The old pen used for the Red-billed Curassow re-introduction programme which took place between 2005 and 2008 has been refurbished. It is ready to receive the Black-fronted Piping-guans (Aburria jacutinga) over the next four years, as part of the programme financed by O Boticario and Birdlife International partner SAVE.
The release pen is eight meters by 30 meters and eight meters high, with a secure cover of mesh to prevent snakes and rodents getting into the aviary. There were 20 Black-fronted Piping-guans released in 2009 as part of the previous Red-billed Currasow project with Crax/ Brasil. There were sightings in the forests of REGUA 2 years ago, but just recently one local resident saw a pair of these colourful birds in the forests of the Matumbo Gap.
As they are an arboreal species, the release pen has to be very high and the biologists accompanying the project have a strategy to ensure that the birds are encouraged to stay off the ground, thereby improving their chances of survival after release. They need to remain in the campus of the trees away from hunting mammals, rodents and the occasional stray dog. The more they stay in the canopies, the greater their chance for survival.
This is an exciting project that sees birds coming from a recognized bird breeder Tropicus, passing through the University of North Fluminense’s quarantine pens for a period of a month, adapting to the release pen and then freedom!
REGUA is delighted to offer its forests as a gateway for their release to the wild. They are a species that will help disperse fruits, especially the threatened heart of palm, Euterpe edulis and contribute as a charismatic species to represent REGUAs commitment to nature here.