Lear's Macaw Conservation

Lear's macaw is an endangered species that lives only in a small arid region of Bahia, north-eastern Brazil, and its survival is closely related with licuri palm, whose fruits are their main food. They are usually found near large sandstone cliffs, where they take refuge at night, and breed. They have suffered illegal trade with the capture of their young, and when they are adults farmers persecute them for their raids on maize crops. Their habitat is increasingly degraded by the increasing use of land for cattle, and also by the indiscriminate collection of leaves and fruits of licuri palm.

Condition: Category "Endangered (EN)" in the IUCN Red List
Wild population: 1,200 specimens, growing.
Captive population: 110.

Objetive
By reducing threats and restoring the wild population, to make the Lear's Macaw a non-threatened species.

Strategy
Collaboration in implementing the National Action Plan for the Lear's Macaw, in order to clarify the priority conservation actions, improve knowledge of the geographical movements of macaws and food resources, and how they vary seasonally. Protect licuri palms essential for long-term recovery of the Lear's Macaw, making local people aware of the importance of this plant, and offering an alternative and enriching use of their leaves, and involve them in spreading the value of this habitat and the Lear's Macaw. Create a viable captive population with the aim to establish new populations Lear's Macaw in the wild.

Actions
Collaboration with experts in the biology and remote monitoring of Lear's Macaws, using cutting edge technology in such monitoring. Working with local artisans and public bodies for improved vocational training using crafts made from licuri leaves. The project directly benefits the community economically, and is an effective way to raise awareness of the value of the plant and the need for its preservation. In addition, the artisans themselves are developing pieces dedicated to Lear's Macaws, in order to promote awareness of the need to protect it beyond their own localities. Breeding specimens for the ex situ population and contributing them for reintroduction into the wild, with satellite monitoring.

Brazil
North-east Bahía

Local Partner
Instituto Chico Mendes para la Conservación de la Biodiversidad (ICMBio).
Centro Nacional de Investigación y Conservación de Aves Silvestres (CEMAVE).

Other organizations involved
Universidad de Sao Paulo
Arara Azul Institute
Fundaçao Biodiversitas

Funds since 2006: 462,602 $

Anodorhynchus leari