The world Spix’s Macaws population comprises 127 birds, 20 youngers have been bred in this year

December 29th, 2015 | by LubosTomiska
The world Spix’s Macaws population comprises 127 birds, 20 youngers have been bred in this year
Conservation projects

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The return of the Spix’s Macaw (Cyanopsitta spixii) to its wild habitat may happen earlier than in 2021. Because of the artificial insemination and good breeding results the captive population grows faster than it was expected. That’s why the total number of 150 individuals will be probably reached within the next two years. This news was brought by daily Estadão.

Having 150 Spix’s Macaws in captive population is the basic condition to reintroduce this species back into the wild. Twenty youngers have been bred in this year – 16 birds in Al Wabra breeding center and 4 birds in ACTP, Berlin. In five cases, reproduction was realized through the artificial insemination.


17 birds are still found in Switzerland

In total there are 127 Spix’s Macaws (Cyanopsitta spixii) living on our planet, all of them in captivity. 110 birds are involved in the breeding project and most of them are placed in Al Wabra, Qatar. This breeding station owns 50 females and 36 males. Twelve individuals are found in ACTP and the same number in Brazilian breeding center Nest. In Germany, they have seven males and five females. In Brazil, there are five males and seven females.



There are other 17 Spix’s Macaws kept in Switzerland. However, the owners are not involved in breeding project and they also refused claims made by Brazilian governmen to get these birds. It’s also interesting that only four pairs in whole population can breed naturally. In others it’s necessary to use artificial insemination to reproduce them.

Al Wabra in Qatar owns two breeding pairs which are able to breed on their own. We would find such pair also in ACTP and one in Nest breeding center. Swiss breeders don’t provide any further information about their Spix’s Macaws so we miss similar statistics there. It’s supposed that the next year might be similarly successful as this year because the cooperation between all three breeding stations – Al Wabra, ACTP and Nest start working really well. Representatives of mentioned facilities cooperate also on the return of this species back into the wild and in the following year they should build the base of breeding centre in the place of possible release.



Will be the Spix’s Macaw returned back into the wild?

The planned breeding center should be similar like the one in ACTP or Al Wabra. It will grow up in Concordia near to Curãcá village in the northern Brazilian state Bahia. First birds will be placed there in 2016 and a few years after the release is going to be realized. Curãcá village is the place where the last wild Spix’s Macaw was observed. Unfortunately, it disappeared in 2000. Since that time this species has been considered as extinct. This last individual (male) was paired together with a Blue-winged Macaw (Primolius maracana). The latter species may help in successful reintroduction of Spix’s Macaws into the wild.

Brazilian government plans to create a new reserve of size 44 thousands hectares. „If this will happend then we are ready to send more Spix’s Macaws to Brazil,“ said Martin Guth according to daily Estadão. Up to the end of this year all Spix’s Macaws from Nest breeding center should be placed to a new station. However, the exact location is still kept secret. Exchanges of adult birds are a very important part of this project because that’s the only way how to prevent inbreeding.


This article was written in cooperation with

Title photo: ACTP fb page



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