The blue Spix’s macaw gained international popularity through the animated movie Rio that was released in 2011. It’s a story about a charming macaw named Blu, who travels thousands of miles to find the last living female of his species.
A study by BirdLife International, a global partnership of environmental conservationists who strive to protect bird spices throughout the world, has disclosed that at least eight bird species have disappeared over the years.
And amongst them is the renowned blue parrot, which inspired animated film Rio.
According to the study, these Brazilian birds are no longer seen in the wild.
In the animated movie, Blu (the last living male of his species) flies all the way from Minnesota to Rio de Janeiro, where he meets Jewel, the last living female lives.
The parrots ultimately fall in love, have a baby, and manage to save their species.
Unfortunately, this didn’t happen in the real world.
Seven years ago, this parrot species was declared endangered, and now it’s officially extinct in the wild.
Conservationists found that the only surviving macaw species exist in captivity. But there’s no official proof they exist in any breeding program.
The birds’ extinction came due to the rise in deforestation and the constant destruction of their habitats. This beautiful blue parrots aren’t adaptable and used to live near dominant predators and species.
According to Stuart Butchart, BirdLife’s chief scientist, and the paper’s lead author:
“People think of extinctions and think of the dodo, but our analysis shows that extinctions are continuing and accelerating today.”
“Historically 90% of bird extinctions have been small populations on remote islands. Our evidence shows there is a growing wave of extinctions on continents, resulting from habitat loss and degradation driven by unsustainable agriculture and logging in particular.”
The Spix’s macaw, also known as a small blue macaw, was first discovered in 1819 by a German naturalist Johann Baptist Ritter von Spix.
The birds were already considered rare at the time of their discovery, and only a few people were lucky enough to see them in the wild.
BirdLife International also revealed seven other bird species that have also disappeared from observable natural environments.
Five of the species are from South America and were victims of deforestation and excessive human interference.
Three particular species, namely, the Alagoas foliage gleaner, the cryptic tree-hunter (from Brazil), and Poo-Uli from Hawaii, have now completely disappeared from the face of the earth… most likely forever.