Curassows, Guans, and Chachalacas (Cracidae)

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Curassows, guans, and chachalacas

(Cracidae)

Class Aves

Order Galliformes

Suborder Craci

Family Cracidae


Thumbnail description
A group of Neotropical gamebirds, long-tailed and medium to large in size

Size
16.5–36.2 in (42–92 cm); 0.8–9.5 lb (385–4,300 g)

Number of genera, species
11 genera; 50 species

Habitat
Predominately tropical forest and woodland

Conservation status
Critically Endangered: 3 species; Endangered: 4 species; Vulnerable: 7 species; Near Threatened: 8 species; Extinct in the Wild: 1 species

Distribution
South Texas to central Argentina

Evolution and systematics

Cracids are a primitive, ancestral family of gamebirds (Galliformes), probably originating in Central America and southern North America. The earliest known cracid is recognized by a fossil approximately 50 million years old, found in Wyoming. This primitive bird appeared to be primarily arboreal, living at a time when most of North America was tropical. Younger fossils (around 30 million years old) similar to chachalacas have been found in nearby South Dakota. Recent fragments (approximately 20,000 years old) of more contemporary cracid fossils (e.g., Crax, Penelope) have been found within their existing range. The cracids are most closely related to the moundbuilders (Megapodiidae).

In Peter's checklist, the cracids form a family with 8 genera and 44 species. In other, more recent classifications, the family has 11 genera and 50 species. The chachalacas (Ortalis), with 12 species, are the smallest members of the family, and characterized by more drab coloration, lack of sexual dimorphism, and the ability to occupy a variety of habitats including secondary growth. The medium-sized guans are represented by six genera: true guans (Penelope) with 15 species, piping guans (Pipile) and sickle-winged guans (Chamaepetes) with four and two species, respectively, and three monotypic genera: the wattled guan (Aburria aburri), the highland guan (Penelopina nigra), and the horned guans (Oreophasis derbianus). Coloring in guans ranges from drab to dramatic, and sexual dimorphism is present in only a few species. Curassows are the largest cracids, represented by four genera: the monotypic nocturnal curassow (Nothocrax urumutum), the razor-billed curassows (Mitu) with four species, helmeted curassows (Pauxi) with two species, and the true curassows (Crax) with seven species.

Physical characteristics

The Cracidae range in size from scarcely as large as a black grouse (Lyrurus tetrix) to almost turkey-sized. They replace the pheasants of Asia in tropical America and are in some respects also reminiscent of the American turkeys. Spanish-speaking Latin Americans therefore call them pavos or pavones (turkeys), or faisanes (pheasants). Their length is 16.5–36.2 in (42–92 cm), and weight is 0.8–9.5 lb (385–4,300 g). These birds are slim, long-legged, and have short, rounded wings and a fairly long tail. The beak is strong but fairly short and lightly curved, often with a conspicuous cere at the base. The

feet are like those of the moundbuilders and, in contrast to the Phasianidae, they have long, well-developed hind toes on the tarsus at the same level as the other toes ("pigeon-footed"). Cracids have a long caecum; in many species the trachea is prolonged. The plumage is mainly a shiny black or olive-brown to reddish brown, often with white marks, which form a crest on the head of some species. The feathers lack an aftershaft. The great curassow's head generally has an erectile crest of stiff, forward-curled feathers. In many curassow species the males have a fleshy knob or hump on the root of the beak, or bare, brightly colored areas of skin on the head. The cere of the beak is often colorful.

Distribution

Cracids are restricted to the New World, distributed from south Texas through most of tropical South America as far as central Argentina. Perhaps one of the most puzzling and intriguing patterns of cracid distribution is that some of the highland species show a strongly disjunct (separate) distribution, while many of the lowland forms are strongly parapatric (their distributions adjoin each other rather than overlap). Riverine barriers may be a cause of the strong parapatric distribution of many lowland forms; other more disjunct species may have displayed more continuous distributions historically.

The countries harboring the highest diversity of cracids are Colombia and Brazil, with 24 and 22 species, respectively. In contrast, the United States harbors only a single species: the plain chachalaca (Ortalis vetula).

