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Military Macaws on the coast of Jalisco, Mexico


Military Macaws on the coast of Jalisco, Mexico

by Dr David Waugh

The Military Macaw (Ara militaris) is nationally and internationally protected and now occurs in discontinuous, localised populations throughout its geographical distribution.  The main threat to the Military Macaw is habitat loss and it is estimated that this has caused a reduction of 30 per cent in its original distribution in Mexico.  It is the macaw species with the most northerly distribution, occurring in Mexico along the Pacific slope from Sonora to Chiapas, and on the Atlantic slope from Tamaulipas to Queretaro.

Unfortunately, almost no information exists on the key habitats and food resources required to maintain these macaw populations throughout the year.  This lack of information can hinder its conservation, given that threatened species depend on the maintenance of all habitat types, required to meet their needs.  The conservation of Military Macaw populations could be stimulated by non-extractive use, such as ecotourism, but the implementation of such strategies requires a sound social and scientific basis.

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