EEP Studbook report for 1997 for the Hyacinthine Macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus)

EEP Studbook report for 1997 for the Hyacinthine Macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus) by Blue Macaws

Situation in the EEP:

Hyacinth macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus)- EEP Annual Report 1997

1. Information on organisation, structure and activities of the programme

Species coordinator:

Mr. Steffen Patzwahl 
Parc Paradisio
Domaine de Cambron 1
7940 Cambron-Casteau
Belgium

Studbook keeper:
Mr. Steffen Patzwahl

Species committee:
Wolfgang Grummt, Berlin Tierpark
Wolf Bartmann, Dortmund
Pierre Gay, Doué la Fontaine
Hubert Lücker, Dresden
Colin Bath, Paignton
Jonas Wahlström, Skansen Akvariet
Günther Schleußner, Stuttgart
Martina Müller, Walsrode

Committee meetings:
The last meeting was held during the EAZA Conference in Saumur, June 1996 Meetings are usually held every second year (next one during the EAZA Conference in Berlin, September 1998).

Studbook:
European studbook with data through 31 December 1996 published in l997.

Husbandry guides:
Produced first in 1991, updated every two years (last in 1996).

Conservation activities/Research/Publications: Not specified

Status and development of the EEP population: see Table l.

Age and sex distribution of the EEP population: see page 303.

3. Problems

The main problem with this species is the low overall reproductive rate. Out of 19 pairs, only 23 pairs reproduced successfully in 1997 (1996: 17 pairs out of 114). More than 30 pairs produce eggs, which are either infertile or fertile but die off, or do not raise their chicks. For this reason, the studbook keeper visited several successful breeders in the USA to seek more information. The following is a short summary of important points.
- Diet: this point has often been discussed and should be well known by now. Hyacinth macaws need oily nuts in their diet. Nuts are readily available; recently frozen nuts of the genus Elaeis have become available.
- This species is known to be nervous during breeding. As a result eggs are destroyed or embryos (esp. during the last third of the incubation period) die off.
- Eggs of the Hyacinth Macaws arc relatively small compared to the birds' size. This means that the embryos are quite big. In case the environment of the nestbox or the humidity in the incubator is not ideal, the embryo will die. Contrary to the widespread opinion that this species requires a high humidity, it was found that the weight loss of l6% to 17% could only be achieved at humidity levels of 40% relative humidity.

Taking points 2 and 3 into consideration, it is easy to understand why the majority of chicks of this species are hatched by artificial incubation and reared by hand.

4. Recommendations for the next year(s)

A number of promising pairings took place during 1997. These are young pairs, which will hopefully start making breeding attempts within the coming three to five years. Several participants have already changed their enclosures to allow their potential breeders more privacy. In case those changes still do not result in successful breeding, hand or foster-rearing should be taken into consideration by the participants.

(Website editor - as the tables contain confidential information on the locations of the Hyacinth Macaws in the EEP, they are not reproduced here. I can however report the overall movements in the EEP population as follows:

The year started with 75 participants holding 140 adult males, 133 adult females and 23 unknown. There were 17 births (2 known males, two known females and 13 unknown, two of which later died). There were 9 mortalities (2 males, 6 females and 1unknown). Thus the year ended with 143 adult males, 129 adult females and 31 unknown.)

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Quotes

 " Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurret "

( If you drive out nature with a pitchfork, she will soon find a way back)

Horace (65-8 BC)