Spix's Macaws Are Now Extinct out in the Wild, What Now?
Ahh, Spix's macaws. Infamous from the hit movie Rio (2011) from the production studio Blue Sky. The colors, the music, everything about this movie was a huge success, but there may have been an underlying message the whole time.
The plot of the movie consists of a baby Spix's macaw, endangered at the time, who was captured and taken away from his wild home. Obviously, Blue Sky was sending out a message to those smuggling these precious birds and any other animal into foreign land, but there's something else. The writer of this film was also warning us about the risks of endangered animals.
Well just seven years later, Spix's Macaws become extinct! How? Simple answer, deforestation.
What are Spix's Macaws?
Spix's Macaws are pale blue macaws with light gray feathers on it's head. They're small, allowing them to hide and escape from predators easier in trees and various other plants. The males and females look identical, yet the females weigh significantly less than the males.
"Spix's Macaws are energetic and noisy parrots with inquisitive and playful personalities. They can get aggressive, even outside the breeding season. Wild-caughts are initially shy, but usually get used to their caretakers quite quickly," according to beautyofbirds.com.
With range of personality, beautiful feathers, and more they are irresistibly adorable, which is one of the problems. They are trapped and take from their homes, or traded by illegal bird traders. It's a rough life for these macaws.
They became endangered in the 80s due to trappers and illegal bird traders. This caused wide controversy whether the bird was extinct in the wild or not, so they were officially named off as "critically endangered" and stuck with it for a while. There were a few sightings here and there in the wild, allowing them to keep the "critically endangered" status, but with the rise of deforestation, their numbers decreased drastically. They barely held on as countless attempts failed at trying to bring this bird back.
In 1995, a female was released into the wild, but died after seven weeks due to a power line. These birds haven't learned the dangerous of urban cities but rather live in forests where there aren't power lines to worry about.
As of September 12th, these precious animals are now completely extinct in the wild. The only place you'd ever get to see these birds is in captivity. Sad, isn't it?
How is this linked with deforestation?
Deforestation is a controversial topic. It happens when an organization needs room for buildings, farms, or other urban needs by wiping out large masses of wildlife. They sometimes use fires, cut down trees with chainsaws, or any other way to wipe out a forest you can think of.
The main way this is linked with deforestation is habitat. Wild birds live in trees most of the time, and that is the main thing being taken out with deforestation.
Deforestation comes with many risks, including mass extinction. It can increase the carbon dioxide in the air and lower the oxygen, it burns the natural habitats for all different kinds of animals, and wipes out food supply for those animals that already had their homes taken.
Spix's Macaws had to suffer through this. Their homes were burned, chopped down, and most couldn't escape. Their eggs were cooked to death, loads of fruits were charred and uneatable, there was no place for them to hide from potential predators making them an easy target.
There's still hope.
Spix's Macaws are extinct in the wild, but there are still some in captivity. They are being bred in captivity as we speak. Many professional breeders are helping to the cause so this is for sure not the end of their legacy.
Scientists are devoting lots of time and patience into keeping these magnificent birds from going completely extinct, so we'll wait and see how it all plays out, and hopefully in the near future, we can solve this bird's mass extinction.
Taking care of the environment is essential to helping the cause not only with these animals but other animals as well. Keeping the environment safe and clean will lead to a better future for not only humans but every living being on this planet. Picking up one piece of trash could save a life, or tons. A whole ant colony can be wiped out from poisonous human litter. That's thousands of ants killed by one piece of trash!
There's still hope that one day these magnificent birds will be saved from total extinction, but for now we need to hold onto our hopes and pray for the best.
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