Learís Macaw
Lear’s Macaw
Photo: Lear's Macaw pair by Ciro Ginez Albano

 

The Challenge
 

The Endangered Lear's Macaw occurs only in northern Bahia State, Brazil, where it roosts and nests in narrow, red sandstone canyons. Although it had first been illustrated a century earlier and individuals had been kept in zoos, the macaw was only rediscovered and recognized as a species in 1978. Its population is small, with recent estimates (July 2008) of only 962 individuals, and it is only known to nest and roost at two sites, with the largest number at Canudos Biological Station and a smaller group at Serra Branca Farm about 50 miles away. The macaw feeds mainly on licuri palm fruits and maize.

 

This large blue macaw faces several severe threats to its continued existence in the wild. It requires constant protection from the illegal wild bird trade, while the licuri palm on which the bird depends is becoming increasingly scarce due to over-exploitation for cattle fodder and destruction of its seedlings by the overgrazing of goats and pasture burning. The most critical habitat for the birds is the sandstone cliffs in the region in which it roosts and nests, and where it is vulnerable to illegal trappers.


 

ABC Conservation Framework
 

Efforts to save this species comes under Safeguarding the Rarest within ABC's Conservation Framework
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Primary Birds Impacted
 

Learís Macaw








YouTube - Lears Macaw Part III By ParrotsInternational

 

Solutions
 

Secure the survival of Lear's Macaw in the wild by protecting the key nesting and foraging habitat of the species




ABC Results
 

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In 2009, the Lear’s Macaw was down-graded on the IUCN Red List from Critically Endangered to Endangered thanks to the conservation actions undertaken by ABC and our partner Fundação Biodiversitas. The current population is estimated at 1,300 individuals.


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In 2007, the Canudos Biological Station was expanded to 3,649 acres.


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Two field stations have been strategically located at critical access points.


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Four park guards have been hired for surveillance, monitoring, and support for research.




 

What Next?
 

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Complete the eco-lodge and infrastructure necessary for visitors.

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Significantly increase the protected area for the species through strategic land acquisition of several known roosting and nesting sites in order to consolidate the Canudos Biological Station.

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Create and manage a tree nursery for palm seedlings at the reserve for use by the reserve staff and the local community.

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Develop an ecotourism business plan towards ensuring long-term reserve sustainability.

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Continue planting licuri palms, the main food source for the Lear’s Macaw, with a goal of 1,600 saplings planted within the reserve.

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Foster local pride in the Lear’s Macaw and promote environmental awareness within the local community.

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Train and support the local community in the development of micro-businesses centered around sustainably produced artisanal crafts in exchange for support of the conservation of Lear’s Macaw.


   
   
 
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