About 13 of the cracids are regionally restricted (six restricted to Brazil, three to Colombia, two to Mexico, and one each to Peru and Trinidad). The species with the widest distributions are perhaps the rusty-margined guan (Penelope superciliaris), which ranges through most of eastern tropical South America, and Spix's guan (Penelope jacquacu), which ranges through most of the western Amazon Basin. In contrast, the most range-restricted species is perhaps the Alagoas curassow (Mitu mitu) which is likely extinct in the wild and occurs only in captivity.

Habitat

The large members of the family are birds of dense tropical forest country. Some live in areas with a long dry season where the trees periodically shed their leaves, or in the "fringing forests" that extend along waterways in otherwise treeless country. Most guans are dependent upon primary forest, but a few Penelope species are able to tolerate secondary habitat. Curassows are almost invariably dependent upon tropical forest. The smaller chachalacas avoid the interior of dense forests and are at home in light secondary growth, such as secondary growth forest on formerly cultivated land. Chachalacas may live on plantations or near houses as long as there are trees and shrubs nearby and they are not disturbed. Most species inhabit warmer lowlands, though some occur in cooler mountain forests up to altitudes exceeding 9,800 ft (3,000 m).

All cracids are adapted to tree life. They walk about lightly and skillfully on thin branches in the tops of trees. Before crossing a woodland clearing, they jump and fly from branch to branch until they have reached the top of the highest tree at the edge of the clearing. From there they launch themselves into the air and as soon as they have gained enough speed in their fall, they spread their wings and glide downwards, often over distances far greater than 330 ft (100 m). Only when this glide will not enable them to reach their goal do they beat their wings to gain height. However, occasionally even heavy species like the great curassow undertake more distant aerial journeys. Cracids roost in trees overnight.

Behavior

Since the Cracidae are so shy and generally avoid humans, little is known about their social life. There are indications that at least some species live in polygamy; male yellow-knobbed curassows (Crax daubentoni), for example, may be found in the breeding season with three, four, or occasionally more hens. Guans are found at all seasons more or less socially in flocks, and their nests sometimes stand together in groups.

The vocalizations of the Cracidae are loud and rarely pleasant to the human ear. In a number of species, the vocal power of the cocks, and sometimes of the hen as well, is increased by a prolonged trachea. It runs far back between skin and breast muscles, and then turns and runs forward to the point of entry into the chest cavity.

Apart from vocal utterances, several species of this family also produce drumming or clattering sounds with the wings during special display flights. The drumming sound of the black guan sounds "sharper" than the crested guan's wing drumming, because in the latter the ends of the two outermost primaries have almost no vanes, but only bare shafts.

Altitudinal migration apparently occurs in some of the montane species.

Feeding ecology and diet

Cracids are mainly plant eaters, but eat insects and other small animals to a lesser extent. They feed mainly on fruit and seeds that ripen during the course of the year in the tropical forests. They swallow berries and other small fruits whole, however, they will bite into larger fruit like mangoes and guavas. They also bite off soft leaves and opening buds. Insects, snails, and other small animals form only very small parts of the menu. Now and then the birds come down from the trees to eat. When feeding on the ground, cracids, in contrast to many other Galliformes, do not appear to scratch the ground.

The general trend in diet appears to be more leaves and flowers and less fruit in smaller species (chachalacas), to more fruit and fewer leaves in larger species (curassows). The large curassows gather large numbers of fallen fruit on the forest floor. Similarly, animal matter seems to be more prevalent in the diets of smaller species (e.g., insects in the diet of chachalacas, snails in the diet of piping guans) than in curassows.

A crop is present as a dilatation of the gullet in curassows and in the horned guan. Other members of the family, which lack a crop, have a distensible gullet, so that food can be stored in it before digestion begins. The stomach is emptied first, and then food enters it from the crop or the gullet. Smaller seeds are passed through, whereas larger seeds are regurgitated on the spot. As the birds disperse the seeds of

their preferred food plants throughout the forest in this way, they help regenerate the tropical forests in which they live.

Reproductive biology

The Cracidae build their nests in trees or in bushes in the forest or in thickets. The nest is a rough, disorderly structure shaped like a flat dish or a platform with a depression, which is often longer than it is wide. It is built from twigs, climbing plant stems, leaves, grass, palm frond pieces, and similar items. Larger species may use branches of 0.8–1.2 in (2–3 cm) in diameter for the nest base. Often they pluck leaf-bearing twigs or grasses that they bring to the nest while still fresh and green.

