Brazil prepares way for Spix macaw reintroduction


The 2011 animated feature “Rio,” in which the world’s last two Spix macaws battle wildlife traffickers, become a couple and perpetuate their species, shone a global spotlight on the critically endangered bird. But in Brazil, efforts to preserve the species, among the world’s most prominent wildlife-conservation initiatives, began well before they inspired a movie. The Spix macaw (Cyanopsitta spixii), endemic only to the riverbank gallery forests that wind like green corridors through the otherwise sparsely forested savannahs of northeastern Bahia state, once added flashes of blue to an arid, sun-bleached landscape. But for four centuries cattle and goat ranchers harvested firewood from those forests, decimating the bird’s habitat and its numbers. Then, wildlife trafficking, which started in the 1960s and peaked in the... [Log in to read more]

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