The Hyacinth Macaw is one of the most beautiful birds on planet earth. Measuring over 1m from bill to tip of tail, makes this species the largest macaw in the world. This beauty has come at a terrible price. The pet trade! The illegal trafficking of birds for the massive international demand has meant that since the 1980’s over 10 000 macaws have been captured.
Together with the illegal pet-trade, the situation has become more critical as it’s natural habitat has been largely destroyed through deforestation and burning. They were down to fewer than 1500 individuals. The species was bordering on the edge of extinction.
The Hyacinth Macaw Project, started in 1990, is an ambitious project involving research, management and conservation of the endangered Hyacinth Macaw. Biologists, veterinarians, field workers, ranchers and university students take part in the project, sharing in activities ranging from studies to environmental education. A group of selfless people, many of whom are volunteers, have decided to take on the fight and save the Hyacinth Macaw from extinction.
Based out of the Caiman Ecological Refuge the team aims to monitor the population, help birds in need, aid in nesting sites by installing artificial nesting boxes and engage the public in a hard hitting education program.
And the fight, so far, has been very successful…
-The population has more than doubled in the twelve years the project has been running. Some reports suggest that there may be as many as 6000 individuals now!
-386 natural nests have been recorded and are monitored.
-248 artificial nests have been erected.
-Numerous students (local and international) are involved in Macaw studies.
– Other bird species, such as Red-and-green Macaw, Blue-and-yellow Macaw and Toucans, are being monitored simultaneously.
For more information on this inspiration project visit www.projetoararaazul.org.br
Keep checking the blog for more installments in this fascinating blog series of another natural paradise.
Written and photographed by Adam Bannister