Hens appear to lay only two eggs in curassows, often three in chachalacas, and three or four eggs in guans. A clutch of nine plain chachalaca eggs found by R. J. Fleetwood was evidently derived from three hens. As far as is known, all Cracidae lay white eggs. The thick shell is usually rough and grainy or has markings that resemble pin pricks. Often the eggs are surprisingly large. During incubation, particularly in wet weather, the white eggs become stained by the leaves on which they lie.

For most species it appears that only hens incubate the eggs. A female chachalaca observed by Skutch interrupted her incubation twice a day, once in the early morning, and again late in the afternoon, staying off the eggs from 60 to 75 minutes each time. Incubation periods vary according to species. The eggs of chachalacas may hatch in 21–23 days, but incubation lasts 34–36 days in the horned guan.

Cracid chicks are well developed at hatching, and the young are very soon able to fly or at least to flutter over short distances. They leave the nest very soon after their down is dry, sometimes even before. Skutch observed a chachalaca feeding its chicks soon after hatching. After the last chick had become dry, it was another three hours before the mother got down to the ground from the nest, which was 5 ft (1.5 m) high. The young left the nest with her. Cracids can move at birth, and fly, hop, and walk along twigs at quite a respectable height when only a few days old.

Conservation status

Cracids are the most threatened family of birds in the Americas. Of the 50 species, about half are of conservation concern. This includes nine of the 14 species (64%) of the curassows, but only two of the 12 species (16%) of the chachalacas; the other threatened species are guans, of which approximately 50% are threatened. The main threats are a combination of overhunting and habitat destruction.

Young cracids do not reproduce until they are two years old, and they breed only once a year with each hen rearing few young. Compared to other gallinaceous birds, cracids thus have a very low rate of reproduction. Only when humans appear on the scene and pursue them with firearms does their low rate of reproduction become insufficient and consequently dangerous. Wherever these birds are not protected by sensible and strictly enforced laws, they are in danger of extermination. Only the small chachalacas, which can adapt to the plants of cultivated country and are less desirable as food for humans, seem able to flourish in more densely settled and cultivated areas.

Significance to humans

Indigenous tribes may use tail or wing feathers in their ornamentation. Additionally, cracids constitute an important protein source in the diets of hunters in Latin America and often represent a substantial portion of the prey base. Unfortunately, the life history of cracids will often not permit intensive hunting pressure due to their low reproductive rate, long generation time, dependence upon specific habitat, and poor dispersal qualities. Because cracids are so heavily affected by both hunting and habitat destruction, they can be used effectively as bioindicator species for managing parks and protected areas in the Neotropics. By monitoring the population status of cracids in a particular area, wildlife managers can determine whether or not the forest resources in a given region are being over-exploited.

Species accounts

List of Species

Plain chachalaca
Rufous-vented chachalaca
Crested guan
Black guan
Horned guan
Alagoas curassow
Northern helmeted curassow
Wattled curassow

Plain chachalaca

Ortalis vetula

subfamily

Penelopinae

taxonomy

Penelope vetula Wagler, 1830, Mexico. Four subspecies.

other common names

English: Common chachalaca; French: Otalide chacamel; German: Blauflügelguan; Spanish: Chachalaca Norteña.

physical characteristics

19–22.8 in (48–58 cm); 15.5–28 oz (440–794 g). Plain coloration, races vary in size and color.

distribution

This species ranges from south Texas to eastern Mexico and Costa Rica.

habitat

Scrub and tall brush vegetation. Also occurs in lowland and pre-montane forest in Central America.

behavior

The full morning chorus of the plain chachalaca (Ortalis vetula) is unforgettable. One of these birds, sitting in a tree above dense secondary growth, calls with a rough, unmelodic, but remarkably strong voice, "cha cha lack, cha cha lack." The neighbors take part and a real din of loud calls arises. When those nearby have become quiet, one hears other more distant voices. The chorus seems to decline until from a distance of over half a mile (1 km), one can hear no more. Then the noise surges back with increasing strength and finally an earsplitting

din is produced by a group of six to eight of the birds situated vertically above the observer.

feeding ecology and diet

Fleshy fruit comprises much of their diet. Also green leaves, buds, shoots, and twigs. Some insects.

reproductive biology

Nests are most often built in trees 3.3–33 ft (1–10 m) off the ground. The nest itself virtually nonexistent, with birds often laying eggs on bare limbs. The clutch size is typically two to four eggs with an average incubation of 25 days.

conservation status

The Utila Island subspecies (off north Honduras) population has declined, and is possibly extinct.

significance to humans

Sometimes consumed for food.


