SURVEYING POPULATIONS OF RED-BILLED CURASSOWS (CRAX BLUMENBACHII) IN THE ATLANTIC FOREST OF BRAZIL

Joedison Rocha, Fernando C. G. Bonfim, Cassiano A.F.R. Gatto, Pedro F. Develey, Ariane D. Alvarez, Christine S.S. Bernardo

Abstract


Threatened species are frequently difficult to monitor, leading to a lack of information for the selection of the best conservation strategies. A case in point is the Red-billed Curassow (Crax blumenbachii, Cracidae, Galliformes), whose populations have declined due to deforestation of the northern Atlantic Forest and increased poaching in the late 1960s. The species is presently absent from most forest frag- ments within its geographic range, occurring only in forest remnants on the states of Bahia and Espírito Santo, Brazil. In this study, we esti- mated encounter rates and recorded the periods of activity of the Red-billed Curassow in three large Atlantic Forest fragments in the north- eastern Brazilian state of Bahia, using line-transect sampling. The northern region of Serra do Conduru State Park (0.29 sighting/10 km) and Descobrimento National Park (0.27 sighting/10 km) presented slightly greater encounter rates of this endangered cracid, compared to the Una Biological Reserve (0.13 – 0.20 sighting/10 km). We recorded Red-billed Curassows throughout the day, mainly between 10:00–11:00 h and 14:00–17:00 h. Our study is the first step for long-term monitoring of the Red-billed Curassow. These findings serve as baseline infor- mation, which may contribute to future assessments of the conservation status and support future conservation actions for the species.


Keywords


Atlantic Forest; Cracidae; game bird; encounter rates; Galliformes; line transect

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