Updating the news page

More news about the Spix’s Macaw situation and the Harry Sissen trial

There is more news on the News page about the Spix’s Macaw situation and the Harry Sissen trial.

I have also now added an article on the BioBrazil Hyacinthine Macaw project in Piauí, which was published in Bird Talk magazine in October 1999. This project, which has been supported for a number of years by the Kaytee Avian Foundation set up by Kaytee Products Inc., involves former trappers working as gamekeepers. This aspect has caused considerable misgivings in conservation circles both inside and outside Brazil. The Brazilian environmental authorities are ambivalent about it and would appear from the article at least to monitor the project’s activities.

This interesting notion has not been helped by the arrest and incarceration reported several years ago by Thomas Arndt of a trapper in the city of Petrolinas for illegal trafficking and possession of a Lear’s Macaw head. At the time he was allegedly being paid $1,000 per month by a British-based parrot conservation organisation to protect the macaws against trappers. Left unsupervised he soon realised he might be able to enjoy the benefits of both occupations. A close associate of his was also apprehended with a live Lear’s Macaw held in shocking conditions, which subsequently died.

Nonetheless the concept does have considerable merit as part of the involvement of local people, without which no conservation project can exist long-term, and is far more likely to succeed with peasant farmers in remote rural areas as described in this project than tricky city-based operators such as the miscreant mentioned above.

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