Rufous-vented chachalaca

Ortalis ruficauda

subfamily

Penelopinae

taxonomy

Ortalida ruficauda Jardine, 1847, Tobago. Two subspecies.

other common names

English: Rufous-tailed chachalaca, rufous-tipped chachalaca; French: Otalide à ventre roux; German: Rotschwanzguan; Spanish: Chachalaca Culirroja.

physical characteristics

20.1–24 in (53–61 cm); 15.2–28.2 oz (430–800 g). Rufous undertail coverts, grayish belly. Immature resembles adult.

distribution

This species occurs in northeastern Colombia, northern Venezuela, and Tobago.

habitat

Lowland forest and thorny brush. Often found near water in gallery forest and along rivers.

behavior

Its native name, "guacharaca," is a good reproduction of its call. It calls loudly during moonlight, but its fullest choruses are heard at daybreak. During the rainy season, it calls on and off all morning.

feeding ecology and diet

Leaves, shoots, fruits, and flowers. Usually forages in trees in groups of 4–20.

reproductive biology

Nests are often built in trees 3–10 ft (1–3 m) off the ground. The nest itself is typically made of twigs and leaves. The clutch size is typically three to four eggs with incubation lasting approximately 28 days.

conservation status

Not threatened.

significance to humans

Sometimes consumed for food.


Crested guan

Penelope purpurascens

subfamily

Penelopinae

taxonomy

Penelope purpurascens Wagler, 1830, Mexico. Three subspecies.

other common names

English: Purple guan; French: Pénélope panachée; German: Rostbauchguan; Spanish: Pava Cojolita.

physical characteristics

This is the largest species of guan, with some specimens reaching over 3 ft (90 cm), and nearly 5.5 lb (2.5 kg).

distribution

Ranges from Mexico to Venezuela, northern Colombia, and southwestern Ecuador.

habitat

Generally in humid forest and hilly lowlands. Occasionally found in gallery forest.

behavior

Pairs of crested guans have territories in which they may remain with their young until the next breeding season.

Crested guans are particularly noisy when disturbed. They perch high in trees and continually protest with a very loud prolonged shrieking which sounds peculiarly high for such relatively large birds.

The crested guan may climb to the top of a high tree at the edge of a clearing and fly with slow measured beats over the open space. When it has gained enough speed, it will beat its wings much more rapidly, producing a loud drumming noise. Then it may glide for a stretch, drum again, and continue its flight across the clearing into the trees on the opposite side. This peculiar drumming is heard only rarely, just at dawn or dusk and on moonlit nights. The display is likely related to breeding.

feeding ecology and diet

Fruits, figs, and berries; also seeds, leaves, shoots, and occasionally ground insects. Usually forages in the high branches of trees.

reproductive biology

Monogamous, possibly maintaining a permanent pair bond. The birds mature after two to three years. Nests are most often built in trees, and are made of sticks and twigs and lined with leaves. The clutch size is typically two eggs.

conservation status

Not threatened.

significance to humans

This species is often consumed for food.


Black guan

Chamaepetes unicolor

subfamily

Penelopinae

taxonomy

Chamæpetes unicolor Salvin, 1867, Veragua. Monotypic.

other common names

English: Black sickle-winged guan; French: Pénélope unicolore; German: Mohrenguan; Spanish: Pava Negra.

physical characteristics

24–27 in (62–67 cm); 2.4–2.6 lb (1.1–1.2 kg). Male is completely black with a bare blue facial patch.

distribution

This species is restricted to Costa Rica and western Panama.

habitat

Found in montane forest above 3,300 ft (1,000 m) in southern Central America.

behavior

Black guans are one of the few cracids known to live singly outside the breeding season and are found in pairs only during the breeding season.

The black guan's wing sound is quite different compared to the crested guan. When this bird, in its long glide, has reached the middle of a clearing, it beats its wings rapidly over a short stretch in such a way that the longer feathers alternately separate and beat together. Thus it produces a wooden-sounding clatter of surprising loudness, which can be imitated by drawing a thin, narrow piece of wood over an iron grating or by holding it against the spokes of a wheel.

feeding ecology and diet

Generally fruits, also seeds and several species of plants. Forages singly, in pairs, or in small groups.

reproductive biology

Clutch size is typically two to three eggs. Downy chicks are brown with striped pattern on the head.

conservation status

Considered Near Threatened, this species is threatened with habitat destruction, and is vulnerable because it is restricted to montane forests at 3,300–8,200 ft (1,000–2,500 m). Furthermore, it is endemic to a small region of Costa Rica and Panama. Nonetheless it might be locally common in at least some regions where it is protected. For example, in the early 1990s densities were approximately 7.4 birds per km2 at the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve in Costa Rica.

significance to humans

None known.


