Spix’s Blue Macaw Extinct in the Wild

Posted on February 20, 2019 by


Deforestation, logging, and the illegal pet trade are just some of the many factors that have played into the extinction of the Spix’s Blue Macaw in the wild. This species of bird is just one of eight confirmed Brazilian birds that have gone extinct in this decade alone.

Though things may look bleek for this species, an estimate of 65 to 85 of these birds still live in captivity. With breeding programs and proper conservation tactics, the Spix’s Macaw could very well still have a chance.

However, just because this species might grow in captivity, environmental changes must happen before they can be successfully reintroduced into the wild. Spix’s macaws are killed for their feathers and meat, their habitat destroyed for lumber and housing.

“The last known individual [Spix’s macaw] in the wild disappeared in 2001, but searches have been ongoing since then and it is only now that we feel confident enough to classify it as extinct in the wild,” report co-author Stuart Butchart said in an ABC News article.

“I find it very sad that these birds have gone extinct. Industries value profit over life,” senior Melissa Deida said.

The extinction of these birds can mainly be traced back to habitat loss and the black market.

“Spix’s macaws were first deemed threatened in the 1980s following destruction of their natural habit as well as a robust illegal bird trade. Numbers in the wild had dwindled so dramatically that naturalist Dr. Paul Roth was only able to identify two remaining in their natural environment in 1987,” yummypets.com said.

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