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Sira Curassow and Southern Helmeted Curassow proposed for ESA listing

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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed adding the Sira Curassow and Southern Helmeted Curassow, found in Peru and Bolivia respectively, to the list of species protected under the Endangered Species Act. Both species are threatened by hunting, and, to a less extent, habitat loss and degradation.

In 1991, the International Council for Bird Preservation petitioned the USFWS to add 53 foreign bird species, including the southern helmeted curassow, to the ESA list. Three years later, the agency determined that the southern helmeted curassow, was a candidate for listing. The Sira curassow was recognized as a separate species in 2014 and so also became listed as a candidate.

USFWS will accept comments on the proposal through 31 July.



May 31, 2023 

Contact: publicaffairs@fws.gov  

Service Proposes to List Two South American Bird Species as Endangered 

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 climate change 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. 


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