A new subspecies of Scarlet Macaw and its status and conservation

Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) Science Article 1


Scarlet Macaws from northern Middle America (Mexico through Nicaragua) differ from those occurring from Costa Rica southward throughout the species’ range in South America. This new subspecies (Ara macaw cyanoptera) differs in having yellow wing covert feathers tipped with blue, but with no green band separating the yellow from the blue tip, and in being larger than South American birds. The new subspecies is already in danger of extinction, because of habitat loss and internal trade within its home range countries. Protection of the species in the wild can be best afforded by protecting its remaining habitat in Middle America and by reducing the internal market for pets in those countries. Many Scarlet Macaws, including more than 400 ATa macao cyanoptera, were imported into the developed countries between 1976 and 1986. Captive breeding of these individuals, keeping the subspecies. bloodlines separate, can contribute to conservation of the subspecies

David A. Wiedenfeld, ORNITOLOGIA NEOTROPICAL 5: 99-104

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