177

Spix’s Macaw

South America

177

Cyanopsitta spixii

Endangered

For the past three centuries, the São Francisco River has been exploited and polluted without restrictions, which has lasting negative impacts on the woodland habitat of this species. Illegal pet trade for many decades is also a contributing factor for rapid population decline.

The Spix’s Macaw, an endemic bird species to Brazil, belongs to the Arini tribe of neo-tropical parrots from the Psittacidae family. Its name is a tribute to Johann Baptist von Spix, the German naturalist who in 1819 discovered the specimen near Rio São Francisco.

Twenty years after the species was officially declared extinct in nature, 52 Spix’s macaws (Cyanopsitta spixii) arrived in Brazil’s Bahia state for eventual reintroduction back into their native habitat, the result of a successful captive-breeding program by the Germany-based Association for the Conservation of Threatened Parrots.

Also called Little Blue Macaw, it can weigh up to 300 grams which is smaller in size as compared with other macaws. Adults have almost the same physical features with various shades of blue all throughout the body although males are slightly bigger than females.