A new study by BirdLife International revealed that at least eight bird species have ᴅɪsᴀᴘᴘᴇᴀʀᴇᴅ in the last years. Among them also the blue parrot, so well known from the movie ‘Rio.’
In the successful animation movie the parrots ꜰᴏᴜɢʜᴛ for their sᴜʀᴠɪᴠᴀʟ as Blu flies all the way from America to Brazil to find Jewel, the last female of its species. The two fall in love and they have a baby in the happy ending story. Unfortunately in real life Spix’s Macaw parrots did not make it. According to BirdLife International, they are now considered ᴇxᴛɪɴᴄᴛ in the wild.
The last-known wild Blue Macaw ᴅɪsᴀᴘᴘᴇᴀʀᴇᴅ at the end of the year 2000. BirdLife International estimates that between 60 and 80 birds of this species are living in captivity, so they are not yet considered completely ᴇxᴛɪɴᴄᴛ. There was a wild sighting of a Spix’s Macaw in 2016, but further investigation suggests that it was an ᴇsᴄᴀᴘᴇᴅ ᴄᴀᴘᴛɪᴠᴇ bird.
In 2018, BirdLife International completed an eight-year study analyzing 51 species that were considered Critically Endangered. They used a new statistical approach focusing on the intensity of ᴛʜʀᴇᴀᴛs to species, as well as the timing and reliability of records and search efforts for the species.
After finishing the study, the Spix’s Macaw was one of eight species that BirdLife International believed would have their ᴇxᴛɪɴᴄᴛions confirmed. The Blue Macaw would be considered ᴇxᴛɪɴᴄᴛ in the wild because there are birds of this species still living in captivity.
The major reason these birds have ʟᴏsᴛ their presence is as a result of massive ᴅᴇꜰᴏʀᴇsᴛᴀᴛɪᴏɴ. This is an issue that has affected Brazil more than in other countries in recent months. The study found that the blue macaws aren’t as adaptative as other species and frequently resided near ᴘʀᴇᴅᴀᴛᴏʀs. There are claims that these birds are actively trying to be brought to life again through breeding programs, but there is no official record of such a thing yet.