Spix Macaw

The Little Blue Bird

 The Little Blue Bird

May 9 

Written By Oskar Fonseca

Extinction is a word you associate with dinosaurs or animals that existed centuries ago, such as the Saber-toothed Cat or the Dodo bird.

What if I told you that many animals have gone extinct in the past few decades. According to the IUCN, "More than 40,000 species are threatened with extinction. That is still 28% of all assessed species." That means more animals will go into extinction if we don't do something about it.

I want to focus on one particular parrot that has been extinct in the wild for more than two decades, and now, there's new hope, a new beginning for the Little Blue Bird, also known as the Spix Macaw.


Spix Macaw


A brief history


The Spix Macaw (Cyanopsitta spixii) or Little Blue Macaw is a beautiful blue parrot, relatively small compared to other macaws such as the Green Wing or Hyacinth Macaw. The Caatinga region of Brazil is the home of the Spix Macaw. The term caatinga means "white forest." Caatinga is one of the most highly unique natural regions in Brazil. An interesting fact about this region is a tree called "Tabebuia caraiba." used by the Spix Macaw for nesting and roosting. 

The Spix Macaw was discovered by the German Johann Baptist Ritter von Spix during an expedition in Brazil in 1819. Even during this time, the Spix Macaw was a rare bird with little documentation about its species. Documents suggest that the Spix Macaw was last seen in the wild in 1986, but In 1990, only one Spix Macaw was found in the wild.

The Past

The Spix Macaw has been extinct in the wild since the year 2000. The Spix's Macaw is extinct in the wild due to habitat loss, illegal pet trade, and persecution—their habitat has been destroyed due to new developments. These beautiful birds have been heavily trapped in the illicit trade cage-bird. 

With the Brazilian government's partnership, the German-based ACTP (Association for the Conservation of Threatened Parrots) worked diligently to reintroduce the Spix Macaw to the wild from captivity and develop an appropriate wildlife refuge environment for the species to live and adapt.

The Hope (Now)

Currently, there are 162 Spix's Macaws in total population. 110 out of 162 live in a facility in Germany. In 2020, 52 Spix Macaws traveled from Germany to Caatinga, Brazil, with the hope of saving the species. The goal is to bring the Spix Macaw out of extinction and reintroduce the bird into the wild. The Spix's Macaw Wildlife Refuge covers an area of 90,000 acres in the municipality of Curaçá in the state of Bahia, Brazil.


Image Source: ACTP Website

The Future

On June 14th, 2022, The ACTP will release the Spix's macaw in the wild. The great news was announced on social media and other news outlets last week. To read more about it, go to their website. After 22 years, the little blue macaw will take flight on its own in the skies of Caatinga, Brazil. 

We hope to see the Spix Macaw flying freely without threats of extinction again. What we are about to experience on June 14th, 2022, should be broadcast across the globe for people to see that every step counts in saving wildlife. Reintroducing the Spix Macaw into the wild was possible because of passion, love, and determination. 

Thanks to all the people that made this possible. Together we can save the wildlife; united, we can save the Spix Macaw!


Image Source: ACTP Website


Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.