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Blue-Throated Macaw Finally Gets Listing Nod


Animals  (tags: AnimalWelfare, conservation, endangered, environment, ethics, extinction, GoodNews, protection, wildanimals, wildlife, habitat )

JL
- 456 days ago - biologicaldiversity.org
With fewer than 150 blue-throated macaws left in the wild, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed the Bolivian bird for endangered listing status under the Endangered Species Act, according to an agency rule.



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JL A. (269)
Thursday January 17, 2013, 7:49 pm
Blue-Throated Macaw Finally Gets Listing Nod

By Ramona Young-Grindle

WASHINGTON (CN) - With fewer than 150 blue-throated macaws left in the wild, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed the Bolivian bird for endangered listing status under the Endangered Species Act, according to an agency rule.

The USFWS was first petitioned on behalf of the bird in 1991, and found that listing was warranted in 1994. The agency was prevented from pursuing the listing due to other listing priorities. The bird was given a listing priority number (LPN) of 2. "An LPN of 2 reflects threats that are both imminent and high in magnitude," the rule said. Even though the agency has reviewed the birds' status each subsequent year, the listing finding remained "warranted but precluded" through 2011.

Collection and the pet trade have had serious effects on the birds in the past. Pre-Columbian art features the birds' feathers in headdresses. There is evidence that the birds have been household pets since A.D. 1000 and were traded over a wide area. "The most significant impact to the decline of this species' population was likely due to collection for museums during the late 1800s and early 1900s," the rule said. "During this time period, bird-skin traders of European descent sold thousands of bird skins, especially to museums in the United States for at least three generations."

Bolivian law has banned export of the birds since 1984, but poaching for local sale continues, the rule said.

The population has declined to less than 150 individuals and "it is likely the population is nearer to 115 individuals," the agency said. The birds' habitat has steadily declined over thousands of years and they are now restricted to small "islands" of habitat within privately-owned cattle pastures in Bolivia. These islands are on higher terrain "primarily formed as mounds resulting from prehistoric human existence in this region," according the agency. The mounds, most raised less than one meter, are surrounded by low areas that regularly flood. It is believed that historic human culture manipulated the water flow to create the drier plains. Several species of palms grow on the mounds, including the macaws' favorite motacú palm, used for nesting and for food. The palm forests have been largely converted to pasture for cattle grazing since World War II, when cattle were first introduced to Bolivia.

Despite conservation efforts, the birds are further challenged by predation from other birds, parasites, severe weather and competition with other species. Many nestlings die because the parents cannot find enough to eat. Weaker nestlings are allowed to die so the stronger ones might live. Sometimes the dead palms preferred for nest sites collapse, especially in severe storms. "However, researchers are working with this species to introduce nest sites that are safer and less prone to predation and nest failure due to extreme weather events," the rule noted. "The effect of the death of each new nestling on the population of blue-throated macaws is devastating to the viability of the population."
 

Jim Phillips (3206)
Thursday January 17, 2013, 8:31 pm
Good for the Blue-Throated Macaw Finally Gets Listing Nod in the listing in the ESA.

Was surprised that the ESA is actually listing endangered species.

I was under the impression that there were people out there trying to get rid of a number of species already on
the ESA list but wanted them off for profiteering and greed. They did not want any more animals added to the
list at all.

Ty, JL.
.
 

JL A. (269)
Thursday January 17, 2013, 8:32 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Jim because you have done so within the last week.
 

Sara W. (110)
Thursday January 17, 2013, 8:50 pm
Did they wait long enough? Holy crap. I really hope they can bring this species back as it sounds like it has a lot working against it.
 

BarbKnight SunshineLady (1613)
Thursday January 17, 2013, 8:55 pm
Thank God! Now to get all the other 10 Gazillion animals to receive the nod! TY J.L.!
 

JL A. (269)
Thursday January 17, 2013, 9:07 pm
I agree Sara and BarbCat! You cannot currently send a star to Sara because you have done so within the last week.You cannot currently send a star to BarbCat because you have done so within the last week.
 

Danuta Watola (1159)
Friday January 18, 2013, 3:37 am
noted
 

Terry V. (30)
Friday January 18, 2013, 6:26 am
What a wonderful surprise. THANKS!!!

The 10 Commandments of Mother Earth
 

Michael Kirkby (81)
Friday January 18, 2013, 9:30 am
It's about time.
 

Melania Padilla (165)
Friday January 18, 2013, 10:17 am
Finally!! Thanks for posting
 

Petra M. (255)
Friday January 18, 2013, 2:09 pm
Thanks for posting; what a wonderful surprise!
 

JL A. (269)
Friday January 18, 2013, 2:15 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Terry because you have done so within the last week.
You cannot currently send a star to Michael because you have done so within the last week.
You cannot currently send a star to Melania because you have done so within the last week.
 

John B. (215)
Friday January 18, 2013, 7:17 pm
Thanks J.L. for the post. Since 1991!!! What in the world was the hold up? Regulations, paper work and the priority process is badly in need of an overhaul in my opinion. Read and noted.
 

Mitchell D. (123)
Friday January 18, 2013, 7:23 pm
Noted and read, thanks.
Went out birding this very morning to see 3 Northern Lapwings, a Eurasian bird, that infrequently visits the northeast, with 3 sightings of a single bird, each time, over the last 60 some years, there are 3,right now, in New jJesey.
 

JL A. (269)
Friday January 18, 2013, 7:25 pm
You're welcome John and Mitchell.
Excellent observations on the processes and procedures John. You cannot currently send a star to John because you have done so within the last week.
Sounds like a marvelous birding Mitchell. You cannot currently send a star to Mitchell because you have done so within the last week.
 

Christeen Anderson (422)
Friday January 18, 2013, 8:19 pm
Yea. This is good news. I'm not sure why they waited so long.
 

Robert O. (12)
Friday January 18, 2013, 8:45 pm
Long overdue, but like the saying goes better late than never. Thanks J.L. A.
 

JL A. (269)
Friday January 18, 2013, 9:12 pm
You're welcome Robert
 

Veronica C. (42)
Friday January 18, 2013, 10:13 pm
Good news.
 

Natasha Salgado (457)
Friday January 18, 2013, 11:23 pm
fantastic but we need nods for all the others!!!!
 

Frans Badenhorst (538)
Saturday January 19, 2013, 1:44 am
thanks for posting this good news......usually this happens when it is really too late, doesn't make sense hey?
 

Jill Vickerman (428)
Saturday January 19, 2013, 2:24 am
Goodness, looks like they only just made it before they became extinct....thanks J.L.A
 

Ilona a. (51)
Saturday January 19, 2013, 4:46 am
noted,goodnews
 

JL A. (269)
Saturday January 19, 2013, 8:29 am
You cannot currently send a star to Frans because you have done so within the last week.
 

Natalie V. (27)
Saturday January 19, 2013, 2:54 pm
noted, thanks
 

JL A. (269)
Saturday January 19, 2013, 3:25 pm
You're welcome Natalie
 
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