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In issue 279 -
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Scarlet Macaw - an exceptional psittacid

Spreads for web 4

By Robert Alison

The Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) is an iconic species that was common historically throughout its 10 million square kilometre range. But, anecdotal information indicates that, starting in the late 1940's, a steady population decline has taken place, largely due to habitat loss and rampant poaching of Macaw nestlings for sale on the black market. However, recent remedial conservation initiatives have successfully boosted some Macaw sub-populations, and there are indications of range expansion.

Scarlet Macaws are exceptional psittacids. Their brilliant colouration and large size are unmistakable, making them enormously popular among birders, photographers and other ecotourists. They are noisy in flight, with their raucous squawks being easily heard at great distances, although they forage silently.

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