This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
A A


LEAR’S MACAW


ARTICLE BY ROSEMARY LOW I


n the first part of this article, published in the 17th edition of Bird Scene,


Rosemary Low described how the emotional impact of seeing this special species in its natural habitat prompted her to ask the Parrot Society to donate towards its conservation. And they came up trumps! The fruits of the licuri palm (Syagrus coronata) should form at least 90% of the Lear’s Macaw’s diet. The licuri bunches contain approximately 330 fruits, the average length and diameter of the fruits (nuts) being 2cm and 1.4cm respectively. The macaws open them by means of perfect transverse cuts. Unfortunately, there is a long history


of exploitation of the palm by local families. The fruits are collected and the palm fronds are used in the wax and soap industries and to make hats and domestic utensils, also for handicrafts. Some families are dependent upon the


palm for up to 90% of their income. The pulp of the mature fruit is used as food for humans, cattle and even chickens. The palm trees used to be felled to make way for land for pasture and agriculture. These palms are usually located in open areas but, traditionally, fires are lit to prepare pastures which means the whole licuri population of an area could be destroyed in a few days. However, in the caatinga habitat -- Brazil’s semi-arid region where Lear’s is found -- the main threat to licuri palm survival is the cutting of leaves to feed cattle and goats. This is particularly harmful in years when the region is affected by severe droughts. Due to overgrazing, there is no licuri regeneration where there are goats and cows; the cattle feed on the licuri fruits that fall to the ground and on the seedlings.


These palms are endemic to Brazil, BIRD SCENE 37


N


C C


O• O


• O O


N C C


C


O •





O


I


N N


N


E E


AO O


S


V


E


A A


R


V V


V I


I


R R


A O


O


N E


E


T


S S


NI N


O


O •





C N


N


N C


C





O O


O• O


N C


C


C N


N


O •





O I


N N


N E


E A


O O


S


T T


V


E


A A


V V


R


S S


T


T T


S


A A


E


V V


RT T


S S


T


N N


S S


E E


I I


R R


V V


PART TWO


T T


O O


N N


• •


N N


R R


I I


R R


I I


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48