Family Guans, Chachalacas, Curassows (Cracidae)

Extinct in the Wild

Alagoas Curassow (Mitu mitu)


French: Hocco mitou German: Mituhokko Spanish: Paují de Alagoas

Crax Mitu


, 1766,

Brazil and Guiana = north-eastern Brazil


Mentioned by Marcgraf in 1648, its true existence was questioned for a long time until its rediscovery in 1951. All members of genus have been placed, together with the members of Pauxi, and less often Nothocrax, in Crax. In the past present species often considered conspecific with M. tuberosum, and three of 20 captives sampled genetically showed evidence of being hybrids with that species#R, but other molecular data suggest that present species is most closely related to M. tomentosum#R and have also confirmed its validity#R. Moreover, plumage characters suggest its distinctness at species level. Monotypic.


NE Brazilian coast, in recent decades only in Alagoas; formerly also in E Pernambuco; report of occurrence in N Bahia seems to be unreliable. Probably now extinct, or virtually so, in the wild#R.

Descriptive notes

c. 83–89 cm; male 2960 g, female 2745 g (both means). Large casque-like bill, all-black plumage, glossed purplish-blue, except chestnut vent and undertail-coverts, and... read more


Undescribed, but males apparently share booming calls of congenerics; observations in captivity... read more


Formerly confined to forest in lowlands, including restinga forest and capoeira,... read more

Food and feeding

Stomach and oesophagus of specimen collected at time of species’ rediscovery were full of fruits of a big tree locally known as... read more


Peak season reportedly Feb–Apr, but only nest in wild was in Nov (1978) and was sited in a tree, amidst thick foliage. In captivity... read more


No information available, but presumably sedentary.

Status and conservation

EXTINCT IN THE WILD. CITES I. Discovered in early 17th century, then no further definite information concerning its existence until rediscovery in 1951, at São Miguel... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Alagoas Curassow (Mitu mitu). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 19 October 2019).