The Spix macaw, a bird that had once vanished in the wild, is now thriving in its South American homeland after a successful breeding programme
Twenty years ago, the future of the Spix’s macaw could not have looked bleaker. The last member of this distinctive parrot species disappeared from the wild, leaving only a few dozen birds in collectors’ cages across the globe. The prospects for Cyanopsitta spixii were grim, to say the least.
But thanks to a remarkable international rescue project, Spix’s macaws – with their grey heads and vivid blue plumage – have made a stunning comeback. A flock now soars freely over its old homeland in Brazil after being released there a month ago. Later this year, conservationists plan to release more birds, and hope the parrots will start breeding in the wild next spring.