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New: Red-crested Turaco Aviary

Red-crested TuracoWe’ve created a new aviary in Lowland House for our Red-crested Turacos, as part of an international effort increase population numbers in captivity.

Red-crested Turacos are native to the forests of western and central Angola in Africa. Like all turacos, they spend most of their time in the tree canopy feeding on fruit, but venture down to the forest floor to drink and bathe.

Turacos have specially adapted feet for their tree-top lifestyle. Each foot has four toes, two pointing forwards, one pointing backwards and the fourth can face in either direction.

Turacos are not strong fliers and prefer to fly only short distances from perch to perch. However they are very agile when bouncing through trees. When chicks hatch out, they will often explore outside of their nest by climbing along branches before they can fly.

new turaco aviaryA civil war in Angola between 1975 and 2002 caused widespread habitat destruction. Efforts to conserve this species are coordinated by the European Studbook (ESB) holder. Due to the small population of captive Red-crested Turacos, parents are sometimes too closely related and chicks can be born with a problem known as small eyes. The ESB carefully matches breeding pairs to avoid this problem.

The Red-crested Turacos at the Living Rainforest have been separated from the other turaco species at the centre in order to encourage breeding success.

Did you know …?

Turacos have unique copper pigments in their feathers which produce their vivid red-green colouring.

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This entry was posted on Friday, August 6th, 2010 at 12:00 pm and is filed under News.

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