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Alagoas-curassow-captive

The Alagoas curassow (Mitu mitu) is a glossy-black, pheasant-like bird. It was formerly found in forests in Northeastern Brazil in what is now the states of Pernambuco and Alagoas, which is the origin of its common name (Harry 2006). It is now extinct in the wild; there are about 130 individuals in captivity.

German naturalist Georg Marcgrave first identified the Alagoas curassow in 1648 in its native range. Subsequently, the origin and legitimacy of the bird began to be questioned due to the lack of specimens. An adult female curassow was rediscovered in 1951, in the coastal forests of Alagoas. The Mitu mitu was then accepted as a separate species (Silveira). At that time fewer than 60 birds were left in the wild, in the forests around São Miguel dos Campos. Several authors in the 1970s brought to light the growing destruction of its habitat and the rarity of the species. Even with these concerns, the last large forest remnants which contained native Mitu mitu were demolished for sugarcane agriculture (Silveira).

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