Save the Blue-throated Macaw

The Blue-throated Macaw is endemic to a small area of north-central Bolivia, Brazil known as Los Llanos de Moxos. Recent population and range estimates suggests that only about 100-150 individuals remain in the wild. The main causes of their demise is capture for the pet trade and land clearance on cattle ranches. It is currently considered critically endangered and is protected by trading prohibitions.

Blue-throated Macaw is about 85 cm (33 in) long including the length of its tail feathers, and weighs about 750 g (27 oz). It has vivid colours with turquoise-blue wings and tail, and bright yellow underparts and blue undertail coverts. The throat is blue and continuous with its blue cheeks. It has a large black bill.

Blue-throated Macaw is endemic to savannas in the Beni province of Bolivia, and depends on motucu palms for nesting. These palms occur in palm "islands" embedded in the extensive seasonally-flooded grasslands. The entire known population of the species exists on private ranches which undergo yearly burning and heavy grazing by cattle.

In 2008 Asociación Armonía (BirdLife in Bolivia), with the support of American Bird Conservancy and World Land Trust-US, has created the world's first protected area for Blue-throated Macaw. The group purchased a 3,555 hectare ranch in the grasslands of eastern Bolivia, a site with 20 Blue-throated Macaws during the breeding season.

Asociación Armonía have identified a further five ranches for sale that are at risk of being developed and that are essential for the expansion of the new private reserve, to protect 41% of the of the known Blue-throated Macaw population. World Land Trust-US is currently raising funds for purchasing these private ranches at $32 per acre!

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