The Living Rainforest

Channel billed toucan

Ramphastos vitellinus

Channel-billed Toucan - Edwin

Bouncing skills

Channel billed toucans rarely fly more than 100 metres at a time and prefer to bounce from branch to branch.

Keeping cool

The channel billed toucan’s large bill helps to regulate body temperature. A toucan’s bill can reach over 18cm in length, and is also used to reach for food and break open bird nests.

Mystical creatures

Some species of toucan are hunted for their meat and colourful feathers but many local tribes regard them as mystical creatures that guide dead spirits from one world to the next. This means that they are traditionally protected.


Quick facts

Scientific name
Ramphastos vitellinus
Native to
South America
Rainforest layer
Maximum length 50cm
20 years
IUCN conservation status
Vulnerable – learn more
CITES Appendix ii
Trade restricted – learn more


Channel billed toucans are classified as vulnerable by the IUCN. It is thought that the population has declined rapidly over three generations because of deforestation in the Amazon basin, and the species’ susceptibility to hunting.