Press release by ICMBio 19-2-2020

Press release by ICMBio 19-2-2020

The Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation, the administrative arm of the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment, issued a statement on 19th February 2020, which I have translated. It stated:

Macaws back to the caatinga

Extinct in the wild, birds that were in Germany arrive in Brazil to begin the process of reintroduction in their habitat.

The beginning of the journey that will bring the macaws back to the heart of the Caatinga has a date to happen. On March 3 (Tuesday), fifty birds from Germany will disembark at Petrolina Airport/Senador Nilo Coelho (PE) and proceed to the city of Curaçá (Bahia), where a breeding centre has been built so that the birds can be released into the wild. The date, March 3, was chosen because it is the International Day of Wildlife, whose objective is to celebrate the fauna and flora of the planet, as well as to warn of the dangers of trafficking in wild animal species in the world. Spix’s macaws have been considered extinct in the wild since 2000, due to the actions of hunters and animal dealers.

A press conference will be held at the airport with the presence of the Minister of the Environment, Ricardo Salles; the president of ICMBio, Homero Cerqueira; and the president  of the German institution Association for the Conservation of Threatened Parrots (ACTP), Martin Guth. Journalists who want to participate in the press conference must register by
sending an email to the ICMBio Social Communication Division (see service

Discovered in the early 19th century by the German naturalist Johann Baptist von Spix, the macaw (Cyanopsitta spixii), a species exclusive to the Brazilian Caatinga, had its population decimated by the action of man. The last known specimen in nature disappeared in October 2000.

Since then, the few specimens that remain in private collections have been used to breed the species in captivity - almost all abroad. The macaw is considered one of the most endangered bird species in the world. In 2000, it was classified as Critically Endangered (CR) possibly
Extinct in Nature (EW), leaving only individuals in captivity.

Rare, the species originally lived in a small region in the interior of Juazeiro and Curaçá, in
northern Bahia, where the Federal Government created, in June 2018, two conservation areas: the Ararinha-Azul Wildlife Refuge (with 29,200 hectares) and the Ararinha-Azul Environmental Protection Area (with 90.600 hectares), intended for the reintroduction and protection of the species and conservation of the caatinga biome

The construction of the Centre and the reintroduction project are funded by the NGO ACTP. The first release is scheduled for 2021. Throughout this period the animals will undergo an adaptation and training process to live a free life. In addition, release tests will be
carried out with a parrot known as Maracanã (Illiger’s Macaw)

Service: Press Conference - Repatriation of Macaws

Location: Dock 1 -
Petrolina Airport / Senador Nilo Coelho (PE) cargo terminal

Time: 1pm

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