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Date:9/30/2014 12:47:12 AM
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Hi Jivu
Hello Everybird, Zeena here with the continuing article on the Ara Project. Today we will look at the Great Green Macaw ( Military or Buffon's). We will look at their distribution and what has pushed them to the point of extinction.


Once prevalent throughout the entire Caribbean, Great Green Macaw (Ara ambiguus) populations have declined alarmingly in recent years due to poaching and deforestation, in particular the cutting of Mountain Almond trees. BirdLife International states" that over the past 50 years global populations have been reduced by half." A census conducted in the Cordillera de Chongon Colonche and Esmeraldas Province in Ecuador in 2010 found only 8 birds, with the current population in all of Ecuador suspected to be 30-40 birds (E. Horstman in litt. 2012). Recent conservation efforts in Costa Rica have stabilized numbers with less than 300 birds and an estimated 25-35 breeding pairs remaining (PsittaScene Aug. 2011). There are less then 1000 individuals in South American.
Factors contributing to decline in numbers;

Unsustainable exploitation, poaching for the wild bird trade
Subspecies guayaquilensis reportedly shot as a crop-pest
Conversion of forest to oil-palm and banana plantations, causing the loss of the large Mountain Almond
Increased impact of logging, agriculture, illegal coca plantations, gold mining and hunting
Illegal trapping for in-country trade, food and feathers

Ecology

This macaw prefers lowland humid forest and also strongly deciduous forest; in Costa Rica lowland primary forest. It is found at altitudes to 600m (1968 ft) in Costa Rica and1000m (3280 ft) in Panama. Less gregarious than other large macaws, it is found in pairs and groups of 3-4 birds, foraging on fruits and flowers.

Tomorrow we will take a closer look at the plight of the Scarlet Macaws, and what we can do to help save the remaining populations.

with love and scritches Zeena 25116
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