Horned guan

Oreophasis derbianus

subfamily

Penelopinae

taxonomy

Oreophasis derbianus G.R. Gray, 1844, Guatemala. Monotypic.

other common names

English: Lord Derby's mountain pheasant; French: Oréophase cornu; German: Zapfenguan; Spanish: Pavón Cornudo.

physical characteristics

29.5–33.5 in (75–85 cm). This species is quite unique, and believed by some authorities to be a link between guans and curassows because it shares some characteristics of both. Most prominent is the large red horn and the white scalloping on the breast. Sexes are identical.

distribution

The horned guan is found in Guatemala and Chiapas (the most southern province of Mexico).

habitat

Found in montane forest above 4,900 ft (1,500 m) in northern Central America.

behavior

When disturbed, horned guans give off a throaty (guttural) shriek, which, in its suddenness and intensity, has the effect of a loud explosion. Then they threaten the intruder from a high perch by clattering their yellow beaks like castanets.

feeding ecology and diet

Generally fruits and green leaves from a vast assortment of plant species. Forages primarily in tree branches.

reproductive biology

This species is likely one of the few cracids (and perhaps the only guan) where polygyny is observed, where one male might mate with several females, one after another, during the breeding season (serial polygyny). Nests are often built in very high trees, up to 66 ft (20 m) off the ground. The nest itself is typically made of twigs and epiphyte roots. The clutch size is typically two eggs, with one of the longest incubations documented for any cracid, up to 36 days.

conservation status

Considered Endangered. The remaining populations are small, fragmented, and only partly protected. Habitat destruction and hunting continue to threaten this species.

significance to humans

May be hunted for food. These birds have been successfully raised in captivity, which may be important to the future survival of this species.


Alagoas curassow

Mitu mitu

subfamily

Cracinae

taxonomy

Crax mitu Linnaeus, 1766, Brazil and Guiana = northeastern Brazil. Monotypic.

other common names

English: Bare-eared curassow; French: Hocco mitou; German: Mituhokko; Spanish: Paují de Alagoas.

physical characteristics

About 32.5 in (83 cm) in length; males weigh about 104 oz (2.960 g); females weigh about 97 oz (2,745 g). Shorter head crest and tall, narrow red comb running along the forehead and upper mandible of the beak. Lacks dense feathering in the auricular region, hence its alternate name of bare-eared curassow.

distribution

This species was endemic to Alagoas, Brazil, but is now extinct in the wild and survives only in captivity.

habitat

Extinct in the wild, but formerly found in lowland forest.

behavior

Little is known, though the birds have been raised successfully in captivity.

feeding ecology and diet

Little known. Fruit was found in the stomach of a specimen collected in 1951; and three birds were spotted eating fruit in the late 1970s.

reproductive biology

One nest from the late 1970s was found in a tree amidst much foliage cover. Captive birds are apparently sexually mature after a couple of years, and the clutch size is often two eggs, as is the case with most curassows.

conservation status

This species is Extinct in the Wild, and most of the region it lived in before has been converted to soybean plantations. A small population persists at two collections in Brazil, jointly exceeding 50 birds in the year 2000.

significance to humans

These birds have been hunted for food. Their survival depends upon the populations currently in captivity.


Northern helmeted curassow

Pauxi pauxi

subfamily

Cracinae

taxonomy

Crax pauxi Linnaeus, 1766, Mexico, error = Venezuela. Two subspecies.

other common names

English: Helmeted curassow; French: Hocco á pierre; German: Helmhokko; Spanish: Paují de Piedras, Paují de Yelmo.

physical characteristics

Helmeted curassows are characterized by a bony outgrowth on the forehead. This species has a unique ornamentation, a large globose bluish grey knob above the bill. Length is 33.5–36 in (85–92 cm). Males weigh 7.7–8.3 lb (3.5–3.75 kg); females weigh 5.8 lb (2.65 kg).

