Reintroducing the Spix's Macaw, a bird species that has gone extinct in the wild

Known for the animated film “Rio” and the iconic character “Blu,” the Spix’s Macaw is one of the rarest birds in the world. Its habitat is limited to just one region in the world, the Brazilian Caatinga. Victim of poaching and habitat destruction due to agricultural development, the population of wild Spix’s Macaws gradually declined to extinction in 2000.

Breeding, the last chance 

The last birds held illegally were fortunately rescued in the early 2000s. A breeding program was then initiated to preserve the species. There are 3 centers worldwide involved in breeding the Spix’s Macaws, in Berlin (Association for the Conservation of Threatened Parrots – ACTP), in Brazil, and in Pairi Daiza. The ultimate goal is to release the captive-bred Spix’s Macaws in Brazil. To ensure the success of this reintroduction, a gradual re-adaptation of the birds to their natural environment is essential. In Brazil, a reintroduction center provides the birds with the necessary skills to survive in the wild. The area where the Spix’s Macaws will be released is protected, and the Brazilian authorities continue their efforts to protect the Caatinga.

A dream the became reality

In 2022, one of the dreams of the Pairi Daiza Foundation came true with the reintroduction of 20 Spix’s Macaws into their natural habitat in Brazil. This was a world first successfully accomplished with the assistance of the Foundation and the zookeeping team of the park, in collaboration with organizations such as ACTP and the Brazilian government… In November 2023, the ambitious conservation efforts undertaken for many years in Germany, Pairi Daiza, and Brazil bore their first fruits. The representatives of this extinct species in the wild, reintroduced in Brazil in 2022 thanks to the Pairi Daiza Foundation and its partners, are starting to reproduce in their original region. This significant event shows that nothing is impossible. That together, if we want it, we can achieve great things and protect or even restore what has been severely damaged by humanity.


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