scarlet macaw
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Diversity ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 14 (1) ◽  
pp. 54
Patricia Escalante-Pliego ◽  
Noemí Matías-Ferrer ◽  
Patricia Rosas-Escobar ◽  
Gabriela Lara-Martínez ◽  
Karol Sepúlveda-González ◽  

Given the interest in the conservation of the Mesoamerican scarlet macaw (Ara macao cyanoptera), the Xcaret Park formed an initial reproductive population about 30 years ago, which has progressively grown to a considerable population in captivity. In this work, we focus on the evaluation of the genetic diversity of the captive population, taking two groups into account: its founding (49) and the current breeding individuals (166). The genetic analysis consisted of genotyping six nuclear microsatellite loci that are characterized by their high variability. Tests for all loci revealed a Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium in four loci of the founders and in no loci of the breeding groups. The results showed that the genetic variation in the Xcaret population was relatively high (founders He = 0.715 SE = 0.074, breeding pairs He = 0.763 SE = 0.050), with an average polymorphism of 7.5 (4–10) alleles per locus in founders and 8.3 (4–14) in breeding pairs. No significant differences in the evaluated genetic diversity indexes were found between both groups. This indicates that the genetic variability in Xcaret has been maintained, probably due to the high number of pairs and the reproductive management strategy. Bayesian analysis revealed five different genetic lineages present in different proportions in the founders and in the breeding pairs, but no population structure was observed between founders and breeding individuals. The analyzed captive individuals showed levels of genetic diversity comparable to reported values from Ara macao wild populations. These data indicate that the captive population has maintained a similar genetic diversity as the metapopulation in the Mayan Forest and is an important resource for reintroduction projects, some of which began more than five years ago and are still underway.

Vida Javidi ◽  
Robert Montgomerie

The Taylor White Collection of paintings from the 1700s, held at the McGill University Library, includes 661 paintings that illustrate 832 birds from around the world. With illustrations of 443 species in 30 avian orders, this collection represents a substantial proportion of the bird species known at the time and is one of the most comprehensive and accurate collections of coloured bird illustrations made during the eighteenth century. Most of the paintings were made by Charles Collins and Peter Paillou from live birds or dead specimens in the cabinets and aviaries of White and his contemporaries. We compared a large sample of the paintings with the same birds depicted in modern bird guides to assess quantitatively the accuracy of the illustrations with respect to the colours and patterns of plumages and soft parts. We found that fewer than 3% of the paintings contained errors, and usually only in one of the 28 body regions that we assessed. Given this high level of accuracy, we identified a small red macaw from the West Indies as likely representing a previously unknown but now extinct subspecies of the Scarlet Macaw, and two other paintings of species that could not be convincingly matched to any known species.

Diversity ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 13 (3) ◽  
pp. 121
Gabriela Vigo-Trauco ◽  
Rony Garcia-Anleu ◽  
Donald J. Brightsmith

The use of foster parents has great potential to help the recovery of highly endangered bird species. However, few studies have shown how to successfully use these techniques in wild populations. Scarlet Macaws (Ara macao macao) in Perú hatch 2–4 chicks per nest but about 24% of all chicks die of starvation and on average just 1.4 of them fledge per successful nest. In this study we develop and test new techniques to increase survival of wild Scarlet Macaw chicks by reducing chick starvation. We hypothesized that using foster parents would increase the survival of chicks at risk of starvation and increase overall reproductive success. Our results show that all relocated macaw chicks were successfully accepted by their foster parents (n = 28 chicks over 3 consecutive breeding seasons) and 89% of the relocated chicks fledged. Overall, we increased fledging success per available nest from 17% (2000 to 2016 average) to 25% (2017 to 2019) and decreased chick death by starvation from 19% to 4%. These findings show that the macaw foster parents technique and post relocation supplemental feeding provide a promising management tool to aid wild parrot population recovery in areas with low reproductive success.

Saurav Gandhi ◽  
Ayush Goyal

As the population of the world continues to grow in size and in age; it remains vital to develop streamlined and affordable technologies to address the needs of those most in need of companionship and care. The elderly and visually impaired remain a significant and an ever-increasing segment of society, yet due to the cost of at-home health care, many of these individuals are unable to afford full-time caretakers to assist them in everyday tasks. Although the luxury of home care remains elusive to many due to the associated cost, social robots are an important and meaningful way to overcome this issue. The proposed research explores the combination of biomimicry and assistive technology with IoT and artificial intelligence (AI), by presenting an all-in-one social biomimetic assistive robot called the Jet-I-U. This device mimics the behavioral and physical characteristics of a pet scarlet macaw, to provide information and companionship to visually impaired and elderly individuals. The Jet-I-U emulates its morphology and movement through laser-cut features and various biomimetic components. The intelligence and behavioral characteristics of the macaw are modeled through the application of the Internet of Things (IoT), AI, and Machine Learning (ML). By utilizing platforms such as the NVIDIA Jetson Nano and leveraging IoT technologies, the Jet-I-U can assist the visually impaired and older adults in day-to-day tasks. Experimental analysis was performed to evaluate Jet-I-U’s performance based on several criteria, and the results demonstrated the adaptability and applicability of the proposed solution as a companion to visually impaired and older adults.

