Threatened Species

The Scarlet Macaw and the Great Green Macaw are two of the most recognizable parrot species in the world, they are renowned for their beauty, intelligence, and charisma. However, because of recent and rapid declines in their numbers, they are in desperate need of your help. By protecting these birds and their habitat, together we can support biodiversity conservation in one of the worlds most biologically important areas.

Scarlet Macaw

Great Green Macaw

Wild population:

20,000 - 50,000; Total Central American population no more than 4,000

1,500 - 2,000

Habitat:

Scattered throughout lowland rainforests in small isolated populations from Mexico to Panama in Central America and east of the Andes from Colombia down to Bolivia and southern Brazil in South America

Tiny remaining populations are found in the lowland rainforests on the Caribbean slope from east Honduras to northwest Colombia. In parts of Panama and at the southern end of their range in Ecuador they are found in the dry forests on the Pacific coast.

Status:

There is evidence of a population decline in the wild across the range. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists the Scarlet Macaw at the lowest level of concern for extinction, largely because of its huge range. However in Costa Rica they are missing from much of their former range and there are only two healthy sub-populations remaining. Furthermore there may be no more than 4,000 of these birds in Central America.

IUCN Red Listed as Endangered. The Great green Macaw was once prevalent throughout the entire Caribbean slope. Approximately since the 1970’s, the bird populations have declined. The main cause is the loss of forest habitat and in particular the destruction of Mountain Almond trees, which they rely on for feeding and nesting. Over time, branches of the tree naturally break off, leaving large cavities in the trunks of the trees that provide a hollowed nest.

Quick Facts

Scientific Name : Ara Macao

Body Length: 81 centimetres (32 in)

Weight: 1 kilogram (2.2 lb)

Lifespan: 30-50 (wild)

Incubation: 30/35 Days

Scientific Name : Ara Ambiguus

Body Length: 85–90 cm (33.5–35.5 in)

Weight: 1.3 kg (2.9 lb)

Lifespan: 30-50 (wild)

Incubation: 30/35 Days

Threats

  • Historic conversion of forest to castle pasture, and agricultural plantations (oil-palm, banana and pineapple)
  • Limited potential for reproduction in secondary forests lacking ancient trees
  • Specific loss of Mountain Almond trees for timber
  • Unsustainable exploitation for the pet bird trade

support our cause

You can make a difference for parrots in so many ways. We are in need of volunteers and financial support year round to care for the rescued and released Macaws, for ongoing monitoring and protection of wild babies, to inspire communities and to support our Network. Find out how you can make a difference today.

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