Sira curassow

Sira curassow

Sira curassow

4 languages
Pauxi koepckeae

The Sira curassow (Pauxi koepckeae ) is a species of bird in the family Cracidae. It is found in the Cerros del Sira in central Peru. Its natural habitat is tropical, moist, montane cloud forest.

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It was first discovered in 1969, when a male and female were recovered (unfortunately the female specimen was accidentally eaten), and was not recorded by scientists again until 2000 and 2003, when local Asháninka people were shown pictures of the birds and respectively 1 and 14 people recalled having seen or hunted them in the past few years.

The name 'Sira curassow' was proposed as a new English common name in 2011 by Gastañaga et al. to replace the previous 'horned curassow', in 2012 this proposal was adopted by most of her colleagues. In the Asháninka language of the area the bird is known as quiyuri according to Weske & Terborgh, piyori according to the report 'Nombres Asháninka de las Aves en la Cordillera el Sira' by González, or piuri according to Gastañaga.

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According to Weske et al., based on a single individual bird, the Sira curassow is very similar morphologically to the horned curassow, however the casque is less erect and more rounded (ellipsoidal instead of elongated cone). Additionally the outer tail feathers have narrower white tips and the four central tail feather completely lack white colouring, although this last characteristic appears to be very variable and perhaps not diagnostic.



Biogeographical realms
Sira curassow habitat map


Sira curassow habitat map
Sira curassow
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The Sira curassow is listed as critically endangered by BirdLife International for the IUCN as they believe it is threatened by habitat destruction and is hunted for meat. The birds population is believed by BirdLife International in 2016 to be below 250 individuals, citing the 2014 IUCN assessment by Gastañaga for BirdLife International (no longer available online). In the 2016 IUCN assessment by BirdLife International Gastañaga in her 2011 study is said to have estimated the population to be 400. This is not actually stated in her report, instead it is estimated that outside of breeding season the birds occur at a density of less than one bird per 1 km2 (0.39 sq mi) over an area encompassing at least the four known areas of occurrence, within 30 km (19 mi) of each other (thus a minimum of 900 km2 (347 sq mi), thus maximum of 900 birds). The 2016 IUCN assessment estimates that the extent of occurrence is 550 km2 (212 sq mi) (apparently all within the 6,164 km2 (2,380 sq mi) El Sira Communal Reserve), although it is unclear where this number comes from.

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Because of the difference between the stated populations in 2011 and 2014, the 2016 IUCN assessment assumes the population is experiencing a 'decreasing trend'.

According to BirdLife International, the greatest threat to the species is occasional traditional hunting by the local Asháninka people.

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1. Sira curassow Wikipedia article -
2. Sira curassow on The IUCN Red List site -
3. Xeno-canto bird call -

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