Movie buffs are quite familiar with this bluebird from the film Rio and Rio 2. Spix’s macaw, also known as the little blue macaw, is a native bird to north and south America. Spix’s macaw is a parrot with a long blue feathered tail. 


  • Spix’s macaw, also known as Cyanopsitta Spixii, scientifically belongs to the family of Psittacidae. 
  • It was named after a German naturalist, Johann Baptist von Spix.
  •  Like any other bird, it feeds on seeds and no special diet is needed.
  •  Both the male and female macaw look similar with minute differences in its size
  •  It breeds from November to March. It makes a mating call called “ Whichaka”. 
image of the Spix’s macaw
Spix’s macaw was declared extinct in wild


  • Birdlife international conducted a survey and declared the Spix’s Macaw extinct. Later, IUCN ( International Union for Conservation of Nature), a body determined to protect wildlife, declared that Spix’s macaw is extinct in the wild in 2000.
  •  Yet, few ornithologists believed that some remains of it would exist when there was news in 2018 that Spix’s macaw was spotted.
  •  20 years after being declared extinct, this bird is reintroduced in its natural habitat i.e, Brazil. It made a long flight from Germany to Brazil, which was happy news to many locals and ornithologists who were concerned about it.
  • 52 macaws were reintroduced in Brazil with an equal number of male and female ones.
image of the map of South America.
Spix’s macaw is a native bird to South and north america.


Brazil is one of the developing nations in the world. Due to its enormous economic activity, there have been continuous threats to its environment. World’s largest rainforest is the Amazon forest, which has its major part in Brazil. It is also a part of many rare birds like Spix’s macaw. 

  • Habitat loss and degradation due to development activities
  • Construction of dams and reservoirs on various rivers especially the Amazon
  • Trapping of wildlife for wild trade and illegal activities

All of these led to the extinction of the Spix’s macaw. These have been the reasons for the loss of other rare birds and animals too.


  • CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and fauna) has declared Spix’s macaw in its list – 1. Any animal or bird placed in this list is prohibited from trading except for legal conservation and educational purposes.
  • IUCN ( International Union for Conservation of Nature ) declared this bird extinct in the wild way back in 2000. It has special protection status under it.
  • As a part of Brazil’s National Plan of Action for Conservation of Spix’s macaw, measures were taken to re-introduce this bird in its natural habitat.
  • ATCP ( Association for Conservation of Threatened Parrots), joined by the Brazilian government, took up the Captive breeding program in Germany, which facilitated the re-introduction of Spix’s macaw recently.
  • It also built Spix’s macaw Release, Breeding and Research Centre (RBRC) in the Caatinga region of Brazil.
  • Programs to prepare the local population for future co-existence were also taken up.


Many people raised doubts about the funding given by the ATCP (Association for Conservation of Threatened Parrots). They doubted the lack of accountability and transparency in the funding process. Around 55,000 members signed up a petition to look at its finances.

Apart from the troubles, the locals and the ornithologists were very happy with the news.

-by Krishna Amrutha

Content Writer (Erakina By RTMN)


Tags: animals, birds

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