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Home > News & Events > MAARSianChronicles > Issue 13: August 2005 > On the Wild Side: World Parrot Trust Biologists Assist World's Rarest Macaw

On the Wild Side

The future of wild Blue-throated Macaws may lie in the hands of dedicated young Bolivian conservationists, such as Jairo Moreno, show here holding a 10-week-old chick. This chick successfully fledged two weeks later under his watchful eye.

The future of wild Blue-throated Macaws may lie in the hands of dedicated young Bolivian conservationists, such as Jairo Moreno, show here holding a 10-week-old chick. This chick successfully fledged two weeks later under his watchful eye.

(Photo by Jamie Gilardi)

World Parrot Trust Biologists Assist World's Rarest Macaw

by Joanna Eckles, Administrator, World Parrot Trust USA

World Parrot Trust biologist Toa Kyle and his Bolivian crew are preparing to return to the field for what they hope will be a promising breeding season for the Blue-throated Macaw. This stunning species now has the distinction of being the world's rarest wild macaw with an estimated 60–100 birds remaining in the wild. When the team finally got permission to actively monitor and assist the wild birds last breeding season only two nests remained active, with one chick each. All the other nests being watched from afar had failed to fledge chicks. With permission from the Bolivian government the field crew was able to install flashing on the tree trunks to protect from climbing predators, check for signs of health, and assist the chicks in any way possible to maximize their chances for survival. Those two chicks did end up fledging and were the only two chicks we know of to be added to the wild population last year. Hopefully good things are in store this season with more help in the field and permission to monitor and assist from day 1.

Biologist Toa Kyle weighs a 'bluebeard' chick for the last time prior to fledging. Repeated measures of body weight are essential for monitoring healthy development.

Biologist Toa Kyle weighs a 'bluebeard' chick for the last time prior to fledging. Repeated measures of body weight are essential for monitoring healthy development.

(Photo by Jamie Gilardi)

This article and photos appear in their entirety in Toa Kyle's article in PsittaScene, Volume 17.1, February 2005.

The World Parrot Trust is an international non-profit organization dedicated to the survival of parrots in the wild and the welfare of captive birds everywhere. Membership includes their quarterly magazine, PsittaScene, which includes updates on this project and many others. For more information visit www.worldparrottrust.org.

 

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