, a suspected rate of population decline in Amazonia is calculated to be 27.8% over 35 years. Given habitat loss elsewhere in the range a decline of 30-49% is suspected.

Distribution and population

Crax fasciolata occurs in eastern Bolivia (C. f. grayi), with the nominate C. f. fasciolata from central and south-west Brazil, Paraguay and north Argentina. Although the nominate race survives in Brazil from Minas Gerais, Goiás and Mato Grosso do Sul north to Pará and Mato Grosso, and can be locally common (as in the northern Pantanal and Serra dos Carajás), it is extinct, or nearly so, in Sao Paulo and Paraná (del Hoyo 1994, F. Olmos in litt. 2003). It is considered rare and threatened in Argentina. In Paraguay, the species was thought to have been extirpated, or close to disappearing, from much of its range, although in 1999 the species was still relatively numerous in northern Concepción Department (Clay 2001), it is still recorded an annual basis in gallery forests in Concepción and Ñeembucú Departments, and a nest was discovered in 2011 in the Chaco-Pantanal area (H. del Castillo in litt. 2014). In Bolivia the species is widely distributed throughout the llanos de moxos (savannas), with many areas holding protected populations (B. Hennessey in litt. 2003).


This species inhabits humid, semi-deciduous and gallery forests, and is often recorded in woodland edges (del Hoyo 1994). Primarily frugivorous but also noted feeding on seeds, flowers and invertebrates (del Hoyo & Motis 2004). Breeding evidence noted in the southern hemisphere summer in Paraguay and Argentina; nest is a platform located in a tree (del Hoyo & Motis 2004).


Although the species occupies a relatively large range, it has disappeared from parts of its former range as a result of habitat destruction and hunting (del Hoyo 1994). Hunting pressure is an issue in Goiás, Tocantins and southern Pará, but the nominate form is not considered to be particularly threatened in Brazil (F. Olmos in litt. 2003). The species remains relatively numerous in northern Concepción Department (Paraguay), however, human presence in this area has increased considerably over and hunting pressure may now be high (Clay 2001). The species is listed as being of High conservation priority in the IUCN Cracid Action Plan, and more information on population size, trends and habitat loss are needed, especially for the core range in Brazil.

Conservation actions

Conservation  and research actions underway
No targeted actions are known, but the species presumably occurs in a number of protected areas.

Conservation and research actions proposed

Expand the protected area network to effectively protect IBAs. Effectively resource and manage existing and new protected areas, utilising emerging opportunities to finance protected area management with the joint aims of reducing carbon emissions and maximizing biodiversity conservation. Conservation on private lands, through expanding market pressures for sound land management and preventing forest clearance on lands unsuitable for agriculture, is also essential (Soares-Filho et al. 2006). Campaign against proposed changes to the Brazilian Forest Code that would lead to a decrease in the width of the areas of riverine forest protected as Permanent Preservation Areas (APPs), which function as vital corridors in fragmented landscapes.


c. 75 cm. Males are large, black curassows with bare skin surrounding the eye; slick, curled crest and bright yellow skin at the base of the bill. Females have similar curled feathers as a crest, but have buff underparts, white banded upperparts and white tips to the tail feathers. Similar species. C. pinima was previously included with C. fasciolata; the former is smaller, females have much reduced barring above and are almost white below, not buff.


Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Fisher, S., Harding, M., Martin, R, Taylor, J. & Symes, A.

del Castillo, H.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Species factsheet: Crax fasciolata. Downloaded from on 18/10/2021. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2021) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 18/10/2021.