The Parque das Aves has the largest colony of toucans and toucanets on display in the world. But it's not just about numbers; we are dedicated to the conservation of these species, studying their behavior, nutrition and reproduction. While all this happens, our visitors can enjoy the unique experience of contact with these birds.
SHELTER & RECOVERY
Toucans are among the most targeted birds by traffickers and poachers. In the Park, we give a home to wounded and weakened toucans; many were confiscated from traffickers or have been mistreated. Others come from Rehabilitation Centers that are in no condition to keep them long-term. Here, they have a chance to recover under the care of vets with experience handling these species. In the aviaries, they can socialize with other birds and are observed closely — and with much affection — by the Park's team.
Feeding toucans under human care is extremely difficult, because they are extremely sensitive to excessive iron in the diet. After years of research, we have developed a special diet in order to keep them healthy. Their nutrition is complemented with wild fruits found in the forest. The results are positive, we can see them every day: just observe our toucans.
As well as all the birds in the Park, the toucans receive Environmental Enrichment. Thus, we offer them the possibility to present their natural behaviors. An example is the social interactions that occur between the toucans living in groups in our enclosures.
We group males and females whenever possible so that, naturally, they form couples, since it maximizes the chances of reproductive success. Another alternative is to select individuals who have physical and behavioral compatibility. The couples are then separated from the group and begin to live in breeding enclosures. A few of them can be visited on the trail, but most stay in our internal area, in enclosures where we can monitor them carefully, including in the nests to accompany their well-being and to learn more about their reproductive behavior. Here in the Parque das Aves, we prioritize Natural Breeding, which means we try to interfere as little as possible in the reproductive processes of our birds.
Several studies on veterinary medicine, behavior, nutrition and reproduction are being conducted by researchers of the Park and visitors from other institutions. Our results regarding the well-being of toucans in captivity are based on years of research and experience. The advances in nutrition are published and are shared with other institutions so that more toucans may have a better life.