With the arrival of these conservation ambassadors, Jurong Bird Park will be the only zoological park in the world where visitors will be able to appreciate all three existing species of the blue macaw family - including the park's existing Hyacinth Macaw collection - and learn about the efforts being made to save them from extinction. The Glaucous Macaw - the last member of the blue macaw family - has not been sighted since the 1960s and is believed to be extinct.
The critically endangered Spix's Macaw, also known as the Little Blue Macaw, is believed to be extinct in the wild, with the last confirmed sighting in 2005, and there are just over 150 individuals left under human care worldwide. It is the same blue macaw which inspired the Rio movie series, and whose breeding programme is currently managed by Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation, in Qatar, the Association for the Conservation of Threatened Parrots, in Germany and Fazenda Cachoeira, in Brazil. The Lear's Macaw is listed as endangered, and has about 1,300 individuals left in the wild. The Hyacinth Macaw is currently in Jurong Bird Park's collection, and is listed as vulnerable.
Jurong Bird Park received one Spix's Macaw and two Lear's Macaws each from Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation and the Association for the Conservation of Threatened Parrots. These birds will be ambassadors for their species, and for the conservation programme that strives to save them from extinction.
The Spix's and Lear's Macaws are on a 10-year loan agreement, with their debut in Jurong Bird Park marking the golden jubilee of diplomatic relations between Brazil and Singapore. Visitors can look forward to visiting the blue macaws at Jurong Bird Park’s Parrot Paradise exhibit from 22nd November onwards. At the exhibit, visitors will also be able learn more about the Spix's Macaw Conservation Action Plan and Reintroduction Programme, spearheaded and led by the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation.