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Date:10/20/2014 3:05:10 PM
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Hi Tango
July 30th BOTM POST
Hello to all my BC friends. Zeena here with today's BOTM Post. Today we will take a look at one of natures most beautiful birds, also my Momma Deb's" dream-bird", the Hyacinth Macaw.
The largest species of macaw, Hyacinth grows to be up to 40 inches (1 m) long. The Hyacinth Macaw survives today in three known distinct population in southern Brazil, eastern Bolivia and northeastern Paraguay. In 1990, the wild population was estimated to be 2,500 birds. The world’s captive population is probably much larger, numbering in the thousands. Today, the wild population is less then 600 individuals. They are critically endangered in their native habitat.
Of the 145 species of parrot in Central and South America, 45 are in danger of extinction. All 18 species of macaws are threatened. The primary causes are habitat loss and heavy exploitation for the pet trade. The Hyacinth Macaw is especially vulnerable to capture and habitat destruction because it is noisy, intrinsically fearless, predictable, and dependent on palm trees. Hyacinth Macaws do not breed every year even under the best circumstances, so the predation on chicks is particularly bad for the species’ survival. Since captured young survive so poorly (up to 99 percent die between capture and final sale), adults are sometimes trapped through liming of perches or use of baited clap-nets. Still, for every macaw that arrives safely abroad, it is likely that five died on the way.
The United States is the largest market for the exotic pet trade. In the last decade, 8.5 million birds, at least 85 percent of birds captured in the wild, were imported or smuggled into the United States. Even when the export of birds is controlled, the domestic bird trade often is not regulated. Another threat to the Hyacinth Macaw is the increased commercial sale of feather art by the Kayapo Indians of Gorotire in southern Brazil. The feathers from up to 10 Hyacinth Macaws are needed to make one headdress. In addition, ranchers kill Macaws because they believe that Hyacinths damage palm trees, which ranchers use for fenceposts, and scare cattle with their noisy behavior. In some places, local people still hunt Macaws for meat. Add to this clear-cutting of Rainforest and you can see the danger the Hyacinth population has to becoming extinct within the next decade.
Compound all the above and it is easy to calculate that their best chance of survival as a species is through captive breeding. Selling in Canada at upwards to $40,000US each these beauties of the Rainforest will remain one the worlds most desired Macaw species.
One more Question for Thought.
It is often people’s love of animals that causes them to desire exotic animal pets. What can be done to educate pet owners about the impacts of wild-caught birds and other animals?
with love and scritches Zeena 255116
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