The Majestic Crested Caracara


The Crested Caracara looks like a hawk with its sharp beak and talons, behaves like a vulture, and is technically a large tropical black-and-white falcon.  


In 2016, when Toyota first arrived in Guanajuato in central Mexico to construct a new vehicle assembly plant, the Caracara was located only on the northeast corner of the property. Only a small number of the birds were seen at a time. 


Toyota is committed to operating in harmony with nature, so team members at the plant (known as TMMGT) selected this amazing bird of prey as its indicator species. An indicator species is one whose presence, absence or abundance reflects the health of an ecosystem. 


With the goal of improving the Caracara’s habitat, team members selected an area to conserve and enhance. Next to a retention pond in the southwest corner of the property, trunks and branches were arranged as nests for small species that are the Caracara’s prey. In the same area, team members hatched a plan to plant more than 20,000 native trees and bushes to create a forest. This effort helps to spread the culture of Morizukuri, which in Japanese means “to create a forest,” and supports the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050, a global effort to establish a future society where people and cars can coexist in harmony with nature.


So far, 460 team members have planted 12,130 trees!


The plan is already working. The Caracara can now be seen gliding across the sky around the entire property. Team members have spotted 15 Caracara at once from four different family units.