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Piciformes - Toco Toucan
Topic Started: Nov 13 2013, 02:51 PM (1,028 Views)
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Toco Toucan ~ Ramphastos toco

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General Information

Class: Aves
Order: Piciformes
Family: Ramphastidae
Genus: Ramphastos
Species: R. toco

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Conservation Status
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WeightMales: 723g, female: 576g
Length (average)55–65 cm

In Zoos

Type of Exhibit: General Exhibit Needs: These toucans live in a warm environment, and the temperatures should be from 10-40° C, and with this came natural heat and light that is virtually essential to maintain good condition and thus encourage breeding. Most wild toucans rarely descend to the ground, so elevated water points must be provided, maybe the water turn also an enrichment. The exhibit have to be cleaned very often, and to easily clean, concrete substrate can be used as these animals rarely come to ground, but natural ones are more beautiful. The exhibit should be big enough to these animals fly every where, and do their activities.

Inside the exhibit, many plants should be placed to recreate the animal's original habitat, so dense forest foliage and many bushes should be placed or a more bare exhibit, putting only some bushes and low plants. But certainly, many, many, logs, branches, climbing structures should be provided because these animals don't fly very well, they mainly jump. Nesting boxes or logs should be provided if you're looking for breeding, they must be placed high and be able to the animals enter.

Enclosure Fencing: Toucans are more common kept in mesh aviaries, big enough to the animals play and spent energy, and taller than man, a suitable height is 2.5-45 meters tall. Normally, they're contained in outdoor exhibit, but some indoor buildings are also very suitable, but light and air filters may be provided. But, another good way is to mix the two, giving them fresh air with a mesh/chainlink roof, but the exhibit be inside a building.

Temperament: These are very pacific, playful and quiet animals, but can aggressive in breeding seasons and with babies.

Diet: The Toco Toucan eats fruit (e.g. figs and Passiflora edulis) using its bill to pluck them from trees, but also insects, frogs, small reptiles, small birds and their eggs and nestlings. It also has been known to capture and eat small adult birds in captivity.

Social Needs: It is typically seen in pairs or small groups. Nesting is seasonal, but timing differs between regions. The nest is typically placed high in a tree and consists of a cavity, at least part of which is excavated by the parent birds themselves. It's very common to be kept in zoos in 2 or 3 individuals, a male and females.

Extra Information:
  • It is, unlike the other members of the genus Ramphastos, essentially a non-forest species. It can be found in a wide range of semi-open habitats such as woodland, savanna and other open habitats with scattered trees, Cerrado, plantations, forest-edge, and even wooded gardens.
  • It's huge bill measures from 15.8 to 23 cm.
  • This species is the largest toucan and the largest representative of the order Piciformes.
  • The Toco Toucan is sometimes kept in captivity, but has a high fruit diet and is sensitive to haemochromatosis (an iron storage disease).
  • The long bill is useful for reaching things that otherwise would be out-of-reach. It is also used to skin fruit and scare off predators.
  • They are poor flyers, and usually hop from tree to tree.
  • In bills capacity to remove body heat, it is comparable to elephant ears.

Exhibit Examples

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