distribution

This species is found in northern Venezuela and northeastern Colombia.

habitat

Found in dense, cool montane cloud forest above 1,650 ft (500 m).

behavior

The call of the helmeted curassow is a prolonged, low-pitched grunting or groaning which sounds like "mm-mm-mm-mm." The cock produces it by breathing out with a closed beak.

feeding ecology and diet

Generally fallen fruits and seeds; also leaves, grasses, and buds. Forages on the ground singly, in pairs, or in family groups.

reproductive biology

Nests are often built in trees 13–20 ft (4–6 m) off the ground. The nest itself is typically rudimentary, made of twigs and lined with leaves. The eggs are among the largest of any cracid, 3.3–3.7 in (8.5–9.5 cm) long and 2.4–2.5 in (6–6.5 cm) wide. The clutch size is typically two eggs with incubation lasting approximately 34 days. The hen leaves her eggs once a day, usually between eight and ten in the morning, and she stays off them from one to 2.5 hours. If it rains the whole day, she may omit this "outing."

conservation status

Vulnerable. The northern helmeted curassow is endemic to a small region of northern South America, and is threatened with habitat destruction and overhunting. The montane forest this species is restricted to is being converted into cattle grazing ranchland at higher altitudes, and narcotics plantations at lower altitudes. Its geographic range is estimated at 13,900 mi2 (36,000 km2). Its numbers are estimated at fewer than 10,000, with populations declining. It does however occur in a number of Venezuelan reserves, as well as the Cocuy National Park in Colombia.

significance to humans

This species is often hunted for food, unsustainably in many situations.


Wattled curassow

Crax globulosa

subfamily

Cracinae

taxonomy

Crax globulosa Spix, 1825, Rio Solimes, Brazil. Monotypic.

other common names

English: Red wattled curassow, Yarrell's curassow; French: Hocco globuleux; German: Karunkelhocco; Spanish: Pavón Carunculado.

physical characteristics

32.2–35 in (82–89 cm); roughly 5.5 lb (2.5 kg). This is the only species where the male has red globose ornamentation both above and below the bill. The female has a red cere and rufous venter. Male is black with a white belly, females have reddish brown belly feathering.

distribution

They are found from Colombia and western Brazil to Bolivia.

habitat

This species is strongly tied to várzea (seasonally flooded) forest in the Amazon basin. It is almost entirely arboreal.

behavior

The wattled curassow has a soft whistle, "yeeeeeee," which lasts four to six seconds.

feeding ecology and diet

Not known.

reproductive biology

No information available about breeding in the wild. In captivity, clutch size is two eggs; chicks brownish above, light buff below.

conservation status

Vulnerable. The wattled curassow is rarely encountered, and very patchily distributed throughout its geographic range in the western Amazonian basin. However, this species may be more difficult to detect than other species because its call is less easily detected, it is restricted to the higher strata of the forest, and it often flies away silently in retreat. This species is threatened by overhunting, and the total population is suspected of being small and declining. Only future research will shed more light on the status of this curassow.

significance to humans

This species is often hunted for food, unsustainably in many situations.


Resources

Books

Birdlife International. Threatened Birds of the World. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions, 2000.

Brooks, Daniel M., and Fernando Gonzalez-Garcia. Biology and Conservation of Cracids in the New Millenium. Houston: Miscellaneous Publications of the Houston Museum of Natural Science, Number 2, 2001.

Brooks, Daniel M., et al. Biology and Conservation of the Piping Guans (Pipile). Houston: Special Monograph Series of the Cracid Specialist Group, Number 1, 1999.

Brooks, Daniel M., and Stuart D. Strahl. Cracids: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. Switzerland: IUCN, 2000.

Delacour, Jean, and Dean Amadon. Curassows and Related Birds. New York: The American Museum of Natural History, 1973.

Strahl, Stuart D., et al. The Cracidae: Their Biology and Conservation. Washington: Hancock House Publications, 1997.

Organizations

The Cracid Specialist Group. PO Box 132038, Houston, TX 77219-2038 USA. Phone: (713) 639-4776. E-mail: dbrooks @hmns.org Web site: <http://www.angelfire.com/ca6/cracid>

Neotropical Bird Club. c/o The Lodge, Sandy, Bedfordshire SG19 2DL United Kingdom. E-mail: secretary @neotropicalbirdclub.org

Daniel M. Brooks, PhD