Glaucous Macaw Parrot - Are They Extinct? Overview & Origin | Punnaka

Glaucous Macaw Parrot - Are They Extinct?


Glaucous Macaw is a vast parrot that's either extinct or close to becoming extinct. They are related to the Hyacinth (vulnerable), Lear's Macaw (endangered), and Spix's Macaws (all of which are extinct in the wild), and they all hail from South America.

- They are substantial South American parrots considered extinct or nearing extinction, with the last credible sightings dating back to the 1960s.

Origin & History:

- It was previously present in northern Argentina, northeast Uruguay, south Paraguay, and Brazil from the state of Paraná downstream.

- The major rivers were where they were most commonly spotted, with Corrientes, Argentina, accounting for the majority of reports.

- The bird was already scarce in the late 1800s, and by the 1900s, there had only been two sightings. Since then, the number of sightings has steadily decreased.

Physical Description:

Colors & Marking:

- It is a giant parrot that stands around 28 inches (70 cm) tall and has the typical long tail and large beak of Macaws.

- They have a light to the medium gray head and are turquoise-blue in hue.

- A featherless pale-yellow ring around each eye and yellow crescent-shaped lappets surrounding the lower half of the beak distinguish them.


- Its diet primarily consisted of palm nuts, mainly from the Yatay Palm, as well as berries, nuts, vegetation, and various fruits.


- Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil were once home to this species.

- Glaucous Macaw had identified in subtropical gallery forests with cliffs and moderately forested palm-rich savannas feeding on the nuts of Butia yatay palms.


- They were found mainly in a small area of southern South America, primarily in the middle of the major rivers.

- They were discovered in Brazil's border region (from Parana state southwards) and northeastern Argentina, as well as in southern Paraguay and potentially northern Uruguay (Artigas).

- Most of the unusual parrot records came from Corrientes, Argentina, on the Paraguay and Parana Rivers' lower reaches (where a few species with data documented).


- Subtropical cliffy woodlands and palm-tree savannahs were among its frequent habitats.

- They nested on these cliffs, steep banks, and occasional tree cavities. They expected to have an average clutch size of two eggs.


- In captivity, one species survived for 14.8 years. Others claimed to have spent more than 20 years in captivity.

- The larger parrots have a life expectancy of 50 to 80 years, and there's no reason the Glaucous Macaw shouldn't have the same.

Status in The Wild:

- In 1999, the World Parrot Trust dispatched four biologists and conservationists to Brazil to survey and look for the Glaucous Macaw. Unfortunately, they could not locate any of these species during their survey.

- They were able to get crucial information about the factors that contributed to the death of this lovely bird. This knowledge could aid in conserving other endangered species, including Macaws.

- The Glaucous Macaw has not been observed consistently since the 1960s. The last recorded Glaucous sighting was in 1936 when they had photographed at the Buenos Aires Zoo. Unfortunately, and predictably, the photo is black and white and fails to convey the beauty of the plumage.

- Due to the lack of documented sightings since the 1980s and the catastrophic degradation and loss of their habitat, According to a 2018 study, the Glaucous Macaw is "Critically Endangered - Possibly Extinct."


- They roosted and cuddled in the hollows of tree trunks and constructed nests in the rock faces that border the Parana and Uruguay Rivers more frequently. The female lays eggs in a nest within a tree hollow or in a dirt depression on a cliff wall, and most macaw pairings only reproduce once a year.

- Only the mother is responsible for incubating the eggs until the chicks hatch; the male is responsible for bringing her food.

- Both parents bring nourishment to the chicks once they hatch.

- Two eggs were most likely in a typical clutch.


- This blue parrot's population is on the verge of extinction.

- According to estimates, there are just around 20 glaucous macaws remaining in the world.

What Could Be Causing Their Decline?

- The loss of vast numbers of palm groves, whether by direct clearing for farming or the restriction of regeneration induced by cattle grazing, is the primary cause of their extinction.

- However, adequate habitat exists in El Palmar National Park in Argentina's Entre Rios province, where some may have lived, and persistent tales of their presence continue.


The International Union for Conservation of Nature has classified it as "Critically Endangered – Possibly Extinct" (IUCN).

The IUCN estimates that less than 20 in the wild habitat loss due to agriculture and housing is to blame for the species extinction.

Proposed Conservation Measures

We're interviewing locals, particularly parrots and the remnants of old hunters, to see whether there's any chance of a surviving population.

You're ready to act on any favorable information you obtain from the interviews.


- We will almost certainly never witness a Glaucous Macaw in person, and it will have to do with ancient images of preserved bones in natural history museums.

- If any Glaucous Macaws are still alive, that saved by Brazilian law.

- There may be a small population of these parrots in the forest's uncharted regions.

-Although it is unlikely, we may always hope.

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glaucous macaw parrot

Added On (2022-06-22 17:54)

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