The study by Patricia Faria
Patricia and her team have just published a study of the genetic variation and population structure of the Hyacinthine Macaw
Patricia Faria and her team have just published a study of the genetic variation and population structure of the Hyacinthine Macaw with its implications for conservation in Biodiversity and Conservation. Three populations were studied - in the southern and northern Pantanal as well as Piauí in northern Brazil. Five confiscated macaws were also included. The investigators discovered that compared to other parrots Hyacinthine Macaws possess a relatively lower genetic variation and that the individuals within the two Pantanal populations belong to a unique interbreeding population and are genetically distinct at nuclear level from the macaws from Piauí. The analyses of the five confiscated macaws suggest that the Pantanal is not the source of birds for the illegal trade. They concluded that the low genetic variability detected in the Hyacinthine Macaw does not seem to pose a threat to the survival of the species.
I recall being told by leading Brazilian aviculturists in São Paulo several years ago that the macaws in illegal trade within Brazil came from Piauí and not the Pantanal. Neiva Guede's dedicated work in the Pantanal arousing awareness on conservation issue among the local people there has clearly impacted on poaching and the illegal trade.