The 83 species of barbets are stocky woodpecker relatives found in Africa, Asia and the New World Tropics. The New World species are likely ancestral to the toucans. Found only in Costa Rica and Panama, this species has always been extremely rare in captivity. The specimens at the DWA were obtained through special permits from the Government of Panama.
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.