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Association saves parrot species threatened with extinction

Global Society & Global Goals
Association saves parrot species threatened with extinction

Curaçá (Brazil) - In the 1990s, things were very bad for the Spix's Macaw, because the beautiful blue parrot was considered as good as extinct in the wild. But bird conservationists, scientists and last but not least a parrot enthusiast from Germany did not want to accept this. Now, after 20 years, eight young Spix's Macaws have been reintroduced to their native Brazil.

It is not only one of the most beautiful, but also one of the rarest birds in the whole world. And that's exactly what doomed the Spix's Macaw. "The rarer it was, the more it became a kind of status symbol," well-known bird conservationist Nigel Collar tells Science magazine. "The very wealthy, very passionate collectors wanted one very badly, and they would do almost anything for it." In the end, there was only one male left in the wild, until the last of the parrot species also disappeared. His sad story was the inspiration for the Disney movie "Rio".

By 1996, there were only 39 Spix's Macaws left, all of them living in captivity. Because of the remaining animals, most of them are closely related and only nine of the birds are from the wild, sustainable breeding is considered impossible. To make matters worse, none of the collectors are willing to give up a bird for breeding. In 2019, the rare blue parrot will then be officially declared extinct. But not everyone wants to accept that. The population of lion monkeys is also considered endangered, so the offspring at Cologne Zoo is considered a minor sensation.

Parrot Spix's Macaw thought to be extinct - German club succeeds in breeding offspring

German businessman Martin Guth wants to ensure the continued existence of the unusual and rare birds. Together with the species protection association ACTP, he is establishing a sustainable breeding program for Spix's Macaws near Berlin. To do this, he had to spend years working with parrot collectors and convincing them of the urgency of the matter. Finally, he succeeds in doing the impossible and the breeding becomes a success after all: In 2020, the first 52 Spix's Macaws are flown to Brazil in a private jet. The featherless parrot lady Fefe is not wanted by anyone until she finds a loving home. Parrot Spix's Macaw thought to be extinct - Eight animals released into the wild

Last Saturday the time had finally come. The first eight Spix's Macaws from the offspring were released into the wild in northeastern Brazil, in the semi-desert Caatinga, the original home of the birds. More are expected to follow in the course of the year. The bird conservationists now hope that there will soon be a strong basic population of Spix's Macaws living in freedom there again. A first important step to preserve the continued existence of these fascinating and rare birds.

Since many species are threatened primarily by human activities including land use changes, direct overexploitation of species, climate change, and environmental pollution, protecting wild animal and plant species is critically necessary. Additionally, the use of wild animal and plant species is a feature of our contemporary society. Wild species are already used extensively in things like our food, exotic leather goods, musical instruments, and pharmaceuticals. Additionally, wild species provide crucial and unique ecological services like pollination.

The objectives of species protection do not conflict with the sustainable use of animal and plant species that are compatible with the environment. The maintenance of the natural equilibrium must be ensured, and economic interests and the protection of species must coexist in order to maintain our ecosystem and the variety of our nature. That’s how the global society can achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

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