A blue macaw travels thousands of miles from Minnesota to Brazil to save its endangered species: that's the plot of “Rio,” a 2011 20th Century Fox film. The threat to this species and the awareness to protect it began in the eighties. Tony Juniper also made people aware of this problem with his book, "Spix's Macaw: The Race to Save the World's Rarest Bird." His noble attempts have been wasted.
In 2018, the Spix's Macaw was officially declared extinct in the wild. The Rio movie now seems like a compliment. You can't watch the movie without feeling the pull on your heart that Jewel is no more. In fact, one study found that Jewel would have died 11 years before the film's release, in 2000.
No longer found in nature
This study, conducted by BirdLife International, was shocking, but hardly surprising. We have continued our constant interference with wildlife. We are much more aware now than we were more than a century ago about how our ways can affect wildlife and destroy habitats and species. But, we have chosen not to repair our ways. And now, another new victim has claimed, the wonderful Spix's macaw in Brazil, the species that appeared in our favorite movie, Rio. Along with this magnificent blue bird, seven other species have been declared extinct. This is truly tragic, and we have no one else to blame but ourselves.
Our crimes, your loss.
BirdLife International accused constant deforestation as the main cause of this extinction. Increased deforestation has resulted in the loss of family habitat for these birds, making it an inhospitable place to live. Also, these birds weren't really that adaptable. As they lived close to more dominant predators and other species, Darwin's law took effect and they slowly withered away, the fittest stayed. We lost another glorious species of our nature.
You can still find them in captivity. There are also reports of existing breeding programs for them, but no official statement on this has been released. From the great outdoors to captivity, like a prisoner, that's the situation for the few remaining macaws, about 60 - 80.
The erased species
At least his fate is still better than most. Three other species, two from Brazil only have been completely wiped out: the Alagoas foliage gatherer and the cryptic tree hunter. In Hawaii, Poo-Uli has also become extinct. They were already rare and people couldn't capture any of them for breeding or captivity and now, they will only exist in photographs. South America, a treasure trove of beautiful birds, is fast becoming a graveyard. Stuart Butchart discovered that there is actually a growing incidence of extinctions that are occurring on the continents. Previous centuries saw rampant bird extinctions, mostly on islands, reaching roughly ninety percent. Now, he has come closer to home. If we had thought that we have stopped extinction, then we were very wrong.
We do not deserve this beautiful planet if we continue to strive to destroy everything. A certain personal responsibility would be enough, but we are so proud that we don't want to take that either. Our greed is slowly consuming the world, and we are the perpetrators of this crime.
Enough - let's take a step back and start reevaluating. We can no longer act as if the world is ours. We need to find a way to live and let live. Wildlife is in danger due to our careless ways. We must make a breaking point to start restoring it in every possible way.