Macaw watches humans from artificial nest in the wild
Parrots, macaws, parakeets, and parrotlets belong to the Psittacidae family, the one with the most species at risk of extinction of all the bird families. In the last few centuries, several species have gone extinct. Although the Hyacinth Macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus) is the member of the Anodorhynchus genus that is the least threatened, it is still concerning.
The species used to be widely spread in Brazil, Paraguay, and Bolivia, however, its populations have declined drastically, due to a combination of hunting for feathers, loss of habitat, and the illegal pet trade, both national and international.
A rapid population decline seems to have taken place over the last three generations (31 years), Over 10,000 birds have been taken from the wild in the 1980s alone, sent to the United States, Japan, and Europe, where they would spend the rest of their lives in captivity.
To protect the Hyacinth Macaw it's necessary to protect its food and the trees used for nesting, which should happen throughout the year. They have a specialized diet, and 95% of their nests are made on one tree species, the manduvi tree (Sterculia apetala), also known a Panama tree. Because of that, in the late 1990s, 150 artificial nests have been installed in the Pantanal, where the largest population is, and over 50% of the nests were immediately occupied by them. Other species that compete with the Hyacinth Macaws for nesting trees have also started using the artificial nests, which increased the survival of Hyacinth Macaw chicks in over 200%.
The population in the Pantanal has undergone a recovery since, but the overall rate of decline over three generations is still suspected to have been rapid. This species has been downlisted from Endangered, it is now listed as Vulnerable.
The macaws are still being monitored and cataloged. In the video, one individual can be seen watching the biologists from an artificial nest, as they approach it to collect the data.