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Wildlife Wednesday: Macaw

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Wildlife Wednesday: Macaw

This Wildlife Wednesday, learn about the colourful and exotic macaw parrot, and what we can do to help them.

This Wildlife Wednesday, learn about the colourful and exotic macaw parrot, and what we can do to help them.

Habitat: Central and South America

Macaw trivia

  • There are 17 macaw species in total, and each have their own beautiful and brilliant plumage, which helps them blend in with the colours of the rainforest.
  • With their scaly tongues and powerful, curved beaks, they are well adapted to eating nuts, seeds, insects, and fruits. They also are known to eat damp soil, which may neutralize toxins and help with their digestion.
  • Macaws are famous for mimicking human speech. In their natural habitat, however, they use their loud calls to communicate in large groups of 10 to 30 parrots.
  • Macaws are one of the few animals that mate for life—and at up to 70 years, it can be a very long life indeed. They’re very social animals that often share food with, and groom, their mate.

Why they’re threatened and what you can do to help
Several macaw species are endangered, and new reports suggest that more are on the way to becoming classified as endangered. Blue-coloured hyacinth macaws are the most threatened, with fewer than 3,000 in the wild.

One threat to macaws is illegal trade, as they are often trapped and sold as pets. This is very damaging to the wild macaw population. Another threat is the ongoing deforestation of the rainforests. Currently, tropical forests—home to an astonishing amount of biodiversity—are being cleared for logging and agriculture. 

To help, you can do your part as a consumer by purchasing paper products from responsible sources, such as post-consumer recycled paper or Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified paper. Choose foods such as soy and beef that you know are not from Central and South American forests that have been cleared.

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