Get ready and head to Singapore’s Jurong Bird Park this end-November! That’s when Asia’s largest bird paradise will be unveiling to visitors two of the world’s rarest macaws, the Spix’s macaw and the Lear’s macaw.

With the addition of Spix’s and Lear’s to the park’s resident Hyacinth macaws, Jurong Bird Park will be the only public zoological institution in the world that is home to the complete blue macaw family, sans the last member of the family, the Glaucous, which has not been sighted since the 1960s and is believed to be extinct.

 Believed to be extinct in the wild, the critically endangered Spix’s macaw is distinguished within the blue macaw family by its size (it is the smallest) and elegant grey-blue plumage.

Believed to be extinct in the wild, the critically endangered Spix’s macaw is distinguished within the blue macaw family by its size (it is the smallest) and elegant grey-blue plumage.

In July 2016, Jurong Bird Park signed a Memorandum of Agreement together with partners — the Ministry of the Environment of Brazil, the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation, the Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation, the Association for the Conservation of Threatened Parrots, Parrots International and Fazenda Cachoeira — committing to provide funding and direct support to help establish a viable population of Spix’s macaws under human care, and ultimately to reintroduce this species into the wild.

Mr Mike Barclay, Group CEO, Mandai Park Holdings, said: “The Spix’s and Lear’s macaws are excellent emblems of our commitment to do our part to protect and conserve global biodiversity. We are honoured to be a partner in this effort to bring the Spix’s macaw species back from the brink of extinction, with the eventual hope to reintroducing them to the wild. We are also deeply humbled by the confidence placed in us to care for these precious birds.”

The endangered Lear’s macaw sports a bright yellow eye ring with a rich green-tinged cobalt blue plumage.

The endangered Lear’s macaw sports a bright yellow eye ring with a rich green-tinged cobalt blue plumage.

The Ambassador of the Federative Republic of Brazil, His Excellency Flávio Soares Damico, said: “In 2017, we celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations between Brazil and Singapore and we are very proud of the strong bilateral ties uniting us. Bringing both countries even closer together, we are happy to be part of the effort to introduce two birds native to Brazil to Jurong Bird Park – the Spix’s and Lear’s macaws.

“We look forward to the continuation of this initiative that will allow for the re-introduction of the two species in their natural habitat. This will be an important mark of this golden jubilee. Singapore has every reason to be proud of Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s commitment towards the protection and conservation of biodiversity. The macaws are in very good and able hands. I am sure that the public will enjoy this addition to the park.”

According to the said agreement, Jurong Bird Park will welcome two Spix’s macaws and four Lear’s macaws. The Spix’s macaw, also known as the little blue macaw, is listed as critically endangered and is believed to be extinct in the wild. There are just over 100 birds left under human care worldwide. It is the same little blue macaw which inspired the Rio movie series. Meanwhile, the Lear’s macaw is classified as endangered due to illegal bird trade and habitat loss.

Image credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

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