The Blue-throated Macaw (Ara glaucogularis; previously Ara caninde) is a bird endemic to a small area of north-central Bolivia known as Los Llanos de Moxos. Recent population and range estimates suggests that about 250"?300 individuals remain in the wild. The main causes of their demise is capture for the pet trade and land clearance on cattle ranches. It is currently considered critically endangered and the parrot is protected by trading prohibitions.
Range and habitat
The Blue-throated Macaw lives in the savanna of the Beni Department of Bolivia, nesting in "Islas" (islands) of palm trees that dot the level plains. Is not a forest dwelling bird.
The Blue-throated Macaw is about 85 cm (33 in) long including the length of its tail feathers, and weighs about 750 g (27 oz). It has vivid colours with turquoise-blue wings and tail, and bright yellow underparts and blue undertail coverts. The throat is blue and continuous with its blue cheeks. It has a large black bill. Bare skin at the base of the beak is pink and pale bare skin on the sides of the face is partly covered with lines of small dark blue feathers. The adults have yellow irises and the juveniles have brown irises. It can be separated from the slightly larger Blue-and-yellow Macaw by the blue (not black) throat, the blue (not green) forehead and the lack of contrast between the remiges and upperwing coverts.
In the wild the Blue-throated Macaw often competes for nesting-holes in trees with the Blue-and-yellow Macaw, large woodpeckers and toucans. The number of suitable nest trees has been reduced by land clearing in its range.
They are relatively easy to breed in captivity, and the captive population is many times larger than the wild population. Individuals are kept in several zoos around the World, among them the Santa Cruz zoo in Bolivia.
Several breeding and conservation schemes in zoos have now been set up to save this species. Other projects have been started to protect the remaining wild population, but at present numbers are still decreasing.
Top of head is blue