The Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) stands out as an emblem of the biodiversity and richness of the Amazon rainforest. This astonishing bird not only adds a vibrant touch of color to the region but also plays a vital role in the local ecosystem.
Habitat and Behavior of the Scarlet Macaw
Scarlet Macaws are social birds that live in groups called “flocks.” They prefer to inhabit areas of tropical rainforests and humid forests, where they find a wide variety of fruits, nuts, and seeds in their diet. Madre de Dios, with biodiversity and pristine ecosystems, offers a perfect environment for these macaws.
One of the most impressive characteristics of Scarlet Macaws is their nesting behavior; they use tree cavities, usually palms, to raise their chicks. These cavities are limited, making the conservation of nesting habitats essential for their survival.
Conservation and Challenges:
Despite their beauty and fascinating behavior, the Scarlet Macaw faces conservation challenges. Habitat loss due to deforestation is a significant threat to their population. However, in Madre de Dios, conservation efforts have intensified to protect these majestic birds and their home.
Madre de Dios offers travelers a unique opportunity to witness the Scarlet Macaw in its natural environment. Birdwatching expeditions and ecotourism activities provide visitors with the chance to see these birds in flight, feeding, and socializing in their natural habitat. Additionally, by participating in these activities, travelers contribute to the conservation of the region and its emblematic species.
Fascinating Facts About the Scarlet Macaw
- In the Amazon jungle, they gather along the riverbanks and clay licks to feed.
- In the Tambopata National Reserve in southeastern Peru, there are several clay licks, including the largest known in the world.
- Scarlet macaws are the largest parrots on the planet.
- Scarlet Macaws can fly at speeds of up to 56 km/h (35 mph).
- They can live up to 50 years in the wild.
- Their calls (“rrraaah”) can sometimes be heard kilometers away.
- Like many parrots, the dark gray color of their eyes turns yellow when they are young adults and they are usually left-handed.
- IUCN Conservation Assessment
- Estimated global population: Less than 50,000
- Conservation status: Least Concern
- Population trend: Declining
World Parrot Trust
Iñigo-Elias, Eduardo E. 2010. Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; in Neotropical Birds Online
BirdLife International 2012. Ara macao. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. Downloaded on April 22, 2013.
The International Association of Bird Trainers and Educators