The conservation group Asociación Armonía has returned from a recent expedition to Bolivia with some very good news.
During the expedition, the group discovered a nesting area for the blue-throated macaw, a rare macaw species. Devastated by the illegal pet trade and habitat destruction, the blue-throated macaw population has dwindled to to somewhere between 200 to 300 individuals remaining in the wild.
Until this point, the whereabouts of the blue-throated macaws' breeding and nesting areas were unknown. However, the expedition team discovered a number of nests that were home to breeding pairs, as well as two nests situated near a busy farm. The birds did not seem perturbed by the nearby human activity.
This discovery is momentous not only because it spells hope for a population rebound, but also because it could help fill in gaps in scientific understanding of the blue-throated macaw's breeding behavior and life cycle.
According to the American Bird Conservancy:
"It's too early to know for sure whether the macaws found during the expedition are the same birds that visit Barba Azul Nature Reserve in the dry season or whether they constitute a separate population. To answer this and other questions about where the birds go, a group of experts led by an independent researcher, Lisa Davenport, is in the process of testing tracking devices suitable for this species, so that tagged birds can be traced during their seasonal migrations."
If researchers are able to amass data regarding the birds' whereabouts, it will be easier to identify and protect habitats critical to the survival of the species.
You can read more about the expedition's findings here.
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