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The Lear's Macaw success story


The Lear's Macaw success story

by Dr Matthias Reinschmidt

On 31 December 1978, the German-born, Brazilian ornithologist Prof Helmut Sick - who had taught at the University of Sao Paulo - finally achieved his goal and found the Lear's Macaw (Anodorhynchus leari) in the wild.  Its natural habitat turned out to be the dry and barren region of Caatinga, Bahia, in north-eastern Brazil, where only a few rock cliffs rise out of the landscape.

Scientifically the Lear's Macaw had been known since 1856, when Bonaparte described it and provided scientific literature on the species.  A few individuals appeared in zoological facilities around the world and there were also museum specimens, but no-one knew exactly where they came from.

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