The Spix macaw - which you probably know better as the inspiration for the 2011 movie Rio - hasn't been spotted in the wild in some time and may be extinct. We want to believe that it's not true!
These exotic animals are beautiful and when it comes to birds they are the most threatened - by humans trying to catch them as pets and by environmental causes.
So now this species joins the list of 8 types of extinct birds in their natural habitat - although of course some still exist in captivity.
Extinct in nature - but not in our hearts!
Spix's macaw is one of 8 species of birds that are extinct in nature or likely to disappear altogether, according to a study by BirdLife International. The research analyzed 51 critically endangered species and quantified 3 factors: the intensity of the threats, the time and reliability of the logs, as well as the timing and amount of search efforts of the species.
Of the total, 5 species are confirmed or suspected extinctions in the South American continent, 4 of them in Brazil, reflecting the devastating effects of the high rate of deforestation in this part of the world. These data increase concern about the new trend: the continental extinctions are surpassing the extinctions in the islands.
But there's hope!
Although some of these species studied, among them the glauca macaw and the pygmy owl of Pernambuco, are already confirmed as extinct, the spix macaw has a small hope. In spite of the fact that species in Brazil apparently were annihilated in the wild by deforestation and other factors, a small estimated population of 60 to 80 macaws persists in captivity. Therefore, only the species is considered only extinct in nature, not gone altogether.
Climate change poses an increasingly serious threat to birds, but it is up to us as humans to raise awareness so that these animals can be preserved in their natural environments. Learn about the Spix macaw here.