10 November 2008

First Home for Blue-throated Macaws

Blue-throated Macaw (Ara glaucogularis), Critically Endangered

With only an estimated 300 individuals surviving in the wild, the Blue-throated Macaw is critically endangered. The threats come mainly from habitat loss and illegal trapping. To nest, the birds require motucu palms, which grow in islands dotting the grasslands of Bolivia. Unfortunately, the only known habitat suitable for the birds exists on private ranch lands, where annual burning and intensive cattle grazing occur. The other major threat to these birds is illegal trapping for the caged-bird market.

Fortunately, several conservation organizations working together have purchased an 8500+ acre ranch where Blue-throated Macaws are known to nest. This is the first protected area for these rare birds, which is great news. However, much more area needs to be protected to ensure the recovery and continued well-being of these magnificent birds. There are four other ranches for sale, that combined with the new purchase, hold 41% of the Blue-throated Macaw population. Unfortunately, at $30 an acre, the land is being eyed by foreign cattle ranchers.

If you want to help protect the habitat of the Blue-throated Macaw, you can donate to the World Land Trust, Bird Endowment, Loro Parque Foundation, or Asociación Armonía, all organizations involved in the conservation of the Macaws.

You can also buy a stuffed toy Blue-throated Macaw or sign up for a Parrot Lover's Cruise from Bird Endowment.

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