This elegant bird is unique among toucans for having a cap of tightly curled feathers that appear “permed”. While not a rare bird in its range (south of the Amazon, divided among Peru, Bolivia, and Amazonian Brazil), it was almost unknown in captivity before the 1960s, and has never been common in zoos. The Curl-crested aracari was not bred in captivity until 1996. The DWA has had immense success propagating this species, with more than 100 birds since 2006.
While this bird is still considered fairly common, deforestation is reducing its habitat throughout its range, from Honduras to Ecuador. A particularly noisy toucan, its puppy-like yelps are heard all day in the DWA rainforest. This is another toucan targeted for breeding by the American Zoo community and nearly 40 are distributed among 20 participating collections. The DWA has been one of the few places to so far breed it in captivity.
Dwelling on the edges of forests, along rivers, and where trees are present in savannahs, this huge toucan is the only member of its family commonly found in open country. It inhabits an enormous range, all the way from the Guianas to Northern Argentina. It is the largest and best known of the toucan species and includes grunts in its vocalizations. Over 100 have been hatched in more than a dozen US collections (including the DWA), as part of a coordinated breeding program during the last quarter century.
Not seen in collections until the 1960s, this strangely beautiful bird from the cool Andean forests of Colombia and Ecuador was kept by a number of places in the 1970s and ’80s, and several were hatched. Today it is rare in captivity, but the DWA has recently been repeatedly propagating it. Because its mountain habitat continues to disappear, it is considered Near Threatened.
This bird has one of the smallest ranges of any toucan along the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, and a small portion of Panama. It is not rare there, but has hardly ever been seen in captivity. Through special permits from the Government of Panama, the DWA received several birds, and the world’s first captive breeding took place in Dallas in 2008.
Always extremely rare in captivity, this subtly beautiful toucan is common in its limited range in Colombia and Venezuela. Several arrived at the DWA through the cooperation of the Venezuelan conservation organization, FUNZPA.