2020 ◽  
Vol 13 (3) ◽  
pp. 602-608
Larissa Moreira ◽  
Thaynara Carvalho ◽  
Ayisa Oliveira ◽  
Daniel Santos ◽  
Nayara Paula ◽  

Osteosarcoma is a malignant primary tumor of the bone, which is considered rare in birds. This report describes an osteoblastic osteosarcoma in a scarlet macaw (Ara macao), which was apathetic with progressive weight loss, and had a tumor in the distal portion of the femur and proximal tibiotarsus with ulcerated pododermatitis in the contralateral limb. Euthanasia was elected due to poor diagnosis after radiographic and cytological examination. Histopathology and immunohistochemistry were performed and confirmed the diagnosis of an osteoblastic osteosarcoma with hepatic and pulmonary metastases.

2020 ◽  
Vol 30 (4) ◽  
pp. 575-585

SummaryThe Área de Conservación Osa (ACOSA) contains the largest population of Scarlet Macaws Ara macao in Costa Rica. Despite their influence on ecosystem dynamics and status as a flagship species, empirical data on the foraging patterns of this population is lacking. This information is crucial in implementing effective conservation strategies, particularly reintroduction attempts. Observations of feeding behaviour were made systematically over a 12-month period to provide the first direct examination of Scarlet Macaw diet within the ACOSA region. Scarlet Macaws feed on various items including seeds, flowers, bark, and leaf-gall larvae. Key findings included a demonstration of a smaller dietary niche breadth than that recorded for other Central American populations, use of button mangrove Conocarpus erectus, a species not previously recognised as a food source for Scarlet Macaws, and a heavy reliance on an exotic non-native species, Terminalia catappa. We argue that whilst human-modified coastal locations may present viable habitat for Scarlet Macaws, anthropogenic influences including the removal of native food sources and proliferation of exotic and cultivated species have left the Scarlet Macaws of the ACOSA particularly dependent on a small number of species.

2020 ◽  
Nigel Collar ◽  
Peter F. D. Boesman ◽  
Chris Sharpe

Ibis ◽  
2019 ◽  
Vol 162 (3) ◽  
pp. 735-748
Kari L. Schmidt ◽  
Matthew L. Aardema ◽  
George Amato

2018 ◽  
Vol 115 (35) ◽  
pp. 8740-8745 ◽  
Richard J. George ◽  
Stephen Plog ◽  
Adam S. Watson ◽  
Kari L. Schmidt ◽  
Brendan J. Culleton ◽  

Hundreds of scarlet macaw (Ara macao cyanoptera) skeletons have been recovered from archaeological contexts in the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico (SW/NW). The location of these skeletons, >1,000 km outside their Neotropical endemic range, has suggested a far-reaching pre-Hispanic acquisition network. Clear evidence for scarlet macaw breeding within this network is only known from the settlement of Paquimé in NW dating between 1250 and 1450 CE. Although some scholars have speculated on the probable existence of earlier breeding centers in the SW/NW region, there has been no supporting evidence. In this study, we performed an ancient DNA analysis of scarlet macaws recovered from archaeological sites in Chaco Canyon and the contemporaneous Mimbres area of New Mexico. All samples were directly radiocarbon dated between 900 and 1200 CE. We reconstructed complete or near-complete mitochondrial genome sequences of 14 scarlet macaws from five different sites. We observed remarkably low genetic diversity in this sample, consistent with breeding of a small founder population translocated outside their natural range. Phylogeographic comparisons of our ancient DNA mitogenomes with mitochondrial sequences from macaws collected during the last 200 years from their endemic Neotropical range identified genetic affinity between the ancient macaws and a single rare haplogroup (Haplo6) observed only among wild macaws in Mexico and northern Guatemala. Our results suggest that people at an undiscovered pre-Hispanic settlement dating between 900 and 1200 CE managed a macaw breeding colony outside their endemic range and distributed these symbolically important birds through the SW.

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