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FEATURE


The uncertainties on future population projections for Lear’s Macaw call for new monitoring and conservation efforts. Further monitoring must focus on the breeding fraction of the population rather than on overall population size (Pacífico et al, 2014).


an estimate of 114 breeding pairs, representing just over 20% of the population. It has been suggested that the large non-breeding population could mean competition for food by breeding pairs with non--breeding macaws, especially in times of food scarcity. Each breeding pair normally produces one or two chicks. This contrasts with only one chick for the Hyacinthine Macaw. Young of cliff nesters, such as Lear’s, are less susceptible to predation. The uncertainties on future population projections for Lear’s Macaw call for new monitoring and conservation efforts. Further monitoring must focus on the


breeding fraction of the population rather than on overall population size (Pacífico et al, 2014). The World Parrot Trust was one of the first organisations to support the conservation of Lear’s Macaw. In the Spring 2014 issue of their magazine PsittaScene renowned Brazilian ornithologist Carlos Yamashita, who is an authority on the threatened parrots of Brazil, made a very interesting suggestion. It concerned the now extinct Glaucous Macaw (Anodorhynchus glaucus), which is very closely related to Lear’s. It differed mainly in the slightly different plumage coloration. The two


BIRD SCENE 45


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