Rearing the Extinct in the Wild Alagoas curassow Pauxi mitu for future reintroduction programmes



The Alagoas curassow Pauxi mitu (Linnaeus, 1766), Crax mitu and Mitu mitu at different periods in the past, has been considered Extinct in the Wild since 1979. Endemic from a specific region in the north-eastern states of Alagoas and Pernambuco, Brazil, this bird was locally extinct mainly as a result of loss of habitat caused by the sugar and alcohol industry. Nowadays this same industry helps to preserve the last remaining areas of original native forest, in preparation for the reintroduction of the Alagoas curassow, which may occur within 3 years. Briefly, this article describes the work being carried out by CRAX Brazil, a non-profit non-governmental organization, on the captive breeding of P. mitu for reintroduction purposes, and demonstrates how a persistent joint effort by several cooperating parties can help to take a seriously threatened avian species away from the immediate risk of total extinction.