Previously there has been major illegal trade in the species. At least 10,000 birds were taken from the wild in the 1980s, with 50% destined for the Brazilian market. Now much reduced, illegal trade still continues. Across its range, there is some local hunting for food and feathers. In the Brazilian Amazon, there has been habitat loss for cattle-ranching and hydroelectric power schemes. In the Pantanal of Brazil, only 5% of favoured nest-trees have suitable cavities, and young trees are foraged by cattle and burnt by frequent fires.
Conservation status: Category VU (Vulnerable) in the IUCN Red List
Wild population: 6,500, in decline.
Captive population: Not known.
To increase confidence to declare absence or confirm presence of the species in the region between north and south Pantanal, and therefore to make a more informed determination if either one, or two, genetically significant evolutionary units exist.
There is no ornithological record between two areas genetically sampled in the Pantanal (between north and south Pantanal). Another very important finding is the strong difference in genetic structure found between North Pantanal (Mato Grosso state) and southern Pantanal (Mato Grosso do Sul state). This differentiation was not expected because there is apparently no physical and/or biological barrier separating these populations. Thus, strategically this project will contribute to knowledge about the current conservation status of the Hyacinth Macaw, as well as to assist in its conservation throughout Brazil.
A search and population survey of Hyacinth Macaws in the area of the Pantanal with no previous reports of presence of the species. Monitoring any nests found in the area, and genetic sampling of nestlings.
Arara Azul Institute
Funding since 2016: 5,225$