This video is from the "NE Viver e Preservar"
television program, and is in Portuguese with English
subtitles. It provides a great look at the grey-breasted parakeet and the
researchers working with the species.
- 5 grey-breasted parakeets were discovered in a region outside of the two known areas where these birds live.
- Researchers from the Brazilian NGO Aquasis discovered the birds in an isolated mountain above the Brazilian Caatinga.
- The team spent a year following up on clues and reported sightings of the birds
- This is the third known population of birds; the other two are in Serra do Baturité and Quixadá.
- Researchers believe there are only 300 breeding pairs of this bird, making it the most critically endangered parakeet/conure in the Americas.
- While a good sign, the new population may have different genetic makeup than the other two populations, which may prevent uniting the populations.
in the Ceará state of north-east Brazil made a discovery that provides some
hope to bird conservationists around the world: 5 critically-endangered
grey-breasted parakeets, Pyrrhura
griseipectus (also known as the gray-breasted conure). These five birds were
found in an isolated mountain above the Caatinga, and have become the third
known population of these birds.
BirdLife, there are only around 30 to 300 adult grey-breasted parakeets (not
counting the chicks) in the wild, a population ravaged by two familiar
culprits: trapping and habitat loss. The two main populations reside in Serra
do Baturité and Quixadá.
A team from
the Brazilian NGO Aquasis discovered the new group, after a year of
searching for the birds."It was only in March that we
were able to confirm and document the finding”, said project leader Fabio
Nunes, to BirdLife. "This discovery could be a new hope to add to the existing
conservation efforts led by Aquasis and its partners.”
The team had funding help from the Conservation Leadership (CLP) Programme
Future Conservation Award, given to them in 2012. The CLP is a partnership of BirdLife
International, Fauna & Flora International, Conservation International, the
Wildlife Conservation Society and BP.
discovery of new populations is excellent news,” BirdLife reports, "but the Grey-breasted
Parakeet faces an uphill struggle. Having been left in isolation for so long,
the genetic make-up of the new population may be different enough to suggest
that uniting populations may be problematic and risky.”
The team plans to write a paper on the discovery and to discuss the conservation efforts going forward for all grey-breasted parakeets, both new and old.
Since the early 2000s, conservation groups
have been working hard to help this species. According to the Grey-Breasted
Parakeet Species Fact Sheet on BirdLife, "A large scale education and
awareness campaign took place in the Serra de Baturité in 2008 … a principal
objective of AQUASIS is to promote it as a flagship species, work which is
being supported by local NGO AGUA and ecotourism business Parque das Trilhas. AQUASIS
also aims to build capacity for bird-watching and in the process develop
awareness and create alternative livelihoods.”
grey-breasted parakeets live in humid forest enclaves known as "sky islands” or
"brejos” to the locals, according to BirdLife. The birds look similar to the
white-eared conures (Pyrrhura leucotis), but have don’t have quite the same
coloration and live further north than the other species.
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