The blue Spix’s macaw gained international popularity through the animated movie Rio that was released in 2011. This is a story about a charming macaw named Blu who travels thousands of miles to find the last living female of his species. The 2 ultimately fall in love and have children. While the movie has a happy ending, in reality, Spix’s macaws have been considered extinct since 2000.
A heartbreaking story of Spix’s macaws.
The Spix’s macaw, also known as a small blue macaw, is an endemic Brazilian parrot that was first discovered in 1819 by German naturalist Johann Baptist Ritter von Spix. These birds were already considered rare at the time of their discovery, and very few people were lucky enough to see them in the wild.
We don’t know much about the life of these birds, there are very few pictures of them taken in the wild and very few facts mentioned in ornithological literature. In the middle of the 20th century, the species was considered extinct, until there were 3 birds were spotted again in 1986. According to experts, the last individual in the wild was seen in October 2000.
The majority of bird extinctions of the recent centuries have occurred on isolated islands, but today we observe severe extinctions on the continents as well. It all happens due to the tragic impact of human civilization on wild nature. Climate and weather changes, massive deforestation, uncontrolled expansion of urban areas, and illegal trafficking make it harder and harder for birds and animals to survive.
What can we do to bring Spix’s macaws back to the wild?
The long term plan of the Brazilian government together with conservation efforts implies reintroducing Spix’s macaws back into the wild by 2021. The main steps to take are:
- Growing a population of macaws that is large enough to be brought back into wild nature;
- Developing a suitable habitat in Brazil for a fast reintroduction;
- Preparing the local population for further coexistence with the birds by making people aware of the importance of blue macaws for their region and the world in general.
Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation (AWWP) is trying to breed the Spix’s macaws in captivity. Specialists from AWWP have achieved great success in breeding these birds starting with only 2 chicks in 2004.
They work closely with other organizations as part of the Working Group for the Recovery of the Spix’s Macaw, under the coordination of the Brazilian Government. Thanks to the professionalism, expertise, and endless kindness of these people, there is a good chance that one day we will manage to see these wonderful birds in the wild again.
Do you think we’ll manage to bring blue macaws back to living in the wild? What else could people do to stop bird and animal extinction? Feel free to share your ideas in the comments!