The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to list both the Sira curassow and southern helmeted curassow, two bird species from South America, as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Both species currently are classified as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List.
The Sira curassow is endemic to central Peru, and the southern helmeted curassow is endemic to central Bolivia. Both species are large, heavy-bodied birds with bright red bills and pale blue “helmets” on their heads. Hunting, habitat loss and degradation, small population size and are main factors that affect the species’ viability throughout their ranges. Climate change will result in additional loss of forested habitat for these species.
Both curassow species are considered rare, locally uncommon, and decreasing. The Sira curassow’s population is very small (50–249 mature individuals); the southern helmeted curassow’s population is also small (1,000–4,999 individuals) and has declined by 90 percent over the past 20 years.
In 2022, a species status assessment team prepared an SSA report for the two species. The SSA team was composed of Service biologists, in consultation with other species experts. The SSA report represents a compilation of the best scientific and commercial data available concerning the status of the species, including the impacts of past, present, and future factors (both negative and beneficial) affecting the species. Information about the status of both species populations is supplemented with anecdotal information based on interviews with local indigenous communities.
The Service is seeking public comments on the proposal to list both species, particularly regarding:
The species’ biology, range and population trends, including:
- Biological or ecological requirements of the species, including habitat requirements for feeding, breeding, and sheltering.
- Genetics and taxonomy.
- Historical and current range, including distribution patterns and the locations of any populations of these species.
- Historical and current population levels, and current and projected trends.
Past and ongoing conservation measures for the species, their habitats or both.
Threats and conservation actions affecting the species, including:
- Factors that may be affecting the continued existence of the species, which may include habitat destruction, modification, or curtailment; overutilization; disease; predation; the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or other natural or manmade factors.
- Biological, commercial trade, or other relevant data concerning any threats (or lack thereof) to these species.
- Existing regulations or conservation actions that may be addressing threats to these species.
- Existing regulations whether either of these species are protected species in their range countries.
Additional information concerning the historical and current status of these species.
For more information and to submit comments, visit the Federal eRulemaking Portal at https://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter FWS-HQ-ES-2023-0053, which is the docket number for this rulemaking.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information, visit www.fws.gov and connect with us on social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr and YouTube.