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Violaceous turaco

Musophaga violacea

Violaceous turaco

Violaceous turacos are also known as ‘violet plantain eaters’ and are very sociable birds. They live in flocks of 10 to 12 birds.

Despite their bright colours, the birds are often quite indistinguishable in the dense canopy of the forest. The violaceous turaco has a loud ‘cooroo-cooroo’ call that can often be heard throughout the zoo.


Diet - Herbivore
The violaceous turaco is mainly a fruit-eater, taking fruits and berries, figs from Ficus, but also seeds.

The violaceous turaco can be up to 50 centimetres long and weighs around 360 grams.

Violaceous turacos are found in the forests of west and central Africa.

Conservation status
They are listed under Appendix III of CITES, to try and regulate the trade of birds. The IUCN does not believe that they are in any immediate danger of extinction.

The major threat to the violaceous turaco is habitat destruction for agriculture and the capture of these beautiful birds for their feathers.

Current population
There is no detailed population data available.

Zoo population
They are managed by an ESB. There are over 370 of these turacos living in zoos throughout the world.

Key to acronyms

IUCN - International Union for Conservation of Nature

CITES - Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species

ESB - European Studbook

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