The Parrots International Symposium

There were presentations on various conservation projects for parrots in every parts of the world

I have just got back from the Parrots International symposium on the Queen Mary at Long Beach, California. Although the symposium was dedicated to parrots of the Caribbean, there were presentations on other conservation projects for parrots in other parts of the world, including one from Ryan Watson of Al-Wabra on the problems he is encountering in breeding Spix's Macaws from livestock, which is very in-bred. He showed us a chart, which showed that most of the captive-held birds worldwide are seriously in-bred.

We were also told that the purchase of the Concordia ranch near Curaça in northern Bahia adjoining the Gangorra ranch already acquired in February 2007 should be completed soon. This will enable a substantial area in the last known habitat of the Spix's Macaw in the wild to be restored for an eventual re-introduction of the species into the wild. The area that the last remaining male ranged over was, however, much larger than the land acquired to date, so it is likely that even more land will have to prospected. Meanwhile a search for other suitable habitat remains to be carried out in accordance with the Recovery Plan.

Finally I have been sent an article written by Karl T. Plath (1886-1970) and published in 1931 in the Aviculture magazine by John McMichael of the caique website. This has an interesting illustration of the pet Spix's Macaw held by Plath at the time in Chicago. You can read this article by clicking here. Readers will be shocked at the poor diet the macaw survived on, but at least it appears it was not chained to its stand.  My thanks to John McMichael for this interesting contribution.

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