Jurong Bird Park
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Singapore's Jurong Bird Park is now becoming the home of two of the world's rarest macaw species. The new arrivals -- the Spix's Macaw and the Lear's Macaw, will join the flight of Hyacinth Macaws in the zoological park.

The bird sanctuary in Singapore is going to be the world's only zoological park that can boast of being a home for all three species of blue macaw. The other blue macaw species, the Glaucous Macaw, was last seen in the 1960s and is believed to be extinct.

The conservation state of the other blue macaws is also dire, as the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) categorises all three bird species as worthy of conservation. The Hyacinth Macaw currently falls under the Vulnerable category. The Spix's Macaw, which was last spotted in the wild in 2005, is listed as Critically Endangered, with about 150 still surviving globally. The Lear's Macaw is also an Endangered species which has about 1,300 individuals in the wild.

The endangered Lear's Macaw—on a 10-year loan to Jurong Bird Park—is distinguishable by its yellow teardrop-shaped marking near its beak.
The endangered Lear's Macaw—on a 10-year loan to Jurong Bird Park—is distinguishable by its yellow teardrop-shaped marking near its beak. Wildlife Reserves Singapore

The Spix's Macaw had inspired the movie series Rio. Its breeding is currently controlled by Qatar's Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation, Germany's Association for the Conservation of Threatened Parrots and Brazil's Fazenda Cachoeira. The first two organisations have sent these exotic birds to Singapore as ambassadors to carry the message of conservation.

The critically endangered Spix's Macaw—is likely extinct in the wild with just over 150 individuals left under human care worldwide
The critically endangered Spix's Macaw—is likely extinct in the wild with just over 150 individuals left under human care worldwideWildlife Reserves Singapore

The Jurong Bird Park has been active in working for the recovery and preservation of these bird species, along with six other organisations like the Chico Mendes Institute of Biodiversity Conservation, the Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation, among others. It has also been instrumental in implementing conservation strategies for the care and husbandry of these rare birds, says Wildlife Reserves Singapore. In 2016, the bird sanctuary had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with its partners to breed and release the bird species in Brazil by 2021.

The visit of the birds marks the golden jubilee anniversary of diplomatic relations between Singapore and Brazil. The blue beauties are our guests for 10 years and their exhibit will commence on November 22. Visitors will get to learn about bird conservation there as well.

Jurong Bird Park