Physical characteristics: This curassow weighs about 5.5 pounds (2.5 kilograms) and measures 32.2 to 35 inches (82 to 89 centimeters) long. The male is black with a white belly and a red globe-like ornamentation above and below the bill. The female has reddish brown belly feathers and a red fleshy area between the beak and face.
Geographic range: The wattled curassow is found from Colombia and western Brazil to Bolivia.
Habitat: This bird prefers the tropical rainforest in the Amazon basin. It rarely leaves the trees except to breed..
Diet: Wattled currasows feed on vegetation and small invertebrates (animals without backbones).
Behavior and reproduction: The wattled curas-sow whistles softly for four to six seconds at a time. Nothing is known about this bird's reproductive habits in the wild. In captivity, the female lays two eggs.
Wattled curassows and people: These birds are hunted for food, often to the detriment of the bird population.
Conservation status: Listed as Vulnerable, facing a high risk of extinction, by the IUCN. Humans rarely see wattled curassows not only because of the patchy distribution of the species, but because it lives primarily in higher altitudes where there are fewer people. The main threat to the wattled curassow is overhunting. ■
FOR MORE INFORMATION Books:
Brooks, Daniel M., and Stuart D. Strahl. Cracids: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan for Cracids 2000-2004. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN, 2001.
Kricher, John. A Neotropical Companion, 2nd ed. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1999.
"About Rainforests: Tropical Rainforest Animals." Kid's Corner, Rainforest Action Network. http://kids.ran.org/kidscorner/rainforests/s06_animals. html (accessed on June 2, 2004).
"Plain Chachalaca." Animals Online. http://www.animals-online.be/ birds/hokkos/plain_chachalaca.html (accessed on June 2, 2004).
"Plain Chachalaca." ENature. http://www.enature.com/fieldguide/ showSpeciesRECNUM.asp?recnum=bd0640 (accessed on June 2, 2004).
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