The six specimens of Lear's Macaw (Anodorhynchus leari) born in the facilities of Loro Parque Fundación and transferred last August to Brazil for their reintegration into the natural environment have managed to adapt to the harsh conditions of their Habitat in the Caatinga and they already fly in freedom. The one of this parrot is one of the most important projects of the Foundation, that has achieved that its category in the Red List of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has gone from "critically endangered" to "endangered", as indicated by the Parrot park it's a statement.
In the note, the institution explains that the protection and progressive recovery of this species has been a long and laborious way, in which the 'ex situ' work carried out by Loro Parque Fundación, here in the Government of Brazil transferred two couples 13 years ago, in 2006, with the aim that they could raise and save a species that was in a situation similar to that of Spix's Macaw, now extinct in nature. In a matter of six months, they were able to start reproducing and, since then, more than 30 specimens have been bred in Tenerife. However, the objective of the Foundation has always been that they could return to their natural environment and, once there, ensure its sustainability. Thus, in this time, 15 specimens have been sent to participate in a breeding project in controlled environments and the population of this species has increased significantly.
The last six individuals arrived in Brazil have spent a period of adaptation in a large aviary that is in its natural environment, with plants typical of the ecology of the species, where they have become familiar with the sounds of nature and the conditions of the area of which is the Lear's Macaw.
During this process, there have been several challenges that the project team has had to face: that they could adapt to eat the fruits of the licuri palm -from which the species feeds- at the same speed as the wild, given that they were accustomed to a softer meal, or that they stopped drinking direct water from a drinker and went on to consume what they got from the fruits of La Palma trees are some of them. However, all were gradually and successfully overcome, while they were trained to increase their cardiorespiratory capacity and to react to sounds of possible predators.
It was the most determined specimen, the most curious of the six, the first to leave the aviary soft release to inspect the area and serve as an outpost to the rest of the group. In this case, and for safety, he made the first flights equipped with a locator that registered his movements. Once he established the distances and returned safely to the compound, the floodgate was opened for the others.
The nearby palms were provided with large bunches of fruits of licuri to avoid that they had to make great efforts in the search of food during their first experiences in their natural habitat. Thus, they gradually left the site, finding very similar conditions without having to make long journeys.
With this great step, the Lear's Macaw reaches one of the most important cycles in its recovery, and its integration into the natural environment will continue to be monitored by Brazilian scientists - led by biologist Erica Pacífico, General Coordinator of the liberation project- , in coordination with the Loro Parque Fundación, they will remain attentive to the evolution of the process.
The Lear's macaw is one of nine species of birds saved from extinction through Loro Parque Fundación projects in different parts of the planet, although with special action in South America. Thus, in that location they have worked in the recovery of Yellow-eared Parrot, that counted in 1998 with only 82 units located in Colombia; the Blue-throated Macaw, endemic to the wide plains of Beni, in Bolivia, where it did not exceed the number of 50 specimens in the decade of the 90s; the Amazona Colirroja, an endangered species of the Atlantic tropical forest, mainly from the Brazilian states of Sao Paulo and Paraná, in the southeast of the country; and the Cabeciazul Guacamayo, with little abundant populations and located in points of Peru, Brazil and Bolivia.